The joy of welcoming a new baby is overshadowed if the child sustains an injury during or just before birth. Birth injuries like brachial plexus palsy, brain damage, fractures, and cerebral palsy can have lasting impacts.
If medical negligence caused or contributed to the injury, parents may be unsure where to turn or how to help their child. However, various steps are available to support the family’s healing and pursuit of justice. This article guides parents through the key actions to take after a birth injury diagnosis. While the path ahead seems daunting, taking it step-by-step helps parents advocate for their child’s needs.
Get Medical Care from Specialists
After the initial diagnosis, prioritize getting ongoing care from specialists experienced in treating your child’s specific birth injury. Pediatric neurologists, orthopedists, physical therapists, and other specialists develop customized treatment plans to maximize the child’s recovery.
Work closely with your child’s pediatrician and specialists to find the right care team. Ask about incorporating supportive therapies like occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental interventions, assistive devices, and more based on the child’s needs. Accessing specialty care and support gives your child the best possible medical outlook.
Speak with a Birth Injury Lawyer
Consulting with an experienced birth injury lawyer is essential to understand your family’s legal options. Medical records will be reviewed to determine if the medical team failed to adhere to standards of care leading to the injury. An attorney from a reputable birth injuries law firm investigates liability and counsels parents on pursuing a case or settlement.
They handle the legal process of securing evidence, establishing damages, negotiating with insurance companies, and more. Lawyers also connect parents with medical and financial resources to assist in the child’s care. They know how to build a strong case demonstrating the medical team’s liability for negligence.
Consider Filing a Claim
Based on investigative findings and medical opinions, a birth injury lawyer will advise if grounds exist to file a claim seeking damages from responsible parties. Compensation can cover the costs of medical bills, therapies, future care, special education needs, and other expenses stemming from the injury.
The lawyer will determine the liable parties to name in the claim, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, or product manufacturers. Claims aim to hold all responsible parties accountable through negotiation, settlement, or civil litigation. Securing adequate compensation often requires demonstrating misconduct like preventable errors or policy violations.
However, no financial settlement will fully undo the injury’s effects on your child and family. Still, securing compensation is crucial to fund the ongoing treatments and life accommodations your child requires. An experienced birth injury law firm guides families through the intricacies of the claims process for the best outcome. Justice helps bring closure too.
Understand Your Child’s Prognosis
Understanding your child’s detailed medical prognosis empowers you proactively plan for their care and future needs. Asking questions and researching helps gain useful insight.
- Speak to doctors about the expected short and long-term effects of the injury on development, mobility, cognition, life expectancy, and necessitated accommodations.
- Research the condition through reputable medical sites to understand common impacts at various ages/stages.
- Seek professional opinions on recommended medical interventions, therapies, and assistive technologies.
- Discuss what special education services may be needed down the road.
- Identify accessible housing options, transportation accommodations, and care supports.
Clarifying the injury’s effects allows for properly preparing while advocating for your child. Though the road seems daunting, taking it one step at a time makes the journey manageable. Knowledge helps you secure your child’s best possible care, assistance, and future. Stay proactive.
Join a Support Community
Connecting with other families dealing with birth injuries provides solidarity and support. Local support groups allow sharing of experiences and advice. National organizations offer online discussion forums, conferences, and helpful resources for navigating parenting challenges.
Online communities allow connecting with other parents facing the same diagnosis or injury type. Social media groups build connections beyond geographical limitations. Attending conferences gives families education and empowerment.
Interacting with parents who relate to your experience combats feelings of isolation. Support communities help families process grief, find hope, and see their child’s unique potential. You also learn to access care, therapies, education, social services, and assistance programs.
Interacting with those walking a similar path provides perspective when challenges arise. Share your own experiences to support others as well. Mutual understanding makes the journey easier. Do not underestimate the value of community during difficult times.
Focus on Your Child, Not Just the Injury
While meeting your child’s major needs, stay focused on who they are beyond the injury. Making joy and normalcy a priority supports their development and self-esteem.
- Make time for bonding, playing, and celebrating milestones.
- Nurture their unique interests, strengths, personality, and spirit.
- Share an optimistic vision for their future happiness and fulfillment.
- Integrate therapies seamlessly into daily routines and playtime.
- Set reasonable expectations to help them succeed in what they can do.
- Find activities they can participate in and enjoy.
- Encourage their independence in what they can do.
- Foster their friendships and social connections.
- Advocate for school accommodations and inclusion.
- Be flexible and patient as challenges arise.
Though different than imagined, your child’s life remains full of possibilities. Staying focused on their abilities, not limitations, empowers them to exceed expectations. With comprehensive care and family support, a bright future remains achievable.
Think Positively About the Future
Though daunting initially, focusing on the positive path ahead sustains families emotionally. Your child will learn, grow, play, and be happy despite challenges. Medical advances may bring improved treatments too.
Stay hopeful by envisioning the life you want for your child, then take steps toward that life daily. Set manageable goals recognizing the progress made. Surround your child with those who see their abilities, not shortcomings. Facing each day with purpose and possibility allows achieving a meaningful life. With support, determined parents can ensure their child’s best future.
Each accomplishment, big or small, is worthy of celebration. Progress will come with time, even if gradual. With love and encouragement, children thrive beyond expectations. An optimistic outlook focused on possibilities propels you through difficulties so your child can live their best life.
A birth injury diagnosis understandably devastates families. Yet taking key steps helps guide parents to support their child’s healing and needs positively. While an excruciating journey, families staying strong and proactive can see their child thrive in the face of adversity. Despite limitations, a fulfilling life surrounded by love remains possible.