Why Do You Need a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer?
When a child sustains a life-impacting injury during birth, bringing a lawsuit for damages can help hold responsible parties accountable.
When a child is diagnosed with a disorder like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) due to an error made during birth, parents may be devastated and concerned about what their next steps might be. If your child has suffered hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy by a preventable birth injury, you may qualify to seek compensation for help with medical costs and securing a better quality of life for your child.
An attorney who routinely handles hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy cases has extensive knowledge about patient rights, the long-term costs of caring for a child with a brain injury, and how a lawsuit may help families maintain quality of life and dignity.
If your child has suffered hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy by a preventable birth injury, you may qualify to seek compensation. The damages from a lawsuit can help with medical costs and securing a better quality of life for your child. Contact our team of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers online or by calling (949) 640-8222. The associates at Hodes Milman are standing by to answer your questions and help you begin the litigation process.
*Hear an attorney discuss how birth injury cases are successfully prepared by your legal team.
What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawsuit?
An HIE attorney can assist you by helping you bring a lawsuit for damages. Sometimes, a lawsuit for damages is the only way to ensure that your child has everything that they need to live a full and happy life. A lawsuit can also provide compensation if you, as the parent or guardian, have had to quit your job in order to provide care for your child.
Hiring an HIE lawyer to handle your case is a good idea. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated and a lawyer can help you by providing legal advice, preparing important court documents, creating effective legal strategies, and negotiating for settlements or representing you if your matter goes to trial.
Compensation for a birth injury lawsuit can cover a range of damages and losses incurred as a result of medical negligence or malpractice. The specific types and amounts of compensation can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the severity of the injury, and the laws of the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed. Compensation for a birth injury lawsuit may cover:
- Medical Expenses: This can include past, current, and future medical bills related to the birth injury, such as hospitalization costs, surgeries, medications, therapy, and rehabilitation associated with treating your child’s hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. This may even include in-home assistance for a more balanced family life.
- Costs of Special Education and Therapy: If the child requires special education, therapy, or counseling services as a result of the birth injury, the costs associated with these services may be covered. A settlement or jury award may be able to provide comprehensive care for your child to improve health, comfort, and quality of life.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering endured by the child and, in some cases, the parents due to the birth injury.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: If the birth injury results in long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent the child from earning a living in the future, compensation may be sought to cover these potential lost earnings. If your child sustained a birth injury and you have had to give up your job in order to care for them, you also may be compensated for lost wages.
- Legal Fees and Costs: In many cases, the costs associated with pursuing a birth injury lawsuit, including attorney fees, court costs, and expert witness fees, can be covered by the compensation.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded as a form of punishment to the responsible party and as a deterrent to similar future behavior.
It can be incredibly difficult to determine if your child’s hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy was the result of a medical error. It can be even more challenging to prove this in court. However, it is important to bring these difficult cases to hold the medical community accountable for the errors they are responsible for. Medical malpractice lawsuits ensure that medical standards of care are kept high and that medical practices become safer.
What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain injury that occurs when the brain goes without oxygen for an extended period of time. HIE typically affects infants. This type of brain injury usually occurs before, during, or shortly after birth and can lead to long-term brain damage.
HIE goes by several different names and can be referred to as perinatal asphyia, intrapartum asphyxia, birth asphyxia. Asphyxia refers to oxygen loss in the brain and, in certain cases, such a loss of oxygen can cause extensive damage. Sometimes, the period of oxygen loss is short enough for the infant to recover without sustaining any long-term effects. However, the longer a child’s brain goes without oxygen the more severe the impairments may be.
If brain function is compromised by oxygen deprivation, infants may be impacted in the long term through impaired cognitive development. Infants who sustain HIE may also diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, permanent disability, periventricular leukomalacia in premature babies, or damage to other major organs. If you suspect that your child may have sustained an episode of oxygen deprivation during birth, you may have cause to bring a lawsuit for damages.
Does HIE Affect Adults?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is typically a birth injury. However, if HIE occurs during birth, its effects can surpass childhood and impact that child all throughout their adult life.
When HIE occurs in children and adults it is called global hypoxic-ischemic injury. It is no less serious than HIE and may be caused by:
- Cardiac arrest
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Drug overdose
- Head trauma
The attorneys at Hodes Milman have extensive experience in handling medical malpractice matters. They have handled HIE cases to great success and may be able to help you too. Continue reading to learn more about hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and how an attorney can help.
A medical malpractice lawsuit can cover a broad variety of damages, not limited to what is included here. Contact the hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers at Hodes Milman online or by calling (949) 640-8222 for your complimentary legal consultation.
What Are the Symptoms of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the degree of oxygen deprivation and the extent of brain injury. The effects can be mild and temporary, to severe and permanent. Obstetricians and doctors are instructed to evaluate the expectant mothers and babies for signs and symptoms of HIE during pregnancy, delivery, and the postnatal period.
Screening the expectant mother and prenatal infant for HIE can help alleviate, mitigate, or completely avoid the complications caused by HIE. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy will have different symptoms based on these stages. Common symptoms in the pregnant individual that may indicate HIE may include:
- Low heart rate
- Vaginal bleeding
- Irregular breathing
- Low fetal movement
- Other signs of fetal distress
HIE directly following birth (neonatal HIE) can include symptoms such as:
- Apgar scores below 3 lasting five minutes or longer, which assess a newborn’s health
- Hypersensitivity or delayed responses
- Low heart rate
- Organ damage
- Poor muscle tone
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy later in a child’s life can show as:
- Developmental delays
- Visual or hearing impairments
- Motor function impairments
When doctors fail to act on symptoms of HIE at any stage, it is deemed medical negligence or malpractice. Time is critical in identifying hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. When healthcare providers fail to act in precious moments to remedy asphyxia, the consequences can be serious for a child, at times resulting in the need for round-the-clock care.
How Can a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney Help You?
HIE lawyers possess a deep understanding of patient rights and the intricate complexities associated with caring for a child who has sustained a brain injury. They are well-versed in the long-term financial implications of providing ongoing care for such children. Moreover, they are familiar with typical court proceedings and what goes into handling a complicated lawsuit. Your HIE attorney can help you by reviewing medical records, hiring expert witnesses, executing depositions and gathering testimony, handling negotiations with opposing counsel and insurance adjusters, and representing you and your interests at trial. During this difficult time, your focus should be on your family. Let an HIE attorney handle your lawsuit and take the burden of worrying about legal proceedings off of your shoulders.
Contact an Experienced Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney
It is important to choose a caring, compassionate, and experienced attorney to handle your HIE case. No two cases share the exact same facts and circumstances. Therefore, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can help guide you through the legal process. Hiring an attorney who has handled and won birth injury cases before, can give you and your family the peace of mind needed to heal and feel safe.
Why Hire Hodes Milman
The attorneys at Hodes Milman have many years of experience in litigating medical malpractice lawsuits and obtaining favorable results on behalf of our clients. Medical malpractice lawsuits, particularly HIE lawsuits, can be complicated and difficult. Our attorneys have the necessary knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible outcome. We are standing by to guide you through the legal process and provide support at every turn. Contact our team online or by calling (949) 640-8222. We are standing by to help you achieve justice.
HIE Lawsuit FAQs
What are the causes of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy?
Sometimes, HIE is not preventable. However, in many cases, HIE is caused by substandard care provided by medical professionals. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition that occurs when there is a reduced supply of oxygen and blood flow to the brain, leading to brain injury. It is often associated with events that can happen before, during, or shortly after childbirth:
- High-risk pregnancy
- Low blood pressure
- Umbilcord problems
HIE lawyers can offer guidance on how a lawsuit might be a means to secure valuable compensation to assist with the child’s needs and future well-beings.
What will my hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawsuit be worth?
There is no set amount of damages for medical malpractice cases or HIE lawsuits. Each case and claim must be evaluated closely. Compensation will be determined based on several factors including: the severity of the injury, the nature of the violation that caused it, and even the attorney’s skill and experience.
Generally, compensation will cover medical bills, losses, and expenses like hospital stays, medical treatments, pain and suffering. You should contact a lawyer to discuss the specific factors and circumstances of your case. An experienced HIE attorney will be able to give you a better understanding of what damages you may expect to recover.
When should you file a birth injury lawsuit?
The statute of limitations varies by jurisdiction, so it’s important to consult with an attorney promptly. In many cases, you have a limited amount of time from the date of the injury or when it should have been reasonably discovered to file a lawsuit. It is important to contact a licensed and experienced attorney as soon as possible. Don’t let the statute of limitations close on your potential case.
Can you sue a doctor for failure to diagnose hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy?
You can potentially sue a doctor for failure to diagnose hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) if you believe that the doctor’s failure to diagnose the condition amounted to medical negligence or malpractice.
Doctors must not only provide regular checkups during pregnancy, they must also act upon any sign of HIE immediately to prevent serious injury or worse. When a medical professional fails to comply with the accepted standards of care, he or she may be held liable for negligence. Medical professionals who can be found responsible — whether directly or indirectly — for a birth injury include:
- Hospital staff
- Pharmaceutical companies
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a failure to diagnose HIE, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Contact the HIE attorneys at Hodes Milman online or by calling (949) 691-3644 to discuss your legal options today.
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