Lawsuits for Parents and Children
Our Birth Injury Lawyers Walk You Through the Case
As your family struggles with blindness caused by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), we understand that filing a lawsuit may seem like additional emotional stress and financial strain. Fortunately, we take care of all the legwork and advance all costs until the case concludes. When you retain attorney Richard M. Shapiro to pursue your ROP lawsuit, you pay no out-of-pocket expenses. The Shapiro Law Group will not receive one dime unless your lawsuit is successful. You will have to pay absolutely nothing out of pocket. In fact, our firm advances all costs associated with the case. We recover these costs only after a successful outcome.
What Happens in ROP Litigation or a Lawsuit?
Our firm offers no cost, no obligation consultations to review your potential ROP case. You can speak directly with ROP attorney Richard M. Shapiro or an associate attorney to explain what happened to your child. The firm then begins the rigorous task of investigating to determine whether your potential claim has merit. This involves a thorough review of your child’s extensive medical documents. Should our law firm order the hospital chart and other medical records, it will require a review of literally thousands of pages of documents. If, at the conclusion of that review, we believe there is likely merit to your child’s claim, we will then consult with some of the nation’s leading medical professionals. This includes expert ROP researchers and other sub-specialists such as pediatric ophthalmologists, retinal ophthalmologists, neonatologists and others.
Two experts in ROP must, independently of one another, agree that substandard care was rendered before Shapiro Law Group will agree to litigate your claim. This assures the highest likelihood of a successful outcome.
If Independent Experts Agree that Medical Malpractice Caused ROP Blindness, What Happens Next?
If the independent medical experts agree that medical malpractice took place, those at fault are notified. We then begin formal legal proceedings. Sometimes, that may require a written affidavit from an expert. An affidavit is written testimony under oath that medical negligence occurred in the case. Should you file a lawsuit, the next step in ROP litigation is discovery. Discovery entails the formal exchange of answers to written questions, called interrogatories.
Additionally, we seek formal requests for admissions of evidence where the at-fault physician or hospital must respond under oath. Subsequent to that portion of discovery, witnesses provide formal depositions. A deposition is almost always videotaped and transcribed by a court reporter. The testimony taken at the deposition serves two functions: First, it apprises the lawyers of the facts as they occurred. Secondly, they can serve as valuable tools for establishing inconsistencies between the testimony taken at deposition when compared to the testimony taken during trial. We compare all of this to the evidence found in the medical records.
If the Doctor Will Not Settle, What Happens Next?
Ultimately, if the defendants (the healthcare providers) do not settle the claim amicably, it proceeds to trial before a jury. Jury trials involving ROP blindness may last weeks or even more than one month. It just depends on the extent of testimony, number of parties, number of witnesses and the time that it takes to select a fair jury.
At the conclusion of the trial, the jury will render its verdict either for or against you and your child. Even if the jury finds the healthcare people at fault, the providers may appeal the jury decision to the courts of appeals. Sometimes, this can take years. Most states permit interest to be paid at a higher rate than the regular legal rate of interest, in part, as a chilling effect on defendants appealing jury decisions. Appellate courts can uphold the jury’s findings, or reverse it and send it back for retrial. Some courts may even possess the power to negate the right of access to further legal actions entirely. Therefore, having the right lawyers and legal staff litigating your ROP case becomes crucial. Always make an informed decision about the quality and experience of the lawyers you hire.