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Filing a New Jersey Birth Injury Lawsuit

baby's foot in mother's handBy filing a birth injury lawsuit, New York and New Jersey families can attempt to hold a negligent doctor or healthcare practitioner accountable for inflicting devastating injuries to their child can offer a sense of closure, as well as compensation to address mounting medical bills and lost wages. While a lawsuit may seem like a difficult undertaking at the outset, working with compassionate, no-nonsense attorneys who have decades of experience with medical malpractice litigation can make a world of difference for your family.

If you are ready to take the first step toward allocating responsibility where it is due, we encourage you to contact the New Jersey birth injury attorneys at Eisbrouch & Marsh right away. All consultations are confidential and free of charge, and we charge no fees unless we win your case.

The birth injury lawsuit process

In the wake of your child’s birth injury, you may be wondering whether filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is worth the time and effort. One of the best first conversations to have with your lawyer during your initial meeting involves the typical timeline of the medical malpractice lawsuit process, including the likely time commitment and possible outcomes. As well, understanding the benefits of the lawsuit process in light of the journey it takes to arrive at the end result may help you and your family make an informed decision over whether to file a claim.

The birth injury lawsuit process begins by filing a complaint in state or federal court. The complaint will list specific facts you believe give rise to a claim for liability against the doctor, hospital or nurse responsible for your child’s injury.

You are free to name more than one defendant in your lawsuit if you believe more than one individual or entity should be held liable. Once your complaint is filed, the defendant(s) will have an opportunity to file an answer either affirming or denying your allegations. The defendant(s) may also raise counterclaims against you for damages caused by your role in the incident.

Once the lawsuit is filed, both sides will engage in discovery procedures. This is the evidence-gathering portion of the lawsuit, where both sides are permitted and encouraged to exchange evidence material to the outcome of the case.

Benefits of a birth injury lawsuit

The true benefits of a birth injury lawsuit come at the end when your case reaches either a settlement or jury verdict. It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a case will settle, however statistically most civil lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom. The defendant(s) may be inclined to settle for any number of reasons, including the avoidance of bad publicity or the recognition that they are likely responsible.

By working with an attorney experienced in these sensitive cases, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with dignity and an extreme attention to detail.

Your personal injury attorney will advise you as to whether to accept a settlement offer or to continue toward a trial. We will candidly discuss the merits of your case and whether the evidence supports a strong likelihood of success. In some cases, unforeseen circumstances or congenital (genetic) problems cause the birth injury and it may be extremely difficult to establish liability against the doctor or hospital.

Common birth injuries caused by malpractice

There are a myriad of birth injuries that may be redressed by a lawsuit.

The pivotal issue in any medical malpractice claim is whether the physician, nurse, midwife or medical facility breached its duty when caring for your child either prenatally, during labor and delivery or immediately following the birth. In general, medical professionals have a duty to care for patients and address problems in a way that is reasonably accepted and expected within the medical community. What is “reasonable” is often a source of contention and addressed by the testimonial opinions of medical experts at a trial or during the discovery phase.

A birth injury lawsuit filed in either New York or New Jersey may involve:

  • Head or neck injuries, including swelling or bruising of the delicate scalp
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain – often caused by skull fracture occurring during delivery
  • Undiagnosed or “missed” perinatal asphyxia, which occurs when the baby loses oxygen due to a prolapsed or blocked umbilical cord
  • Failure to monitor the fetal heart rate during labor
  • Unnecessary delays in ordering a Caesarian section delivery, particularly during periods of fetal distress;
  • Unreasonable or unnecessary use of forceps or vacuum suction during vaginal delivery

Birth injuries often lead to lifelong conditions including cerebral palsy, nerve and brain damage, respiratory issues or paralysis.

Birth injury litigation: the end result

As you consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be curious as to the type of compensation you can expect. While a successful outcome is not guaranteed for every case, children having suffered birth injuries often receive sizable compensation awards, particularly if the child will require lifelong care.

Compensation to redress your child’s birth injury may include any of the following:

  • Actual Damages: Reimbursement for money actually spent or lost as a result of the birth injury, including medical bills, lost wages or future earnings
  • Non-Economic Damages: Money to address the pain, suffering and mental anguish associated with enduring a traumatic birth injury
  • Punitive Damages: Rarely assessed but available when the court finds the doctor or hospital acted with extreme negligence or malice against the victim

Contact an birth injury attorney right away

If you are ready to file your medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible for harming your children, the attorneys of Eisbrouch & Marsh are ready to fight for justice for you and your family. We offer representation in the Northern New Jersey areas of Hackensack and Bergen County, as well as all five boroughs of New York City. To get started on your claim, call 201-342-5545 today.

  1. Merck Manuals: Children’s Health Issues: Birth Injury, http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/childrens_health_issues/problems_in_newborns/birth_injury.html
  2. New Jersey Judiciary: Duty & Negligence, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/charges/5.50A.pdf