Here’s what you know right now. You have a newborn baby who has been diagnosed with a birth injury. It is up to you, as a new parent, to protect your child’s rights, to do what you can to help manage your child’s current medical needs, and to protect your child’s future.
While your goals are clear, the path toward achieving these goals is overwhelming and difficult. Where do you start? What specific steps should you take now to help your baby?
What to Do After a Birth Injury Diagnosis
As you settle into your new normal and continue taking care of your baby, your family, and your other responsibilities, it is also important to:
- See the right doctors for a treatment plan. Your child’s pediatrician, the doctor who diagnosed your child’s birth injury, and appropriate specialists may be involved in developing a personalized medical treatment plan for your child.
- Follow the treatment plan. Every treatment plan is unique, but treatment plans may include things like medications, surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and other medical interventions or rehabilitation therapies.
- Develop a financial plan. The costs of a birth injury can be significant. Not only will your child have medical expenses, but you may also need to take more unpaid time off from work, for example.
- Contact the First Steps program. First Steps is Kentucky’s early intervention program for children from birth to age three. Children who are not developing typically or who experience developmental delays may qualify for services. Services are individualized and provided in a family-centered way. They may include things such as physical therapy and speech and language therapy. Services can be provided in your home, at daycare, or elsewhere.
- Develop a life care plan. Medical professionals and other experts can develop a life care plan for your child that estimates how much your child’s future medical care will cost so that you can plan for these expenses.
- Talk to a lawyer. A birth injury is often caused by a medical provider’s negligence. If your child suffered a birth injury, he may be able to pursue a birth injury case and a lawyer can make sure that all of your child’s rights are protected.
Additionally, it is important for you to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your child. How you do that depends on your own personality and your own needs but may include things like:
- Finding an in-person support group. You may benefit from meeting with other parents of children with the same or similar birth injuries or disabilities.
- Talking to a therapist, clergy member, relative, or friend. A social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, clergy member, relative, or trusted friend can help you work through the significant emotions associated with your child’s injuries.
- Connecting with other parents on social media. Facebook and other social media platforms may have group pages for parents of children with the same birth injuries or disabilities.
- Making time to work out or pursue a hobby. Self-care is important and it is important to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your child.
You don’t have to do everything in one day. Instead, you can take a little bit of time to develop a plan and to work toward your goal of helping your child.
But Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit
While you don’t need to contact a birth injury lawyer the same day your child is diagnosed, it is important you do as soon as possible. Your time for filing a birth injury lawsuit is limited by the Kentucky Statute of Limitations. In Kentucky, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time for filing a case begins at the time your child suffered a birth injury or when the birth injury should have been reasonably discovered. You will need to contact a lawyer well before the statute of limitations expires so that your lawyer can do the necessary work to file your child’s case.
The legal team at Gray and White Law includes experienced birth injury lawyers, a staff nurse, and a dedicated support team. We know how to investigate birth injury claims and help families get the recoveries they deserve. We would be pleased to answer your questions and help you formulate a good plan to help your child and your family. Please contact us at any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us and to learn more so that you can make informed decisions about protecting your child’s future.