Giving birth to a child is one of the most miraculous things in the world. While there may be overwhelming joy associated with bringing a child into this world, there can also be overwhelming sadness, too, if a child is born with an injury. If your child has suffered a birth injury and you suspect that medical malpractice played a role, it is important you act quickly. Consider the following steps to take after a birth injury in Ohio:
Make Sure Your Baby Gets the Medical Treatment He or She Needs
If your baby has suffered an injury during the birthing process, such as oxygen deprivation leading to a brain injury, bone fracture injury, brachial plexus injury, hemorrhage injury, etc., the most important thing you can do is to ensure your baby gets the medical treatment and care needed to treat or manage the injury.
Collect Documentation of Everything Related to the Injury
If you suspect that the birth injury was a result of medical malpractice, then few things will be more important to your case than having the evidence to prove it. Of course, proving malpractice on your own and gathering all the necessary documentation solo can be difficult, if not impossible. That being said, there are some types of evidence that you can start to collect, including:
- The names and positions of anyone who was involved in your baby’s birth;
- Your medical records and your baby’s medical records;
- Medical bills, prescriptions, treatment costs, etc.;
- Detailed reports of any medical care your baby received; and
- Your baby’s current doctor’s opinion regarding the cause of the injuries.
While it may be possible to gather all of this on your own, it is much easier and more efficient to allow an attorney to take care of this for you.
Keep Appointments and Follow Advice (Mostly)
One thing that can make a significant difference in your birth injury case, should you choose to pursue one, is whether you followed a treating physician’s recommendations. If you deviated from a prescribed treatment plan, this could be used against you; an insurer will argue that it is impossible to know if your baby’s condition would have improved more had you followed the doctor’s advice. In general, you should keep all scheduled appointments and follow your doctor’s advice. If you need to miss an appointment, call the doctor in advance and make sure to reschedule. Don’t just “no show.” However, if your doctor recommends some course of action or treatment that just seems wrong to you, it is okay to ask questions and even to seek out a second opinion.
Seek Legal Advice
As soon as you can, you should schedule a free consultation with an Ohio birth injury attorney. Your attorney can review the case and, if you have a strong case, start the process of gathering evidence, working with experts, and building your claim. Perhaps most important to you initially, your attorney can help get answers about what happened to you and your child, so you can make an informed decision about moving forward with a birth injury claim.
Initiate a Medical Malpractice Claim
Finally, you need to begin the process as soon as possible. There are very strict time limits for the filing of medical malpractice cases. Once those time limits have passed, it will be impossible to pursue a case successfully. In addition, it is important to gather key evidence, documents, and witness statements as soon as possible after an injury, as memories fade and documents get altered or destroyed.