Infant brain damage can occur due to complications related to pregnancy, labor and delivery. Some forms are mild without lasting consequences. On the other hand, for some infants, the damage is more severe and may result in symptoms and conditions that last indefinitely.
Infant brain damage can lead to lifelong conditions, like cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, or even physical paralysis. The type of consequences and the severity depend on the extent of the damage, but all cases have the potential to cause lasting complications. An infant brain damage lawsuit is a way for you as a parent (or guardian) to get justice for your baby who was harmed by someone you trusted, but also to get the money that will help your child live a better life.
What is Infant Brain Damage?
Brain damage is either acquired or traumatic and physical. Acquired brain damage is caused by internal damage that causes brain cell death. This is most often caused during child birth by asphyxiation, or oxygen deprivation. The lack of oxygen causes brain cells to die and the longer it lasts the more severe the damage is. Illnesses in the mother can also cause brain damage by internal harm to the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by physical, external injury to the head that impacts the brain. In childbirth this kind of brain damage is most often caused by forceful use of instruments. Doctors or midwives may use forceps or vacuum extractors to pull the baby from the womb, especially when there are complications. Using too much force, though, can physically damage the head and brain.
The Consequences of Infant Brain Damage
The potential consequences of brain damage in an infant range from mild and temporary to severe and permanent. One of the most common results of brain damage caused by asphyxiation is cerebral palsy, which can cause physical impairments, cognitive impairments, and learning disabilities, and may leave a child disabled for life. Brain damage in an infant can also cause issues like behavioral challenges, developmental delays and physical impairments that may include partial paralysis.
When Infant Brain Damage is Preventable
There may be complications of birth and delivery that are unforeseen, that no doctor would have been able to predict or prevent, and these can cause brain damage. In too many cases, though, some mistake made by medical caregivers can be pinpointed as the direct cause of brain damage in a baby. When infant brain damage is preventable, it may mean that negligence or malpractice played a role in the incident.
Ways in which a doctor or other medical practitioner could be considered negligent include making an error in judgment about a Cesarean section versus a vaginal birth. If a complication that led to brain damage could have been prevented by a Cesarean section, the doctor may be blamed for not making that call.
The person delivering the baby may also use inappropriate force when using instruments, they may misdiagnose or fail to diagnose and treat a condition in the mother that affects the baby, or they may have provided some kind of treatment that harmed the baby.
Reasons to File an Infant Brain Damage Lawsuit
Many parents struggling to accept the fact that their child has been brain damaged find that a lawsuit is the furthest thing from their minds. It is something that is important to think about, though. An infant brain damage lawsuit serves a lot of purposes, but the first and most important reason to file one is because you believe that your child’s injury could and should have been prevented by better medical care.
You trusted your medical team and the hospital or health care system with the care of you and your baby for your pregnancy and delivery. If they failed you because of an error, you have a right and a responsibility to seek justice. The responsibility is yours because medical professionals that commit malpractice need to be brought to justice and prevented from doing it again. Your infant brain damage lawsuit could prevent another baby from being hurt.
How to File an Infant Brain Damage Lawsuit
To file a lawsuit you need to have the expertise of a lawyer with experience in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. Your lawyer will file the lawsuit, collect evidence, conduct an investigation, make a case, and represent you in front of a courtroom and the lawyers representing your doctor’s insurance company. Your lawyer will understand all the details of making a case including statutes of limitations and being sure not to miss them.
You and your lawyer will be responsible for proving three things in order to make a successful case against the person or institution that caused your baby’s brain damage. The first thing that must be proven is that you entrusted your care to the medical professional in question.
It must have been agreed upon that this person would care for you and your baby in advance. The next thing to prove is that this person made an error, that they either took an action or failed to take an action that was considered a mistake. Finally, you must prove that this mistake directly led to your infant’s brain damage.
What Kind of Compensation You Can Get
With an infant brain damage lawsuit you have the opportunity to recover monetary damages to help your child. In this type of case you can seek punitive damages, designed to punish the responsible parties. You can also ask for money that will cover current medical bills as well as those you expect to have in the future as you pay for the care of your injured child. Your compensation may also cover things like any lost wages you incur, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
Filing an infant brain damage lawsuit may not be the first thing you consider after coming to grips with your child’s brain damage, but it is important. Filing this lawsuit forces your doctor or other caregiver to take responsibility for malpractice and it gives you the chance to get the money that will cover the ongoing costs of caring for your child and giving her the best life possible.