Your Helpful Guide To Birth Injury Lawsuits

No family should have to go through the experience of navigating a birth injury. It can be a really difficult and trying time and unfortunately, the impact on your family can be long-lasting. Your child could suffer a long-term issue that leaves you struggling with medical bills, and wondering who’s at fault.

Moments that are meant for cuddling and bonding, turn into hours of research. Trying to understand a new diagnosis and find treatment options. 

Depending on circumstances and blame, a birth injury lawsuit could potentially help. In this guide, we’ll answer your questions and do our best to point you in the right direction.

Common Birth Injuries

Birth injuries come in many different forms and can happen immediately before, during, or in the short period after childbirth.

These injuries can be temporary, or in some cases more severe.

Some of the more common injuries that affect families are:

► Bruising and bone fractures

Erb’s palsy

Kernicterus

► Cerebral palsy

► Cognitive disabilities

In this next section we’ll explain some of the reasons birth injuries occur. Follow along to learn more.

A closeup image of a baby's boy face.

Causes of Birth Injuries

There are many reasons for birth injuries. Some are natural and unavoidable while others stem from medical negligence. 

Difficult births can sometimes cause trauma to your child. For instance, if the birth calls for forceps then there may be bruising or scratches. Fortunately these types of injuries go away in a couple days, but sometimes worse harm is done.

Another common issue is oxygen deprivation which can lead to serious health conditions such as cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, for example, can be congenital or acquired. Meaning it’s genetic or something happens to cause it.

No matter the cause, handling a birth injury can be challenging. If you feel like your baby’s injury was because of the lack of skill or attention by a medical professional, we encourage to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer. You don’t have to go through this alone!

Does Your Baby’s Injury Call For A Lawsuit?

It can be difficult to analyze everything, especially in the midst of a traumatic experience. That’s why you need someone on your side to help you maneuver the situation and figure out who’s to blame. 

It’s possible there’s nothing your doctor could have done. But it’s also possible someone made a bad decision.

Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to follow to make sure your child is safe. Prenatal care and monitoring are part of this, in addition to the birth. If a healthcare professional drops the ball, you have every right to sue. You and your baby deserve better. 

Why Look For a Settlement?

In times of crisis, its hard to think about things such as money. But at some point, you may want to consider how this mistake will impact your family financially. 

It isn’t fair for a family to deal with the burden of mounting medical bills when someone else is to blame. That’s why many people turn to a birth injury attorney to help them sort through the options.

You may seek a settlement for any of the following reasons:

► You want to see a healthcare professional brought to justice.

► To ensure this doesn’t happen to somebody else.

► So you don’t have to struggle financially.

► Wanting to provide the best possible care for your new child.

No matter the reason, you deserve to have your voice heard and fight against this act of medical malpractice. 

A child's wheelchair with colorful red wheels.

What’s The Process For A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

The goal of any lawsuit is to figure out the truth. And also to provide justice for victims. That’s why it’s vital to work with the best birth injury lawyer possible. Someone who can represent you well and help prove the truth. 

The process will involve a legal consultation, of course. Be sure to bring copies of any and all medical records and correspondence between you and the doctor/hospital. Your lawyer will also help you establish how much should be sought in damages. 

Often times in birth injury lawsuits, a “Life Care Plan” will be brought forth. This plan helps estimate how much your child’s care will cost, over their lifetime. This may include the costs of therapy, medication, caregivers, transportation needs, and many other things. Your lawyer and the defendant (often times the hospital or insurer’s legal team) will go back and forth until they reach an agreement. If both parties don’t reach a settlement then it’ll likely go to court.

It’s important to remember that each state has its own statute of limitations, which is basically the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after an injury.  A lawyer will help guide you on this! 

How Long Will It All Take?

If your case goes to trial it can often take several years to fully resolve. This can be daunting for new parents. The good news is that in most cases, the guilty party will offer a settlement before it gets to that point. A settlement is a large sum of money that will be given all at once or in periodic payments. 

If you think you’ve been affected by medical malpractice and your child has suffered a birth injury because of it, don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s the first step in getting justice for your baby!

Central Pontine Myelinolysis: Symptoms & Cause

We know receiving a scary medical diagnosis can be hard. With a name like central pontine myelinolysis (CPM for short) it’s easy to take one glance at the name and feel overwhelmed, but hang in there with us.

We’re going to simplify things as best as we can and break it down point by point. We’ll explain what it is and why it happens.

As you read this post, be sure to keep one thing in mind: CPM is usually treatment induced. This means that medical negligence is likely the cause.

Follow us to the next section, where we’ll explain things in more detail and get to the root of the issue.

What Is Central Pontine Myelinolysis?

Central pontine myelinolysis is a neurological disorder. It’s very similar to a condition called osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS.) In fact, many use the terms interchangeably. This next part may get a little technical, so bear with us.

CPM/ODS occurs when the sodium levels in the body change too rapidly. When a patient has hyponatremia aka low blood sodium, and the problem is over-corrected, damage can occur.

What happens is the fatty protective substance that protects the nerves in your brainstem starts to deteriorate. Sound serious? It is.

That important substance is called the myelin sheath. 

If the myelin sheath starts to deteriorate, your nerves can’t transmit signals to each other. This is a big problem. 

A doctor's model of a human brain.

So What Causes Sodium Imbalance?

In 1959, when researchers first began their investigation into central pontine myelinolysis, they thought it was caused by either alcoholism or malnutrition.

We now know there are many other conditions that can disrupt your body’s sodium levels. Here, let’s take a look at some of the other conditions that can put patients at a higher risk:

► Liver disease               

► HIV/AIDS

► Certain types of cancer

► Radiation treatments

► Electrolyte disorders

Hyperemesis gravidarum (which involves severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy)

► Serious burns

All of these conditions (among others) can lead to hyponatremia, or low sodium.

This alone won’t cause central pontine myelinolysis or osmotic demyelination syndrome, but what can is how your doctor chooses to treat you. To avoid a bad situation your doctor has to be extremely careful and shouldn’t over-correct the issue. To swing your sodium level from one extreme to the other can cause serious issues. 

Symptoms of Central Pontine Myelinolysis

If a patient experiences low blood sodium levels, a visit to the doctor is crucial and should be immediate. Most doctors are more than capable and will decide on the right course of action. 

But here’s the thing, every once in a while an inexperienced or careless doctor may make a bad call. If you or your family member has experienced symptoms of central pontine myelinolysis, then it’s possible your doctor may have failed to treat you correctly. And they should be held accountable.

Here’s a list of symptoms associated with CPM/ODS, and what to watch out for: 

► Confusion and delirium

► Hallucinations

► Difficult swallowing

► Tremors

► Lack of focus

► Persistent drowsiness or lethargy

► Slow responses and a lack of alertness

► Balance issues

► Slurred speech

► Weakness in the limbs or face

When you enter a healthcare facility for one issue, you don’t expect to leave with a whole slew of new ones. If you or a family member are dealing with any of these issues after seeking treatment for sodium imbalance, you might want to talk to a lawyer. Someone needs to ask questions and figure out who’s at fault.

A man sits with his hands folded near his face.

What To Do If You Have CPM/ODS

Unfortunately, there’s not a permanent fix for either condition but there are treatment options that can help such as physical therapy and speech therapy. It also helps if treatment is started early. 

If you or someone you love has experienced CPM or ODS, you should talk with a legal professional. This conditions is typically caused by medical negligence, not a fault of your own.

With such permanent consequences many people experience long-term physical impairment, emotional trauma, and financial repercussions because of it. You didn’t deserve this in the first place, and now you may deserve compensation. Contact us if you have any questions or believe you’re the victim of medical malpractice and negligence. 

What Causes Cerebral Palsy at Birth?

 

A mother holding newborn baby's head in her hands.In infants,
cerebral palsy is the result of a brain injury or brain malformation that occurs before,
during, or right after birth, when an infant’s brain is most vulnerable.
The impact it may have on a child depends on the severity of the injury
and where the damage occurred. Some doctors and scientists also believe
that cerebral palsy may be caused by maternal infections prior to delivery.
Continue reading What Causes Cerebral Palsy at Birth?

Types of Encephalopathy

 

Baby's hand closed with stethoscope next to her.Commonly used as a general term for a brain disorder or disease, encephalopathy is a serious condition that impacts the function of the brain. The severity of the abnormality varies, and can be classified as either transient, recurrent, or permanent, possibly being reversible over time. There are various types of encephalopathy that each cause serious symptoms, with potential causes varying from trauma to the brain to genetic conditions. It is important to understand what types of encephalopathy exist and what treatment options you may have.
Continue reading Types of Encephalopathy

10 Facts About Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Baby's hand making fist, next to stethoscope.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy occurs when the fetal brain does receive enough oxygen. Often referred
to as “HIE,” Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can lead to permanent
brain damage,
cerebral palsy, and death. Common factors that cause HIE include umbilical cord entanglement
or prolapse, placental abruption and excessive uterine stimulation. To
better understand the condition, we’ve listed

10 Facts About Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy:
Continue reading 10 Facts About Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

What is Hypoxic Brain Injury?

 

The human brain, shown in 3D human model of the head.The brain requires approximately 20% of the body’s oxygen intake
to function properly. Hypoxia occurs when the brain does not receive enough
oxygen. The low levels of oxygen limits brain activity, interrupting neurotransmitters
and electrochemical impulses. This can seriously affect the rest of the
body. Brain cells can die within five minutes. If not handled appropriately
and quickly, cerebral hypoxia can cause brain damage or death.
Continue reading What is Hypoxic Brain Injury?