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An infant brain damage settlement is a monetary award that parents (or guardians) receive on behalf of a child who was injured due to medical negligence. Infant brain damage can occur after unforeseen complications, but sometimes it happens because of medical mistakes. The consequences can potentially be severe and can affect a child permanently.
Brain Damage Can Happen During Child Birth
Infant brain damage is more common than people realize. Childbirth is a complicated procedure, even with all the advances we have in modern medicine. When a healthcare provider is careless or negligent, the risk of complications will heighten. 
The most common cause of brain damage in an infant is asphyxiation during childbirth.
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There are many potential causes of asphyxiation, including illness in the mother that reduces the flow of oxygen to the baby. During labor and delivery, complications with the placenta or umbilical cord can restrict blood flow too.
When the vulnerable brain of an infant is deprived of oxygen for any period, it can cause damage, including cell death. The longer the duration of oxygen deprivation, the more severe the damage is likely to be.
In addition to asphyxiation, a child is born may also suffer brain damage because of how it is handled.
A doctor may use a vacuum extractor or forceps to help aid in the delivery. These can be used safely, but they also have the potential to damage the head and brain of an infant if too much force is applied.
Brain damage can also be caused by untreated infections in the mother or by a misdiagnosed and untreated condition in the newborn, including jaundice.
Consequences of Infant Brain Damage
For many infants that suffer some degree of brain damage during labor and delivery, the results will be mild. Many will even recover completely.
For the less fortunate that suffer more severe brain damage, the consequences have the potential to last a lifetime and may range from mild to severe. One possible outcome is that the baby will have cerebral palsy. 
This lifelong condition can cause a variety of symptoms, including spastic muscle movements, difficulty walking, cognitive impairments, hearing and vision impairments, and even paralysis of parts of the body.
Even for those children whose brain damage does not lead to cerebral palsy, the consequences of this kind of injury can cause lifelong problems. A brain-damaged baby may have developmental delays, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, behavioral issues, cognitive deficits, and other issues that may require permanent treatment and care.
What an Infant Brain Damage Settlement Can Provide
A parent facing the prospect of raising a brain-damaged child is in a difficult situation. There will likely be medical procedures, ongoing therapies, adaptive equipment, medications, caregivers, and individual education interventions.
What an infant brain damage settlement can provide is the money you need to provide all this care for your child. The ongoing complications of brain damage are expensive.
Depending on the severity of the brain damage, your child may need care for decades to come.
Your child may never be fully independent. A settlement can provide damages for current and future medical bills and care expenses.
A settlement can also possibly also offer compensation for lost wages if you can’t go back to work, as well as compensation for pain and suffering and emotional trauma. Keep in mind, however, that punitive damages will depend on your state’s laws.
How to Get Infant Brain Damage Settlement Money
To get a settlement, you will have to file and win a lawsuit. This is not something any parent should tackle alone. What you need is a lawyer experienced in birth injuries and medical malpractice.
This lawyer will have the expertise required to file the lawsuit, investigate the circumstances of your child’s injury, build a strong case against the person or institution responsible, and represent your best interests in settlement agreements or in front of a jury if the suit goes to court.
To get the infant brain damage settlement that will provide for a better future for your child, you need a lawyer to help make your case against the responsible parties.
You have a good chance of winning settlement money if you can prove that the person who made a mistake was responsible for your child’s medical care, and that the error directly led to infant brain damage.
An Infant Brain Damage Settlement Example
Many plaintiffs have won settlements for their children and obtained justice for the harm caused by trusted medical professionals.
One example occurred in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2010. Eliza Gort was born with jaundice, which should have been treated immediately.
The medical team at Spectrum Health began treatment with a blood exchange transfusion. However, the procedure was not done correctly, and the air got into the intravenous line.
Eliza subsequently went into cardiac arrest, and it took 40 minutes to resuscitate her. Her brain was restricted to oxygen for a period that caused severe brain damage. 
The parents brought a lawsuit against Spectrum Health because they believed the damage caused to Eliza, who will live with the consequences of brain damage for the rest of her life, should have been prevented.
The lawsuit never went to trial, and Spectrum Health agreed to an undisclosed settlement amount.
This is just one example of a successful infant brain damage settlement. Eliza’s family will now be able to provide her with the care she needs without worrying about money.
Many other parents find themselves in similar situations, and seeking a settlement is a common strategy to help provide care and treatment.
If you have a child that was injured from medical mistakes, you may be able to make a case to prove that someone was negligent.
- Brain injury in newborns could have many causes. (2014, May 14). World & Local Health, Disease & Science News in Sarasota, FL.
Retrieved from: https://health.heraldtribune.com/2014/05/13/brain-injury-newborns-many-causes/
- Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy. (2019, September 23). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/causes.html
- Thomas, S. (2014, August 4). Spectrum Health, parents reach settlement in malpractice case over infant's brain injury. Mlive.
Retrieved from: https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/08/spectrum_health_parents_reach.html