Birth asphyxia, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, is a condition caused by a lack of oxygen flow to the baby during, before, or immediately after birth. This form of birth injury can have lifelong effects, including permanent disability. If it is caused by medical staff’s actions or negligence, parents can seek compensation on behalf of the child.
Florida hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys can help families throughout the entire legal process, including gathering information, filing a claim, negotiating with opposing parties, and taking the case to court if necessary.
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Filing an HIE-Related Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida
How do you know whether your baby’s HIE resulted from medical malpractice? It’s nearly impossible for the average person to determine, even if they’re in the delivery room. And even if they think they see a mistake being made, proving it in a court of law is another thing entirely.
It takes an experienced hypoxic ischemic attorney to prove negligence in HIE cases. The right law firm has a medical professional with extensive experience evaluating HIE cases to determine whether negligence was the cause. Attorneys work to gather the medical evidence necessary to prove negligence in a court of law.
These cases can be complex and may take time. But if you have a viable HIE case, you should pursue it as soon as possible, as malpractice insurers will try to pay you the lowest amount they can get away with. And the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to file a medical malpractice lawsuit that gives you and your family the best chance of earning the compensation you need.
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What a Florida HIE Birth Injury Law Firm Can Do for You
Attorneys for birth asphyxia victims in Florida work for families who need and deserve compensation. While each case is unique to each family, lawyers often provide similar services, including the following.
Handling HIE Paperwork in the Florida Courts
There are many legal parameters surrounding HIE lawsuits, and getting anything wrong on official paperwork can spell disaster for families in need. For example, filing a claim past the two-year statute of limitations (Florida Statutes § 95.11) can mean that you lose the right to pursue compensation at all.
Attorneys for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy cases in Florida can help ensure that all paperwork is filed on time and with the correct information to preserve your child’s rights.
Gathering Evidence for a Florida Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claim
Successful claims for compensation require your Florida HIE attorney to gather and preserve evidence of the negligent action of the at-fault party as well as evidence of your child’s legal damages. This can include:
- Medical records showing the injury
- Testimony from eyewitnesses to the birth
- Photos or videos of the birth (if available)
- Expert witness testimony (usually a physician with experience delivering babies)
- Hospital records, such as those that show procedural mistakes
Negotiating With the At-Fault Party
Often, medical malpractice claims in Florida force you to go up against wealthy and powerful organizations, such as hospitals with skilled defense attorneys on retainer. But simply having fewer resources should not mean that you and your child have to suffer injustice.
Florida law firms can represent you in negotiations for appropriate settlements. This signals to the opposing side that you mean business and are unafraid to fight for what’s right. Also, studies show that people represented by lawyers consistently get more in compensation than those who represent themselves.
Taking Your HIE Claim to Court
The vast majority of lawsuits are settled in negotiations long before ever appearing in a courtroom. However, you need a birth injury attorney who is willing to take the case to court if the opposing side does not want to provide a settlement that adequately meets your child’s needs.
Damages and Compensation in Florida HIE Claims
Your child deserves to be compensated for the harms they have suffered due to negligence. Typically, these harms (or “damages,” in legal terms) are split into two categories: economic damages and non-economic ones.
Economic damages include all the ways your family is affected financially by your baby’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Accessibility alterations to your home
- Reimbursement for time missed from work
- Your baby’s lost future earning potential
Non-economic harms are the more subjective ways that you and your child suffer from the birth injury. They can include:
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment in life
By developing a comprehensive list of your child’s damages, a birth injury attorney who serves Florida families can ensure that you get the compensation your child needs and deserves.
Limitations on Damages in Florida HIE Cases
Though there is no cap on economic damage compensation, Florida Statutes § 766.118 does limit how much you can get in compensation for non-economic harms. The general rule is that compensation for these damages is limited to $500,000.
However, there are exceptions to this rule that could apply in specific circumstances. The best way to determine what your child is owed is to discuss your case with experienced Florida hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys.
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How a Florida Birth Injury Lawyer Proves Fault in an HIE Medical Malpractice Claim
If you have a viable medical malpractice claim, an experienced attorney will work on building a strong case. To recover damages requires a plaintiff’s attorney to:
- Establish a verified duty of care
- Illustrate a breach of duty
- Show that the breach of duty caused HIE
- Provide evidence of damages suffered from your child’s HIE
A lawyer must show that the medical provider named as the defendant in the lawsuit was operating on or treating your child and, accordingly, needed to follow certain practices and procedures to offer appropriate care. The lawyer must further show that the provider was medically negligent (did not follow established practices and procedures) in their duties and that negligence caused your child’s HIE. They must then show evidence of how you and your family have suffered and will suffer as a direct result.
What Constitutes Negligence or Fault in Florida Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawsuits?
Medical professionals can be held liable for your damages for their actions as well as their failure to act. The key element in medical malpractice cases like HIE claims is to show that medical staff strayed from the nationally accepted “standard of care.” This is a term that refers to the way reasonable medical professionals should act.
Examples of ways that medical staff could be at fault for your baby’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy include:
- Using too much force during delivery
- Using out of date or defective medical equipment (such as forceps)
- Failing to diagnose factors that put your baby at increased risk of HIE
Your lawyer can go over the details of your claim and discuss the matter with expert witnesses to determine whether healthcare providers acted in ways that go against the standard of care. If so, those at-fault parties should be held responsible.
Why You Should Choose the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for your Florida HIE Claim
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is a national firm with experience in handling birth injury cases. Over the past two decades, we’ve recovered more than $750 million for parents whose children have suffered from medical malpractice.
If your infant has suffered from HIE or a similar birth injury, an experienced Florida hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney can determine if you have a viable case and help you take the next steps toward obtaining the compensation your family needs.
Get a FREE Consultation With Florida Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys Today
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group was founded by attorneys who have personally experienced birth injuries in their own families. Our compassionate lawyers are dedicated to one goal: getting your baby the justice and compensation they are owed.
We provide all clients with a FREE consultation to discuss the details of each claim and determine how we can help. Please do not hesitate to contact our Florida HIE lawyers and schedule a free appointment today.