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Skull fractures can happen during childbirth or shortly after delivery. In some cases, the injury results from an error made by a healthcare professional. If you feel your baby’s injuries happened after medical mistakes, an experienced infant skull fracture lawyer can provide legal advice.
How Fractures Happen During and after Delivery
An infant has a fragile skull, which is flexible at the same time. Unlike adult skulls, skulls in newborns are made up of plates held together by sutures that have not hardened yet. This allows the head to expand as the brain grows and the child gets older.
A newborn’s incomplete skull also helps it squeeze through the birth canal with minimal damage caused. Unfortunately, this does not entirely protect the infant skull and brain, which is more vulnerable to injury than the skull of an older child or adult.
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During natural childbirth, babies have physical pressure placed on their bodies, including the head. Most babies will emerge unscathed, but some will experience fractures due to the strength of the pelvic bones.
This natural kind of fracture will be small and will not cause lasting damage in most cases. In other cases, though, an infant skull fracture is not natural, should have been prevented, and will create permanent harm over many years or a lifetime.
The leading cause of skull fractures during childbirth is the use of instruments.
A doctor may choose to use forceps or a vacuum extractor to assist in getting the child out of the birth canal. They make this decision because of complications, such as asphyxiation, and it is essential to deliver the baby as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, this maneuver can result in an excess force on the baby’s skull and a fracture.
Fractures may also occur for various other reasons. The natural pressure in the womb may be intensified and lead to a higher risk of skull fracture if the baby is abnormally large, if it presents in a breech position, bottom first, or if the delivery is long and complicated.
A baby may even suffer a skull fracture after birth by mishandling or dropping on a hard floor.
Medical Malpractice and Infant Skull Fractures
How does this all relate to medical malpractice? There is a chance that if your baby suffered a skull fracture during labor, delivery, or shortly after birth, it could have been prevented.
An error in judgment on the part of your doctor, a nurse, a midwife, or any other medical professional given the care of you and your child may have caused your baby’s skull fracture.
Three criteria must be met to prove medical malpractice:
- The medical professional in question was given responsibility for your care. This is usually straightforward in the case of childbirth, as you assign a doctor or midwife to deliver your baby.
- The person entrusted with your care breached the accepted standard of care in treating you and your baby.
- The negligence or breach of standards directly caused your baby’s skull fracture.
The last two are most often argued between a lawyer representing the parents and those representing the doctor or insurance company.
Errors can be using forceps with too much force, failing to begin a Cesarean section as labor becomes complicated, or overlooking complications before birth that put a baby at risk for birth trauma and injury.
Why You Need an Infant Skull Fracture Lawyer
If you believe your baby’s fracture resulted from medical malpractice, you need an infant skull fracture lawyer to help you make your case.
You need the expertise of someone trained and practiced in birth injury and medical malpractice cases because you will be going up against hospitals and insurance companies with thousands to spend on lawyers.
An infant skull fracture lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf, investigate the incident and collect evidence, make a case for medical malpractice, and represent you and your child in negotiations for a settlement.
If settlement discussions fail and the case goes to trial, your lawyer will litigate for you and take the situation and your best interests in front of a judge and jury.
Consequences of a Skull Fracture and the Importance of Compensation
What an infant skull fracture lawyer can do for you is win compensation and justice on behalf of your child.
The consequences of a skull fracture in your baby may not be evident immediately, but they have the potential to be severe and could even last for the duration of your child’s life.
An infant skull fracture can cause brain damage, seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and cognitive impairments. In extreme cases, a baby could die from a skull fracture or be unable to be independent as an adult.
You may be facing extensive medical bills, payments for treatments and medication, the costs of assistive equipment and home caregivers, the costs of rehabilitation, therapy, and educational interventions, and even the costs of supporting your child through adulthood.
Winning compensation in a lawsuit with the best lawyer at your side means getting the compensation you need to give your child the best care.
What to Look for in a Lawyer
It’s important to find a qualified and experienced lawyer who has won previous infant skull fracture cases. Make sure you look for a lawyer or law firm specializing in medical malpractice and, more specifically, birth injuries.
Also, look for a lawyer who has negotiated settlements for similar clients or taken these cases to court and won.
You need the best, most knowledgeable, and most experienced infant skull fracture lawyer because your child’s future depends on it. You can’t give your child the best care possible if you always struggle to pay for that care.
The hospital or a doctor made a mistake, and now your baby is paying the price. With the right lawyer, though, you can ensure that they have to pay the financial part of this tragedy.
- Birth Trauma: Overview, Etiology, Prognosis. (2019, November 10). Diseases & Conditions - Medscape Reference.
Retrieved from: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/980112-overview
- Pediatric Skull Fractures - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. (2019, May 2). National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482218/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, September 24). Head Injury In Children. Harvard Health.
Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/head-injury-in-children-a-to-z