When a child is born, doctors and medical staff should be able to predict potential problems before they happen and take steps to prevent life-altering birth injuries. However, injuries occur all too often, and parents don’t necessarily recognize their own power to fight back until it is too late. A Huffington Post writer with cerebral palsy recently explained the impact his birth injury has had on his life. He also shared the following four points in hopes of giving parents a head start when considering legal action:
1. Closely observe your child’s development
Birth injuries aren’t always obvious right away, but become apparent as a child develops. As soon as there is any sign that a child is not developing correctly, parents should have the child evaluated. An attorney can help identify specialists, retain experts and provide advice on next steps if a problem is identified.
2. Collect evidence sooner, rather than later
Hospitals place a lot of weight on APGAR tests, which measure a newborn’s appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration. While this test is important, it is not the only one that can be conducted to evaluate the overall health of a child at birth. Parents should talk to their child’s doctor or specialists about additional testing, if they have concerns.
3. Even minor injuries can result in legitimate lawsuits
If a child turns out to have difficulties that are real, yet manageable, parents often make the best of the situation and focus on the child’s strengths, rather than dwelling on the obstacles. However, it’s important to know that injuries do not have to be severe to warrant legal action. Just because a child learns to manage their obstacles doesn’t mean that the medical establishment, doctor or staff responsible for the injury should not be held accountable.
4. Don’t wait too long
Claims for birth injuries need to be pursued while the child is still a child. In Ohio, most medical malpractice claims need to begin within three to four years after the incident in question, depending on the circumstances. A qualified birth injury lawyer can build a strong case and seek the compensation needed for the child to have best possible quality of life.