It is impossible to know how long it will take to settle an umbilical cord birth injury case ahead of time. Each case is different. Some cases that seem like they will take only a couple of months can drag on for years, while some more complicated cases settle quickly.
Most attorneys are unwilling to speculate on this topic, but they may explain how long it has taken them to reach an agreement in similar cases in your area or with the same insurance company.
There are deadlines on how long you can wait to begin a civil suit based on your state’s laws. If you do not reach a settlement agreement before this date approaches, your lawyer will need to take legal action to preserve your right to go to trial.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), statutes of limitations on medical malpractice claims in the United States range from one to seven years. Many states offer exceptions for birth injury victims.
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Many Factors Affect a Birth Injury Settlement
How long it takes to settle an umbilical cord birth injury case depends on many factors, and any one of these factors can delay a settlement or bring the case to a conclusion faster. Some of the factors that affect your settlement include:
- Evidence that supports your case
- Liable parties, such as doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers or facilities
- Your child’s injuries, disabilities, and needs
- The insurer’s willingness to settle
- If you need to file a lawsuit
- Whether or not the case goes to trial
In most cases, all parties want to reach a conclusion as quickly as possible. However, this does not mean the malpractice insurance company will accept the responsibility on behalf of their policyholder or give in to demands for a payout.
In the same way, you should not agree to a settlement offer that does not fairly compensate you.
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Going To Court Takes Significantly Longer in Most Cases
In some cases, a settlement is not possible. The case must go to court. When your attorney files a lawsuit and names the liable parties as defendants, this begins the process of preparing the case for trial.
The court process includes pretrial motions, depositions, discovery, and getting a trial date on the court’s docket. This can take months or even years, although an out-of-court settlement may still occur during this time.
Generally, going to trial is only necessary in cases when:
- The doctor or hospital refuses to take responsibility for negligence and your child’s injuries.
- The insurer refuses to negotiate fairly based on the evidence of your family’s damages.
There may also be other situations when your attorney believes it will be in your benefit to take your case to court.
Getting Started Early Offers the Best Chance at a Strong Case
You should contact a medical malpractice birth injury lawyer representing families near you as soon as possible about your child’s case. While your lawyer is unlikely to file your claim until they fully understand your child’s prognosis and ongoing care needs, there are advantages to getting started early.
These advantages include:
- Ensuring you know about all the upcoming deadlines in the case.
- More time to build a case before the statute of limitations arrives.
- Your attorney will go to work protecting your rights sooner.
- It is easier to identify and interview eyewitnesses.
When you begin documenting your related expenses and losses early on in the process, it also makes it easier to ensure you do not overlook essential expenditures. This is key in getting a fair and just settlement.
This may be especially important in states where there are caps on non-economic recovery. According to the Center for Justice and Democracy (CJ&D), about half of states limit settlement values in medical malpractice claims. Most apply to only non-economic damages, but some apply to all types of damages.
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Discuss Your Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Case With Our Team
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group will review your child’s umbilical cord accident and injuries for free. You may be able to secure a settlement from the doctor, hospital, or another liable party. We can help you understand your rights and the possible options for filing a legal claim.
Let our team evaluate your child’s case during a free and confidential consultation. If you work with one of our lawyers, we will provide representation based on contingency, which means you do not pay us a cent until you receive compensation. Call (800) 222-9529 to speak with a Birth Injury Lawyers Group team member today.