Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), otherwise known as birth asphyxia or perinatal asphyxia, is a condition in which a baby’s oxygen is restricted before, during, or after birth. This results in a birth injury that can have severe and permanent effects.
Birth injury lawyers help families get justice and compensation when their child’s HIE is caused by medical malpractice or other forms of negligence. If your child suffered birth asphyxia, get in touch with a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Hawaii today.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Determining the At-Fault Party in Your Child’s HIE Claim
While birth injuries can occur naturally, there are some instances in which hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is the result of negligence or improper medical care. In these cases, there are a few parties who could be held responsible for your child’s HIE, including:
- Doctors, nurses, and attending medical staff
- The medical organization (such as a hospital or birthing center)
- Medical device manufacturers
Staff can be held accountable and liable for the damages you and your baby suffer both for direct actions like using too much force or inaction (like a failure to diagnose risks associated with HIE).
The medical establishment itself may be liable if it knowingly provided out of date or improper tools to its medical staff. Similarly, manufacturers of medical devices could be found liable if those devices were faulty or defective and this fault contributed to your baby’s birth asphyxia.
An experienced birth injury law firm can help you sort through the details of your situation and determine all the parties who may owe your child compensation.
Hawaii Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Compensation in Hawaii Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claims
Any harm to a child’s life and livelihood is immeasurably tragic. However, the legal system needs clear-cut dollar amounts when determining compensation that is owed. Courts separate compensable damages into two categories: economic harms and non-economic ones.
The most easily measured damages your family has suffered are the economic or financial hardships. These include items like:
- Medical expenses (both now and in the future)
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Your child’s lost ability to earn income in the future
- Accessibility equipment costs
More subjective damages are more difficult to valuate, which is one reason that it’s important to seek help from knowledgeable Hawaii hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys. Your child may have compensable non-economic damages like:
- Physical pain
- Emotional or mental suffering
- Lost quality of life
Hawaii Revised Statutes § 663-8.7 places a cap on this type of compensation at $375,000.
Important Hawaii Laws on Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claims
In addition to limiting the amount of compensation a person can get for non-economic damages, Hawaiian law also sets a deadline for medical malpractice claims and lays out what is required as proof of such a claim.
The deadline, or statute of limitations, for medical malpractice claims is two years, as set by Hawaii Revised Statutes § 657-7.3. While there are some possible exceptions to this rule, waiting longer than two years from the date on which your child developed HIE can result in losing the right to pursue compensation in court.
Elements of a Successful HIE Claim in Hawaii
In order to prove the at-fault party’s liability for your child’s birth asphyxia, you and your hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer will need to prove these crucial details.
- The medical staff breached the generally accepted standard of medical care before, during, or immediately after delivery.
- This breach of standards resulted in your child’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
- As a result of developing HIE, your child has suffered significant harm that demands compensation.
The standard of medical care is shorthand for the nationally accepted best practices for medical professionals. When determining whether a caregiver breached this standard, the law asks whether a reasonable medical professional in the same field would have acted in a similar way. If the answer is “no,” it’s likely that your caregiver violated the standard of care.
Hawaii HIE attorneys often work with expert witnesses to provide testimony about this matter. Expert witnesses are typically other physicians with experience delivering babies who can attest to the way that reasonable doctors, nurses, and other medical staff should behave.
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What Else Does a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney Do?
Your HIE attorney will be flexible enough to handle the unique circumstances of your situation. However, there are many standard services that lawyers provide when helping families seek justice and compensation. For example, your attorney might:
- Gather and preserve evidence of the at-fault party’s liability
- Gather and preserve evidence of your child’s compensable damages
- Coordinate witness testimony and depositions
- Negotiate with the opposing party and their counsel
- Take the case to court if necessary
In most cases, lawsuits end when the parties involved reach a settlement arrangement during negotiations. However, you need a strong Hawaiian law firm for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy claims that isn’t afraid to take the case to court if the other side won’t agree to an appropriate settlement package.
Going up against hospitals and medical professionals with substantial resources can be daunting. Birth injury attorneys can fight passionately and aggressively to protect your baby’s rights.
Types of Evidence That Help Your Case
When building your case, there are several types of evidence that can help you and your lawyer establish that negligence caused your baby’s injuries. Some of the most common forms of evidence in birth injury cases include:
- Medical records throughout the pregnancy, delivery, and follow-up care
- Witness statements and testimony
- Expert testimony
- Other complaints filed against the same doctor or establishment
- Photos of the birth injury
Your attorney can get right to work gathering adequate evidence and presenting it in front of a judge to hold the doctors accountable and ensure you receive the money you need to care for your child. Following the birth injury, it’s crucial to gather the names and contact information of anyone who was present, as well as any photo or video documentation.
Types of Compensation Relevant to Birth Injuries
If your child suffered from birth injuries, there are several possible types of compensation or damages you can receive, such as the following:
Pain and Suffering
Children with debilitating birth injuries endure a great deal of pain and suffering, and this type of claim provides financial compensation for that. The maximum amount of damages for pain and suffering is $375,000 per Hawaii Revised Statute § 663–8.7. This is the maximum even for extremely painful or debilitating injuries, but it only applies to pain and suffering and does not impact other types of damages a child may be entitled to.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Children are typically born with boundless possibilities ahead of them, but birth injuries impact many of their everyday activities. Since HIE results in permanent brain damage that impacts nearly every aspect of life, victims can collect damages for their loss of enjoyment of life. Your lawyer may be able to obtain these in addition to other damages to increase the total amount of compensation your family receives.
If your child is permanently disfigured from a birth injury, they may be entitled to additional damages, as disfigurement creates numerous lifelong challenges for a child and their family.
If the birth injuries in question are severe enough, they can result in a loss of life immediately following birth or in the subsequent weeks, months, or years. You may be entitled to wrongful death compensation if your lawyer can prove that your child died due to a doctor’s negligence.
Statute of Limitations for HIE in Hawaii
In the state of Hawaii, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. In many cases, the effects of HIE aren’t evident until later in a child’s life, making it difficult to file a claim on time. In those situations, Hawaii does allow minors to file a birth injury claim up until their 10th birthday.
It’s always beneficial to file a case sooner rather than later, even if it’s the last thing on your mind as you deal with the repercussions of the birth injury. By involving a lawyer right away, you can ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Your case can then be brought to court or settled, and you can receive compensation.
Get a Free Consultation With Hawaii HIE Lawyers
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers in Hawaii offer FREE consultations to families in need. There is no charge, and we work on a contingency basis. This means that you only pay us for representing you if and when we secure a compensation package for you and your child.
Our staff is made up of several attorneys who have personally experienced the difficulties of birth injuries, so we understand the kinds of pain that can be involved in these situations. Our HIE attorneys are compassionate, experienced, and will go the distance to get you and your child the justice you deserve. Contact us today.