Louisville Birth Injury Attorney
When parents are expecting a child, it should be a time of joy. However, there are times when the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional cause injuries during the labor and birthing process. If your child has been harmed and you need a Louisville birth injuries attorney, you can count on the team at the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery to help. We will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Why choose Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery?
When families are going through something as devastating as an injury to their child, they can turn to the trusted team of Louisville personal injury attorneys at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery for help with their case.
- Our compassionate and experienced attorneys focus on giving individualized attention to every client. Your attorney, not a paralegal or junior associate, will handle your case from start to finish.
- Our firm focuses solely on personal injury law, giving us years of specialized experience that will enable us to secure maximum compensation for your claim.
- We take all Louisville birth injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that families will owe no legal fees until we secure a favorable verdict or settlement.
Will an attorney help your case?
For birth injury cases, as with any medical malpractice case, an attorney is going to be necessary. These cases require extensive legal experience and resources to properly investigate. Your Louisville birth injury attorney will:
- Obtain all evidence necessary to prove the medical mistake that took place
- Work with medical experts to calculate the total cost of care involved
- Negotiate with all parties involved to secure the compensation you deserve
- Take your case to trial if necessary
- Understanding birth injuries
Hiring an attorney can help you understand your family’s rights after a birth injury and negotiate a fair case value from an insurance provider. You can trust your attorney to take care of the legal legwork of your case while you focus on healing.
How Much Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Cost?
The out-of-pocket costs associated with hiring a birth injury lawyer is $0 at the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery since we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means we only charge our clients attorney’s fees if and when we win a case. If we don’t win the case, you won’t pay us a dime in fees. If we do win a settlement or jury verdict, we will charge our fee as a percentage of the total award won.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any physical harm caused to an infant during or shortly after childbirth. It can also refer to injuries suffered by the mother during the birthing process. While some birth injuries are simply a result of being born, such as trauma from a difficult labor, others are caused by negligent medical providers. Medical negligence or malpractice both mean that a health care provider has fallen short of the expected standards of care. Breaching the standards of patient care can result in serious harm to both mother and baby before, during or after delivery.
Common Birth Injuries in Kentucky
An infant is vulnerable to many different types of injuries during labor and delivery. The infant’s brain is still developing, for example, and can suffer permanent damage if it is harmed during childbirth.
There are various types of injuries that can occur to a newborn due to the careless or negligent actions of a healthcare provider. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Meconium aspiration
- Fetal oxygen deprivation
- Lack of oxygen in the brain (hypoxia)
- Brain bleeds
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Erb’s palsy
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Lacerations or bruising
There is no such thing as a minor birth injury. Each of these injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities for a child. For example, a lack of oxygen to a child’s brain could lead to cerebral palsy, a condition that leaves a person in need of special assistance their entire lives. Any type of harm inflicted against a mother or child from medical negligence could be grounds for a birth injury suit in Kentucky.
Why Do Birth Injuries Occur?
Birth injuries are not always preventable. Many births come with complications that cannot be prevented even with an appropriate level of medical care. However, many birth injuries are caused by careless doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists.
There are various ways in which these injuries can occur, including:
- The misuse of forceps or a vacuum device during delivery
- A failure to perform a C-section when necessary
- Failing to recognize maternal distress
- Not recognizing umbilical cord misplacement
- Failing to recognize and handle a breech birth
- Improper follow-up care after delivery
Johns Hopkins researchers have indicated that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US. Unfortunately, these mistakes often occur during the delivery process.
If a prudent and responsible medical provider would have done something differently during the birthing process and prevented the victim’s injuries, the defendant could be guilty of medical malpractice.
How to Prove Negligence in a Birth Injury Case?
Winning a birth injury lawsuit in Kentucky requires clear and convincing proof that medical malpractice or negligence occurred in connection to the victim’s injuries. During a birth injury claim, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff or filing party. This means it is the victim’s responsibility to prove negligence as more likely to be true than not true (a preponderance of the evidence). Proving negligence takes evidence of four elements:
- Duty of care owed to the victim – a doctor-patient relationship must have existed at the time of the incident to place a duty of care with the defendant.
- A breach of the professional duty of care – an act or omission that fell short of the doctor’s duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
- Causation – a clear causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the victim’s birth injury. In other words, the injury would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence.
- Damages suffered – losses experienced by the victim or victim’s family because of the birth injury, such as medical bills and emotional distress.
The evidence that may be available to use during a birth injury claim could include hospital records, doctor’s and nurse’s notes, medical expert testimony, eyewitness statements, and photographs and videos. An attorney from the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery can help you collect evidence and tell the story of your labor and delivery to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence.
What kind of compensation is available for these cases?
Parents of a child who sustains a birth injury need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible about their case. At the Law Office of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we are dedicated to helping families get through this impossibly difficult time. There are various types of recoverable damages in these cases, including:
- Compensation for all medical expenses related to the error(s)
- Coverage of long-term care if necessary
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages against the medical provider or agency they work for
Making a list of all available types of compensation for your birth injury case can help you determine its value. It is important not to rush into a fast settlement offered by an insurance company without first consulting with an attorney about the value of your case. While an insurer may try to downplay your child’s birth injury, an attorney will seek maximum financial compensation.
What Is the Average Birth Injury Settlement?
There is no one-size-fits-all birth injury settlement that hospitals or insurance companies award to every client. Case values can vary considerably based on the facts of the specific case. Searching online for an average settlement value is not how to determine how much your case is worth. Case value can only be calculated after a careful analysis of the specific facts. Factors that may affect the value of a settlement include:
- The severity and extent of the child’s injuries
- The cost of your family’s necessary past and future medical care
- Whether the child has any lasting physical or psychological damage
- The victim’s degree of pain and suffering
- The number of defendants
- The hospital’s insurance policy limits
- Whether your family qualifies for punitive damages
Some birth injury victims in Kentucky receive thousands of dollars for their losses while others recover millions for serious or life-changing birth injuries. A family that suffers the tragic loss of an infant’s life due to a fatal birth injury, for example, could receive a significant amount for funeral and burial costs, medical bills, and a lifetime of mental anguish.
What Is the Time Limit to File a Birth Injury Claim in Kentucky?
Do not wait to find out if you have grounds to file a birth injury claim in Kentucky. As soon as your child is diagnosed with an injury that you believe could have been prevented by your doctor or OBGYN, contact one of our attorneys about a potential lawsuit. A state law known as the statute of limitations places a strict time limit on your right to file a birth injury lawsuit.
In Kentucky, most medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within one year of the error in question. However, when the victim of medical malpractice is an infant, he or she has until age 19 (one year after turning 18) to file a claim. An injured minor is one of the limited circumstances that will pause the statute of limitations in Kentucky.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You may have a lot of questions as the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with a birth injury in Kentucky. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our main goal is always to help our clients. This includes answering all of the questions that you have about the legal process. We have years of experience and in-depth knowledge of birth injury cases. Some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive at our law firm are:
- What’s the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect? A birth injury is caused by medical negligence or a medical error, while a birth defect is caused by factors unrelated to medical malpractice, such as the environment or genetic problems.
- How do you know if a baby’s injury was caused by negligence? In general, you could have a case if a reasonable and prudent doctor would have done something differently during the birth of your child. You may need an attorney to investigate your case to identify medical malpractice and prove negligence.
- Why is it important to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement? Once you accept an insurance settlement, you cannot renegotiate for a higher amount – even if you learn that your case was worth more than you received. An attorney will help you pursue fair financial compensation.
- How do you file a birth injury claim in Kentucky? You or your lawyer will start by filing a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party. Then, if your case has to go to court, you will file the required paperwork with the civil courthouse in the county where the incident occurred.
For more information about your specific birth injury case, contact us for a free case review with an attorney. We will listen to your story and help you understand your rights as a victim. Our attorneys can answer your questions at no cost or obligation to hire our law firm.
Contact a Louisville Birth Injury Attorney Today
Finding out that your child has a birth injury is distressing and devastating. Let us help you take legal action against the negligent doctor or health care provider that caused your child’s injury. Clients have trusted Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery with their most complex personal injury cases throughout Kentucky for many years. We will work relentlessly on your family’s behalf to pursue justice and the financial compensation that you deserve for a birth injury
When you need a Louisville birth injuries attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (859) 578-4444.