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Personal Injury | Medical Malpractice Pennsylvania and New Jersey

FAQ About Birth Injuries

Answers you can trust from lawyers who care

If your child has a birth injury, you want answers right away. However, finding accurate information about birth injuries can be a challenge. That's why the birth injury lawyers at Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. created this page specifically for parents like you.

We know you want as much information as possible about your child's injury, as well as the facts about all the legal options available for you. However, it's important to remember that every birth injury is unique. That's why we strongly urge you to contact us and schedule your free case evaluation with us as soon as possible.

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"The more information you have, the smarter the decisions you can make," attorney Peter Villari said. "We realize what's at stake. We know how serious birth injuries can be. That's why we want to meet with you. Call us anytime, day or night. What matters most is making sure your concerns are properly addressed."

What is your question?

How do I know if my child has a birth injury?

You know your child best. If something seems wrong with them, contact your doctor immediately. It's always better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true for birth injuries. Young children normally achieve certain important milestones at different stages in their lives. If you believe your child is lagging behind other children his or her age, write down exactly what you noticed with the exact date and other important information. Details matter.

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Was my child's birth injury my fault?

Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy can take on many forms and vary in severity. Many mothers are wrongly made to believe that they had something to do with their child's condition, when nothing is further from the truth. Don't beat yourself up. You didn't do anything wrong.

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What are common birth injuries?

Birth injuries can cover a wide range. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common - and most serious - birth injuries. But there are many other types of birth injuries. In general, birth injuries are divided into two, main categories. These are:

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Why do birth injuries occur?

Birth injuries occur for many different reasons. But many of the common causes of birth injuries have one thing in common - medical professionals make mistakes that result in injuries to newborn children. Whether it's failing to diagnose medical issues early enough or misdiagnosing the problem altogether, children are often born with birth injuries for these reasons and many others.

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What should I do if I suspect my child has a birth injury?

Depending on the nature of your child's injury, seek immediate medical treatment, including getting a second opinion if you suspect negligence on the part of a current care provider. It's also important to document your child's injury. Evidence matters in birth injury cases. Without it, you will likely have a hard time obtaining the financial compensation your family rightfully deserves.

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Should I contact the hospital that delivered my child if I suspect my child's birth injury occurred there?

Yes and no. Yes, you should take your child to the hospital if you believe something is wrong with your child related to a birth injury. But be very careful what you say to staff members at the hospital. If you later take legal action against the hospital, what you say could be used by the hospital to deny your claim for compensation.

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How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a birth injury?

The statute of limitations (deadline to take legal action) varies from state to state. Most birth injury cases fall under medical malpractice legislation. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the deadline to take legal action in a medical malpractice case is 2 years for adults.

But both states and many others have special rules that apply to children. In Pennsylvania, when a child is injured due to medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is "tolled" - that is, put on hold - until the child's 18th birthday. That means in most cases in Pennsylvania, you have until your child's 20th birthday to file a lawsuit on their behalf. In New Jersey, for any children born after July 2004, their statute of limitations is tolled and you have until their 13th birthday to file a lawsuit on their behalf.

Many other circumstances can affect the timeframe of your child's case. An experienced attorney who understands the complexities of birth injury claims can determine the amount of time you have to file a claim and explain those circumstances to you. That's why it's important to talk to an attorney right away.

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Should I talk to the hospital if they contact me about my child's birth injury?

No. If someone from the hospital contacts you regarding your child's birth injury, simply refer all their questions to your attorney. Anything you say to a hospital employee could be used against you in court to deny your birth injury claim.

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Should I talk to an insurance company if they contact me about my child's birth injury?

No. Again, anything you say to someone working for an insurance company (especially one representing the hospital or doctor who delivered your child) could be used to deny your claim for financial compensation. Even seemingly simple questions could be used against you later in court. Simply refer all their questions to your attorney at our law firm. We know how to deal with insurance companies. Our lawyers have been doing this work for decades.

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Should I accept a settlement offer for my child's birth injury?

Never automatically accept a settlement offer. Always review any offers with an experienced attorney. What might seem like a generous offer at first could turn out to not even come close to covering all your birth injury-related expenses. And since you often only have one opportunity to obtain all the financial compensation your family will need for your birth injury-related expenses for the rest of your lives, you need to make sure you have enough money.

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What birth injury related expenses are eligible for financial compensation?

As the parent of a child who sustained a birth injury, you can seek financial compensation for a wide range of expenses. Such expenses include:

  • Previous medical expenses
  • Surgical procedures
  • Future medical expenses
  • Future anticipated surgical procedures
  • Transportation costs (to and from doctor's appointments)
  • Home modifications (due to your child's disability)
  • In-home health care
  • Residential care
  • Loss of income (if you or your spouse has to work less due to your child's disability)

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Can I request more money for my child's birth injury?

Yes. But often, you need to do so during the negotiation stages with the insurance company, the hospital, their attorneys or whoever is responsible for compensating you for your injury. That's why it's important that you have an experienced attorney on your side negotiating for maximum financial compensation for your family.

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How much is my child's birth injury worth?

There is no set dollar amount. Every birth injury case is unique - just like your child. Some cases are worth thousands of dollars. Others are worth millions. Many different factors can come into play when determining the value of your family's child birth injury claim. That's why it's critical that you talk to us as soon as possible.

We can help you evaluate your child's needs. We also regularly consult with experts in order to make an accurate assessment. We understand the seriousness of your case. That's why we will do everything we can to help your family obtain the maximum financial compensation.

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Can I sue the doctor or hospital that caused my child's birth injury?

Yes. And in many cases, filing a lawsuit is often the best way to obtain the financial compensation your family rightfully deserves for your child's birth injury claim. That's why it's critical that you talk to us right away.

Remember, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action after you discover your child's birth injury. If you wait too long, you could miss out on your opportunity to obtain the money your family rightfully deserves.

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Can I appeal my birth injury case if I lose in court?

Possibly. If your initial attempt to obtain financial compensation from the party responsible for your child's birth injury is not successful, you can file an appeal seeking financial compensation for your family in the appropriate court.

Filing a successful appeal is not simple, though. The burden of proof can often be extremely high. That's why it's critical that we meet with you right away to discuss the best strategy for appealing your case.

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How can a lawyer help me with my birth injury claim?

Having the right attorney on your side can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. We know because our law firm has been helping families dealing with complicated birth injury cases for decades. Our results speak for themselves.

But we also never forget what matters most - your family. That's why we're available on your terms. If you have a question about your case, you can talk to us anytime, day or night. Our attorneys provide clients with their cell numbers and home numbers.

"Your case isn't just about money," attorney Peter Villari said. "It's about someone's life - your child's life. That's why we're here for you when you need us most. We know what's at stake. We know we can make difference. Contact us and find out how we can help you."

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