One of the biggest reasons why parents of children who have sustained birth injuries don’t reach out to lawyers is that most of them are overwhelmed with the day-to-day reality of caring for a child who has high medical needs. This is completely understandable, as facing both the emotional and practical challenges associated with parenting with a child with a disability can be incredibly challenging.
Parents of children who have suffered birth injuries often feel as though they can’t possibly take on one more thing – including a medical malpractice lawsuit. While a birth injury claim is another task to take on, the end result may help to alleviate some of the financial burden that parents are facing. It can also help families feel that they have achieved some measure of justice for their children.
At BILA, we understand that parents are often operating at maximum capacity after their child suffers a birth injury. Our goal is to make the legal aspect of the case as easy as possible for families. We will collaborate with you to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your child and your family, standing by your side throughout the process.
Why Do I Feel So Overwhelmed?
The first weeks and months after a baby is born are always challenging for parents. Most parents experience sleepless nights and pure exhaustion from being tasked with taking care of a helpless newborn. These feelings are only compounded when a baby has suffered a birth injury.
After a baby has sustained a brain injury or another type of birth injury, they may be in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for weeks or months. Once they are discharged, families often need to attend many medical appointments. Their children often have to attend multidisciplinary clinics where they see pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses.
Sometimes we will get our clients’ calendars from that first year after birth as part of the evidence we produce in the lawsuit, and it is amazing how crammed the calendar is with all of the appointments that families need to attend. It is understandably overwhelming.
The intensity lasts for quite awhile. After the initial period of intense medical appointments, families have to come to terms with the consequences of their child’s injuries. Some parents may not be able to work because of how much care they need to provide for their child. Some children need to be tube-fed or have seizures that need constant monitoring which means that they may not be able to attend traditional child care. The care that is required often places significant financial strain on the family, so parents are focused on making ends meet and providing the care their children need.
Compounding that situation, many parents know in the back of their minds that the future is uncertain for their children, which is emotionally overwhelming. They worry about whether their child will be able to earn a living, or be able to live on their own when they are adults.
Ironically, the very reason why parents have trouble finding the capacity to contact a lawyer is the reason why we urge parents to consider investigating a lawsuit – the care needs of their child generally don’t go away, and as the child gets bigger and the parents get older, the parents aren’t in a position to care for the child the way they used to.
Children that parents used to be able to carry around cannot be carried once they get to a certain age, and they need extra help or even lifts. Many of the children who have suffered birth injuries will not be able to live on their own as adults, and funding will be required to ensure that someone is around to take care of them when the parents aren’t around anymore.
It’s something that is very hard for parents to think about because it is so emotionally overwhelming. Often parents don’t have answers for who will take care of their children when they aren’t able to do so, but it is such a scary thought that it is hard to address directly, and it can take parents a long time to consider reaching out to a lawyer.
The Lawsuit Process Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
Most people worry that lawsuits can be stressful. In many situations, lawsuits can be a source of great stress. However, BILA lawyers are experienced in these claims and can provide you the information you need to make an informed decision on whether you want to pursue a lawsuit. There is no obligation to pursue a lawsuit just because you have a conversation with a lawyer.
There are normally many steps taken before a lawsuit is commenced to get a good idea of what happened during the medical care. BILA lawyers often reach out to experts who can shed light on what occurred, whether something should have occurred differently, and whether the injury was preventable. In this way, we can better advise you about the viability of a lawsuit.
Often it’s not the parents that reach out initially. We often are contacted by grandparents, or siblings of the parents, who often have more time and emotional bandwidth to consider embarking upon a legal process.
BILA lawyers encourage anyone who is on the fence about reaching out to a lawyer about a potential birth injury to do that. There is absolutely no obligation to pursue any lawsuit just because you reach out to us. Part of our role is to answer questions people have, and explain any aspects they are unsure about with the legal process.
Once you have the information that you need, you can make a decision about how to proceed. You may decide that the best option for your family is to seek compensation for your child’s birth injury. Alternatively, you may decide to hold off on litigation until you have more bandwidth. We will fully advise you of your options, and support your decision.
Considering a Birth Injury Lawsuit? Give Us a Call.
Making the decision to pursue a legal claim is never easy. We know how difficult this time can be for parents, and understand that many parents are simply too overwhelmed to consider a lawsuit. As birth injury lawyers, our role is to give you the information that you need to make the best decision for your family.
BILA is an alliance of birth injury lawyers who are devoted to helping parents and families get the financial compensation that they need after their child sustains a birth injury. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a birth injury lawyer in your province, fill out our online contact form or call us at 1-800-300-BILA.
- NICU: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/preterm-delivery-nicu-procedures
- Developmental pediatricians: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35260884/
The Birth Injury Lawyers’ Alliance of Canada (BILA) was formed in 2016 by a group of lawyers from across Canada with considerable experience in birth injury cases to promote the effective representation of children and families affected by avoidable injuries occurring at or around the time of birth.