Approximately one in every 9,714 people in the United States is born with a birth injury. Experiencing a birth injury can be extremely traumatic, with long-lasting effects on both the child and the family. A birth injury's devastating reality forces families to put emphasis on seeking justice and just compensation. But for some people, the idea of working with a birth injury attorney may seem overwhelming, especially if they have financial concerns.
In this article, we examine the numerous aspects that affect how much it costs to hire a birth injury lawyer. Families can decide whether to seek legal representation to uphold their child's rights and obtain the assistance they require during these tough times by understanding the intricacies of legal fees, payment systems, and possible costs that you can expect in your case.
Do I Need a Birth Injury Attorney?
When your child suffers injuries during the delivery process or starts showing symptoms of complications directly related to their birth, you may need to hire an experienced birth injury lawyer. Birth injuries can cause great hardship for families. In addition to harming their health and emotional well-being, they can drain their finances.
To ensure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve for injuries or deformities brought on by medical malpractice, you need to work with an experienced attorney. You can understand medical records, establish responsibility, and secure fair compensation with the help and support of an experienced lawyer.
Birth Injury Lawyer Costs: What To Expect
While many birth injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless your case is successful, other costs can be incurred when working with a birth injury lawyer for your case. Before you sign any agreements, it is important that you discuss fee structure with your attorney and thoroughly understand how their firm works. In this section, we’ll look at some of the most common expenses you can expect to pay throughout your case.
Legal Fees and Billing
Before you start your birth injury case, understand that there are a number of legal fees that are associated with pursuing compensation. With most birth injury attorneys working on a contingency fee basis, it’s important to discuss with your attorney how much of a percentage of your damages they will be entitled to if your case succeeds. On average, the contingency fee percentages can be between 25% and 40% of the amount awarded in your settlement. This also depends on certain factors, such as how long the case takes to close and if the case goes to trial. If your case is unsuccessful, you will not be liable to pay the contingency fee. You still could be responsible for other costs, however.
Pros and Cons of Contingency Fees
Another concern for families seeking legal assistance for their child who has suffered a birth injury is paying upfront retainer fees. Those facing massive medical debt and ongoing care expenses may benefit from contingency fee agreements. Since the contingency agreement is based on the attorney winning the case, there is extra incentive for them to fight tooth and nail for you to get the compensation you and your family deserve. However, there is a chance that an attorney could charge more than their average rate for your case, especially if it is a complex and complicated case.
Paying on Retainer
If you decide to pay for your birth injury attorney on retainer instead of the contingency fee path, there will be a different set of advantages and disadvantages. By paying the retainer fee for the lawyer upfront, you secure their services immediately and receive priority attention from them and their team. While the attorney is on retainer, they will typically include detailed billing records, allowing you to track how they are using the retainer funds.
The downside to paying for a birth injury on retainer is that their fee can be a significant upfront cost, which may not be feasible while dealing with a birth injury. Additionally, if the case is settled quickly, you may not receive a refund for the amount of the retainer that went unused. Make sure there is a policy in your agreement that discusses the unused retainer amount.
While a contingency fee agreement covers the legal services provided by the birth injury lawyer, other expenses that are incurred during the case that can be billed separately as out-of-pocket expenses. Lawyers will typically pay for these themselves and bill them to their clients on a certain schedule. Some examples of out-of-pocket expenses include:
Filing Fees: These are fees for filing legal documents with the courts.
Expert Witness Fees: These costs are associated with hiring medical experts and other professionals to support up your claims.
Medical Records and Other Documents: These are costs for collecting medical records, reports, and other relevant documents that will support your case.
Deposition Costs: These costs are related to deposing witnesses or medical experts during the discovery period.
Investigation Costs: If there is a reason that your attorney needs to hire an investigator for your case to gather additional information, you may need to pay those costs.
Settlement Negotiation Costs and Trial Costs
In some cases, settlement negotiations between your attorney and defense teams will involve additional expenses, such as fees for mediation and communication with the at-fault party during negotiations. If the case goes to trial, you can also expect to pay additional fees for presenting your case in court, fees for expert testimony, and other miscellaneous court fees.
Resources for Victims
An injury suffered during labor and delivery can have a lifelong impact on the child and the relatives involved. Even if it seems like an exhausting road ahead, you don't need to worry that you don't have anyone on your side. In this section, you can find helpful organizations and services to help you get the support you require at this tough time.
The Birth Injury Justice Center
A group of legal experts with firsthand knowledge of fighting medical malpractice that led to birth damage created the Birth Injury Justice Center in 2003. The organization was established as a valuable resource for those who have suffered birth injuries and their families. Their goal is to assist the families whose lives have been impacted by birth injuries by providing legal advice and information. The Birth Injury Justice Center has twenty years of experience in defending families in birth injury cases where the injuries were brought on by medical malpractice or inadequate medical treatment. You can find their website located here.
Birth Injury Guide
The Birth Injury Guide is a website owned and operated by a birth injury advocacy group based in Houston, Texas. They have worked closely with medical providers, birth injury experts, legal experts, and birth injury attorneys to provide a comprehensive source for those affected by a birth injury. Their website offers information about birth injuries and information about their causes, as well as treatments. Additionally, they provide access to resources for finding birth injury lawyers, support groups, and information tailored to mothers. You can find their website located here.
Birth injury and birth disorder victims and family members can access online resources at birthdisorders.org. Their goal is to support parents of children who were born with birth defects. They provide victims and their families with access to medical, financial, and legal assistance. They offer resources to assist you in understanding the diagnosis and symptoms of your child, in identifying the most appropriate course of therapy, and in locating any potential sources of financial aid. Additionally, they provide support and information for pursuing a birth injury case.
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