The birth of a child should be a wonderful milestone. For many New York families, however, it can prove to be a bittersweet moment. Many babies are injured before, during, and immediately after their births. Such cases are often caused by medical negligence which allows the child’s family to seek legal damages. If this situation applies to you, we want to help you seek justice from the liable party or parties. Count on the experienced birth injury attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. to help you prove your case.
Understanding the Elements of a New York birth injury lawsuit
The first step in presenting a compelling case is understanding the following elements of a New York birth injury lawsuit:
Duty of care. You must show that the defendant (e.g. hospital) owed the injured child a duty of care, typically by first demonstrating the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. You will also have to demonstrate the appropriate standard of care. In a birth injury lawsuit, a medical provider generally has the duty to act with the same care and skill that are ordinarily exercised by medical professionals in similar situations.
Breach. Next, you must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. This means that, by some act or omission, the defendant failed to live up to the required duty of care. You will likely need medical expert witness testimony to show what the defendant did (or failed to do) and why it fell short of the duty of care.
Causation. The third step is to show that the defendant’s breach actually caused the child’s birth injury. This step should not be overlooked or minimized, because the existence of a medical mistake alone is not enough to prove causation. You must show that, but for the breach of the duty of care, the child would not have suffered the injury he or she did.
Damages. The final element you will need to show is damages, which relate to the loses you and your child experienced because of the birth injury. These may include economic damages (such as medical bills to treat the child); non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering); and, in rare cases, punitive damages (which punish particularly wrongful conduct).
The strength of your evidence
The injured child’s family and lawyer will also have the burden of providing the necessary evidence to establish the above elements and substantiate the allegations against the defendant. It is imperative that you work with a knowledgeable attorney to not only acquire the evidence you need but to ensure it follows the applicable rules of evidence.
Some of the most common evidence used to support birth injury lawsuits includes:
- Medical records
- Pictures and videos
- The medical provider’s education, background, and experience
- Medical facility records
- Complaints filed against the medical provider or facility
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the lawsuit
Our goal is to make sure you and your child are fully compensated for any and all injuries inflicted upon you, so we will thoroughly investigate the case and uncover everything we can to make a compelling case.
Discovery and mediation
One of the best tools you have at your disposal in a birth injury lawsuit is discovery. This is a formal process by which the parties seek and exchange relevant evidence. There are several discovery methods available such as requests for documents, interrogatories, and depositions. When you retain us, we take full advantage of the discovery process so we can present the best possible arguments in your favor.
Your case may be resolved by way of mediation with the liable party (parties), their insurance companies, and their lawyers. Many birth injury lawsuits never go to trial because the victim’s family and their attorneys use this out-of-court process to effectively settle the lawsuit. We represent clients during birth injury mediations by helping them understand the benefits of settlement versus the potential risks of going to trial. But make no mistake, if the liable party refuses to make a fair settlement offer during mediation, we are prepared to take your case to court.
Let Us Help During This Difficult Time
Going through a birth injury lawsuit is highly emotional, to say nothing of the challenges you and your family face in caring for your injured child. Our firm is here to alleviate some of that stress by providing you with zealous advocacy from the beginning to the end of your birth injury lawsuit. Give Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. a call today to learn more.