An infant skull fracture settlement is the monetary award that some parents are able to win on behalf of a child that was wrongfully injured during or shortly after childbirth. A lawyer experienced in birth injury medical malpractice is a valuable ally in making sure that parents and children have the best chance of winning this compensation from a doctor, hospital, or insurance company, to help pay for the care the child will need as a result of the injury.
If your child was injured in this way, he or she may be facing lifelong consequences like physical or mental disabilities, cerebral palsy, seizures, and more. Getting a settlement may seem like the farthest thing from your mind, but it is important in planning your child’s future and ensuring that it is the best it can possibly be, in spite of suffering a skull fracture.
Infant Skull Fractures
Childbirth is difficult and fraught with risks and dangers, even though we have made so many advances with modern medicine. So many things can go wrong, with the mother and the child, including skull fractures in the infant. The infant skull is soft, flexible, and vulnerable to damage. More importantly, the brain beneath the skull is vulnerable. An injury that causes a skull fracture has the potential to cause serious damage to the brain. Immediate concerns are hematomas and hemorrhages that can put dangerous pressure on the brain and may need to be surgically corrected right away.
Over the long-term, a skull fracture may cause other complications. The most common result of brain damage that occurs during childbirth is cerebral palsy. A child born with a skull fracture that causes brain damage may also suffer from recurring seizures, and may have physical disabilities, developmental delays, behavioral challenges, and cognitive impairments.
The most common cause of an infant skull fracture is instrument use. When a doctor or other person delivering the baby uses a vacuum extractor or forceps, the force from either of these can result in a fracture in the skull. Other causes are pressure from inside the womb and pelvis of the mother, intensified by complicated labor or a large birth weight and mishandling of the baby shortly after birth.
What is an Infant Skull Fracture Settlement?
An infant skull fracture settlement is a legal monetary award designed to compensate a child for the damage caused by this kind of birth injury. It is either won during settlement negotiations between lawyers or is awarded by a jury after the case goes to trial and is argued by lawyers on both sides.
Most of these settlements never go to trial because it is quicker and less expensive for the hospital or insurer to settle out of court. However, if they decide to fight the claim of medical malpractice, they will take the case in front of a jury and risk losing a settlement to the parent and child.
What Can a Settlement Cover?
An infant skull fracture settlement can cover nearly any expense related to the injury, current care for the child, and future care. As you work with a birth injury lawyer to make your case you can figure out what kinds of expenses you want to claim.
Settlements may cover current medical bills related to the child’s care, medical expenses you expect to incur in the future, lost wages if you are not able to return to work because of your child’s care, and expenses associated with therapy, rehabilitation, and assistive devices. Your settlement may even cover the costs of travel to get care for your child or for a caregiver to come to your home.
Settlements in cases of infant skull fractures can also cover costs that are not as tangible as medical bills and costs of care. A settlement may also cover things like pain and suffering, emotional trauma for you and your family, and compensation for the lost potential of a young life, for the fact that your child will now not be able to live the full and complete life she would have if the injury had not occurred.
How to Get Started Seeking an Infant Skull Fracture Settlement
To win an infant skull fracture settlement may take time and hard work, but the person doing most of that work will be your lawyer. A good birth injury lawyer, with experience winning settlements for medical malpractice, will take care of all the details and will advocate on behalf of your child. So, your first step in getting an infant skull fracture settlement is to find the right lawyer to guide you.
Once you have a lawyer, you will work together to build your case. Your lawyer will need you to keep track of all medical expenses and other costs associated with your child’s care. You will also need to recount the details of the incident that caused your child’s skull fracture. This may be painful to recall in detail, but it is important. With the lawsuit filed and all the evidence collected, your lawyer will either negotiate for you in a settlement agreement or litigate your case in court to win a settlement from a jury.
A $10.3 Million Infant Skull Fracture Settlement
Parents win infant skull fracture settlements when they can make the case that the injury was the result of medical malpractice. Not all are as big as this one, but a Texas mother was able to win $10.3 million from a jury that heard her case and was convinced the doctor was to blame in the child’s skull fracture and death.
The doctor used forceps on the baby’s head and the mother described hearing a pop as they broke her child’s skull. Just five days later the baby died from the resulting complications. The mother also argued that she had pushed for a Cesarean section but that the doctor convinced her she didn’t need the procedure.
If this mother had been taken seriously as she discussed her concerns with her doctor, and if he had performed the Cesarean section initially, her baby might still be alive. If you believe that your child’s skull fracture was also the result of poor medical judgment or an error, you can try for a settlement that will bring justice and compensation on behalf of your child.