By VSCP LAW
Birth injury medical malpractice cases can be complicated. They require people with specialized knowledge in navigating the many moving parts of these complex cases. Birth injury cases involve medical experts, financial experts, life care planners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, rehabilitation specialists and education experts, among other experts.
Victims of birth injury medical malpractice and their families can rest assured that their attorneys at VSCP LAW work tirelessly to ensure that they are getting the highest possible compensation for their injuries. Some clients wonder how their Philadelphia birth injury lawyer does this. Read on to learn how VSCP LAW’s birth injury attorneys in Philadelphia work towards getting you compensated in your birth injury lawsuit.
The Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at VSCP LAW can begin working on your case after you sign a Contingent Fee Agreement with them. In a Contingent Fee Agreement, you authorize the attorneys to work on your behalf to seek justice. The Agreement includes a contingent fee: when you win your case, the attorney gets a fixed percentage of payment from the amount that you are paid at the end of your lawsuit. Until that time of resolution, you don’t have to pay the lawyer at all despite the fact that your lawyers at VSCP LAW are working long hours, often for years, on your behalf.
After you have authorized the birth injury lawyers at VSCP LAW to seek compensation on your behalf, they have to draft – and then file – a Complaint (or a statement of claims and damages) with the court on your behalf.
But before they draft this Complaint, according to Pennsylvania law, they must find a medical expert to review the medical records and form an opinion as to whether there was negligence involved in your child’s birth injury. This medical expert will then sign what is called a Certificate of Merit. A Certificate of Merit is an official statement from a medical expert that they have reviewed the relevant medical records and the expert has concluded that there is reason to believe that the defendants failed to meet the proper standard of care in treating their patient (your child). The statement also provides that the defendants’ failure to meet the proper standard of care resulted in your child’s injuries.
This affirmation by counsel concerning the fact that a Certificate of Merit has been received must be filed in addition to the Complaint in the lawsuit.
Next, your lawyers must engage in a sometimes lengthy process called “discovery.” Discovery includes collecting and reviewing all medical records, doctors’ notes, hospital summaries, discharge instructions, etc. It also involves interviewing witnesses in what are called “depositions.” Both parties – that is, your lawyer and the lawyers on the other side – engage in this process, trying to collect as much information as possible to truly understand what happened before, during, and after the birth injury. They will also need to hire medical experts to serve as expert witnesses. These medical experts have to write reports to support your case. Your lawyers will review these reports and submit them to the other side as part of this information-gathering process.
After the discovery period has ended, the lawsuit goes to trial in a civil court. On TV and elsewhere, you may have seen a judge or lawyer state that they must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is the burden of proof in criminal cases.
But your birth injury case is different. Your birth injury case is tried in a civil (not criminal) court. And in a civil court, your birth injury attorneys need only prove their case beyond a “preponderance of the evidence.” This just means that they have to show that – more likely than not – the defendants’ negligence caused your child’s injuries. (Thankfully, this is a far easier burden of proof to meet than “beyond a reasonable doubt”!)
Your case will resolve with one of two outcomes:
(1) Settlement — At some point prior or during trial, the parties might agree to a settlement of your lawsuit. This occurs if you and the defendants come to a settlement amount that is satisfactory to both parties; or
(2) Jury verdict – The case has been tried in full and concluded in front of the jury and they determine the defendants’ negligence and award a compensation amount, if the jury finds in your favor.
In either of the successful scenarios – a mutually agreeable settlement or a jury award in your favor – you will be awarded compensation. Click here for an overview of the types of compensation you can receive.
If you are ready to have the birth injury attorneys at VSCP LAW fight to get you compensated for your child’s birth injury, contact them at www.vscplaw.com
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