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Parents of babies harmed by a skull fracture due to medical negligence have a right to take legal action. An infant skull fracture claim for compensation is a legal step that allows parents to recover damages. This compensation covers the baby’s treatments, ongoing care, and any other expenses related to the injury.
Fractures and the Infant Skull
Infants are born with skulls that have not yet hardened. Infant skulls are softer and more vulnerable to damage than fully grown skulls of adults and older children. The infant skull comprises several plates connected by flexible areas called sutures.
Over time, as the child grows, these will expand and then harden. The flexible nature of the brain allows a baby to come out of the birth canal without damage to the head in most cases.
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There have been cases of babies born with skull fractures even when the labor is normal and uncomplicated. In these instances, it is thought that the pressure of pelvic bones and birth canal apply enough force to cause a fracture.
Sometimes, however, a fracture occurs when labor is difficult, when there are complications, and when the doctor or other medical professional makes an error.
Most fractures that occur in the infant skull are linear, meaning fractures that do not cause the plates of the skull to move. These may be serious but more often heal and cause no real damage. A rupture along a suture can be more serious, especially if it is not detected.
As the child’s brain grows, the fracture may increase as well and start to cause problems. A depression fracture is the most severe skull injury, as it can lead to bleeding and swelling in the brain, which may cause brain damage or death.
Instrument Use the Leading Cause of Infant Skull Fracture
The leading cause of infant skull fractures is the inappropriate use of instruments during delivery. A doctor is more likely to use forceps or a vacuum extractor in delivery if there are complications or the labor goes on for a long time.
Doctors use these tools to pull the baby out in urgent or emergency situations, but they can also apply too much force to the head and fracture the skull.
Infant skull fractures may also occur after birth when a nurse or doctor mishandles the baby or misuses equipment.
If a baby falls or is dropped onto the floor, the impact can easily cause a skull fracture due to the delicate nature of the infant’s skull.
Making an Infant Skull Fracture Claim for Compensation Means Proving Medical Malpractice
If you have a baby that was born with a skull fracture or that received an injury shortly after being born in the hospital, you may have reason to believe that the damage was the result of medical malpractice.
If so, you have a right to file an infant skull fracture claim for compensation, both to get compensation for your child and to bring the responsible parties to justice.
Making a successful claim means proving several vital points. The first is that the person or persons you accuse of medical malpractice had a responsibility for your care and the care of your newborn.
Next, you have to prove that this person made an error, such as using forceps too forcefully or failing to recognize the need for a Cesarean section to avoid complications. You must also prove that the mistake directly caused your child’s skull fracture.
A Claim for Compensation Provides for Your Child and Protects Others
If you can win compensation for your baby, you will be getting the money that will help you provide the best care. A skull fracture at birth can have lasting consequences for your child, from developmental delays to seizure disorders to physical impairments due to brain damage.
Whatever the outcome for your child, it is likely to be expensive. You will have to spend money to give your child everything from treatment to assistive care and the best education.
In addition to providing for your child, a claim for compensation protects other children.
Holding perpetrators of medical malpractice accountable means safer practices and policies for everyone. It forces the individuals involved to be more careful in the future and hospitals to keep a closer watch over doctors and nurses so that these kinds of injuries are prevented in the future.
Examples of Claims Won for Injured Infants and Their Parents
Cases of skull fractures caused by medical malpractice are more common than parents realize, but many of these parents have won claims for compensation on behalf of their children.
In one example, a mother in Texas won $10.3 million after a skull fracture caused her baby’s death.
This mother’s claim went to trial, and a jury heard how the doctor delivered her baby and used forceps so forcefully that she could hear her daughter’s skull pop. The baby died five days after birth.
The doctor was found mostly responsible and was ordered to pay 95 percent of the damages. The mother also stated that she had asked for a Cesarean section and was dissuaded. She was in labor for 18 hours before the doctor finally performed the procedure.
Cases like these are extreme and tragic, but they highlight the importance of making an infant skull fracture claim for compensation. Mothers trust in the care of their doctors, and when they make such big mistakes as these, they must be held accountable.
If you believe that your baby was injured due to medical negligence, you too can make one of these claims and fight for justice and compensation.
- Traumatic brain injury - Symptoms and causes. (2019, March 29). Mayo Clinic.
Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/definition/con-20029302
- Head Injury in Children. (n.d.). Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Retrieved from: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/head_injury_in_children_90,P02604/
- Parry, H. (2016, August 17). Jury awards mother $10.3m for botched forceps delivery. Mail Online
Retrieved from: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3745154/Jury-awards-baby-s-mother-10-3-million-damages-botched-forceps-delivery-killed-newborn-daughter.html