What if you cannot afford a second opinion in a birth injury case? This was a question that was posed to me by an individual who was dealing with a baby who had suffered a brain injury at birth. The family was told that the child had to undergo hypothermia cooling and other care. Eventually, the family was given the news that the baby had suffered a brain injury and had a diagnosis of HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. If you are just researching the condition of HIE, in this context it is a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which has led to a brain injury.
The family was given some possible causes of the diagnosis and brain injury. However, as the family asked more questions, and pushed for more answers, they received “circle talk” by the doctors. In other words, the doctors talked in circles and did not seem to want to answer the hard questions. This prompted the family to want to get a second opinion, but they were not sure if this was something they could afford.
WHAT IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD A SECOND OPINION IN A BIRTH INJURY CASE?
In many of our videos, and supporting birth injury articles, I mention investigations for families. The reason I say this is because, to find answers for families, we must take the time and investigate what may or may not have happened during pregnancy and labor and delivery. As part of this investigation, we must review the medical records and speak with the family about certain issues. Understanding the full picture from the family’s perspective is a good way to assist in figuring out what may have happened.
After speaking with families and reviewing the medical records, in certain cases we will also speak with medical experts. These medical experts can act as a sort of second opinion as to what happened in the case. It is though this process that a family can get another opinion as to what may have happened. Because many attorneys who handle these cases do them on a contingency fee basis, the family may not have to pay for this investigation immediately out of pocket (cost collected at the end of the case through settlement or positive jury verdict). With that said, you want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of whether the attorney you speak with will handle the investigation like this, as different attorneys/law firms might do things in a different manner.
WHY WILL MOST BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEYS DO AN INITIAL INVESTIGATION?
Many attorneys who handle birth injury cases, like me, will want to do an investigation at the start of the case. This is because Maryland law requires that before we can get into court making a claim of birth injury medical malpractice, we must use medical experts. These experts must give opinions as to not only the standard of care (simply put what a reasonable and prudent doctor will do in the same situation), but whether a departure from the standard of care is what caused the injury or the harm.
If your case is not supported by medical experts, you will not win the case. This is one of the main reasons why attorneys take the time on the front end to do a good investigation into the issues of the case. As the attorney, through the investigation, finds out pertinent information, they will be able to relay that information to the family.
HAS YOUR BABY SUFFERED A BRAIN INJURY AT BIRTH AND YOU HAVE QUESTIONS?
What if you cannot afford a second opinion in a birth injury case? Hopefully now you can see how an attorney may be able to assist if you are looking for help to understand what happened, and to hold those accountable if they are the cause of the injury.
To speak with me further, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I speak with families all the time regarding birth trauma and brain injuries, as this is what we do.
You can reach me at 301-850-4832.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP