Brain injury in an infant can create a lifetime of injuries and developmental delays. These may never heal, and sometimes they’re caused by negligent doctors. One cause for brain injury in a baby is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
If your child was diagnosed with this condition, you need to speak with one of our attorneys in the District of Columbia. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group has attorneys with experience in these cases. You and your baby could be owed substantial compensation if malpractice harmed them.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is the medical term for brain damage that’s caused by either too little oxygen or too little blood to the brain. They usually happen together, but either cause can permanently disable or kill an infant.
Birth is a critical time for brain health because the infant has to change from getting blood and oxygen from the mother to breathing on their own and relying on their own blood supply for life. Any interruption during the switchover will create devastating effects.
When brain cells don’t get enough oxygen or blood, they die off. This creates toxic byproducts that can kill surrounding cells, creating a slow-spreading death of parts of the brain. The full damage from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy may not show itself until your child has developmental delays or behavioral problems.
District of Columbia Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Causes that Could Point to Negligence
We have to prove someone on your medical team acted negligently to win compensation for you and your child. Part of our job is to find causes that could point to potential negligence. Some causes of HIE include:
- Improper Fetal Monitoring: Signs of distress from the fetus can mean that they’re losing oxygen and blood. If these signs are ignored and your child suffers brain damage, that can be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.
- Umbilical Cord Complications: If the umbilical cord gets pinched or wraps around the baby’s neck, it can cut off oxygen and blood to their brain and cause HIE.
- Placental and Uterine Complications: Problems with the placenta and uterus can also interfere with blood and oxygen flow to your baby. Placental abruption, uterine rupture, placenta previa, and placental insufficiency are examples of complications.
- Long Labor: A labor that goes on too long can compress the placenta and umbilical cord enough to cause HIE. Doctors should be ready to perform an emergency C-section if a child is struggling too much during birth.
- Premature Birth: HIE is a risk in premature babies because their lungs may not be developed enough to bring in enough oxygen. Giving them oxygen soon after birth can help them, but they must do it in time.
Once we know the cause of your baby’s HIE, we can determine what may have gone wrong and consult with medical experts about what should have happened to prevent your child’s HIE. If there is enough evidence to show medical malpractice, we can proceed with your case.
In brief, to win your case we must prove:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship
- The responsible party acted negligently
- That negligence caused your child’s injuries
- How your child was harmed, including the costs, pain and suffering, and other negative consequences to your child and you.
Why Work with a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer?
Babies with HIE often have obvious injuries. You might think this is enough for you to proceed with a case on your own. However, you should work with a lawyer instead. Moving forward with a claim on your own can lock you out of compensation.
Doctors have standards of care they have to follow when they practice medicine. Even if something goes wrong, your doctor is protected if they follow the standards. A birth injury lawyer can argue that they didn’t follow them and support the claim with evidence. Without this help, an insurer may deny your claim and you’d get nothing.
Also, working with a lawyer will maximize the amount of money you can get from your case. A common tactic when an insurer knows they owe someone money is to offer a quick settlement, but it’s often a much lower amount than you truly need. We can show you what the true value of your case is. You could be owed millions depending on how badly hurt your child is.
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When Should I Work With an Attorney?
Once your child has been diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, it’s time to speak with a birth injury lawyer in D.C. Lawyers need time to build your case before the statute of limitations prevents them from suing.
An early start also makes it much easier to get evidence in your case. As time passes, records get lost and memories fade. A worker who was in the labor room with a vital perspective could move away. Insurers might say that a separate event caused your child’s brain damage. Fast action preserves evidence.
The absolute deadline for injury cases in Washington D.C. is three years after the injury. After this, the courts will say that you took too long to start your case. Getting compensation after this point may be impossible, so start your claim as soon as possible, even if you don’t know the full effects of your child’s brain damage.
Speak with a District of Columbia Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Today
A medical malpractice lawsuit can help your child get the care they need to cope with the consequences of HIE. Early intervention is the most critical part of helping a child’s brain heal, but that care costs money. We can help you get compensation for your child’s injury.
Find out if you and your child have an HIE claim by contacting the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We will connect you with a qualified birth injury attorney who will listen to your story and help you learn your legal options. Call us or email us to schedule your free consultation. If you work with us, you will owe us nothing unless you win your case.