In this educational article I will explain unlocking the cost of a birth injury investigation. To put the question another way, how much can it cost for a birth injury attorney to handle investigating whether your baby’s injury at birth is due to something that the doctors and/or nurses caused? The truth of the matter is that for some people, their understanding of the process may not align with the realities of the process.
Prior to moving forward with this post, I want to make sure that you understand that the information that I am going to provide today is general in nature. Before committing to a birth injury attorney, you want to make sure that you know how they “specifically” handle their investigations into cases like this, and subsequent representation if you choose to employ them or their firm.
WHY IS AN INVESTIGATION NEEDED FROM A MEDICAL/LEGAL PROSPECTIVE?
Birth injury, and birth trauma cases are grounded in an area of the law called tort law. Under the tort law umbrella there’s an area of practice which deals with the law of negligence. In Maryland, negligence can be proven by meeting four elements. Those elements are the following:
- BREACH OF DUTY
Included in these elements is a requirement that medical expert(s) must be utilized. What this means in plain language is that an expert must give an opinion as to whether a treating doctor deviated from the standard of care, causing the injury. Without this testimony a medical malpractice claim in Maryland will fail. This use of medical experts is an added requirement that other areas of the law may not require. For example, in a car crash case in Maryland you will not be required to have an “expert” come to court and state that a driver must not run a red light.
In medical malpractice cases, these experts give an opinion as to what is the standard of care for the issues presented, and if the treating doctors violated the standard causing the injury or harm. This is how the jury or fact finder understands the standard of care and what caused the injury.
UNLOCKING THE COST OF A BIRTH INJURY INVESTIGATION
Some attorneys who handle birth trauma cases will do the initial investigation with no cost to you. For example, with my firm, the initial work up and review of the initial records is no charge to the family. An investigation needs to be done in these cases anyways because remember what I wrote above, the law requires the use of medical experts to give opinions as to the merits of the claim. Without the use of these experts the case will fail. In my opinion, it is not a good idea to just run off with a case and giving an opinion as to the facts and issues surrounding a claim without investigating first.
To unlock this process even more, families can also use the contingency fee agreement to help prosecute the claim if after an investigation there’s evidence of a strong claim. The contingency fee agreement allows the legal fee and costs to be repaid after a settlement or verdict in favor of the family. Under contingency fee agreements the attorneys will usually put up the money and resources for the case and get repayment at the end.
With these issues you want to always make sure that you understand how the attorney/law firm you are thinking of hiring will handle these issues. Again, I am stating how things are done on my end. Some attorney may ascribe to our methods and other may not. You just want to make sure that you understand in any case.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP