Injuries to a child during birth are always tragic and can have lifelong consequences. One such childbirth injury is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is caused by a lack of oxygen. You deserve compensation if your child suffers from this injury.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorneys in Idaho can help you get your compensation. Here is a detailed look at the legal process to consider when seeking compensation for your child’s HIE.
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What Are the Types of Negligent Actions Associated with Newborn HIE?
Medical negligence is the primary cause of HIE. Common negligent actions linked to HIE during or before birth include:
- Failure to observe relevant and sufficient precautions for high-risk pregnancies
- Mismanaging a fetal positioning problem
- Mismanaging umbilical cord, placenta, or uterus problems
- Failing to respond to signs of fetal distress during delivery
- Erroneous monitoring of the heartbeat
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Why You Should Seek Compensation for HIE
Based on the effects of HIE, there are several reasons why you should seek compensation through a birth injury lawsuit. It could provide the required relief for costs, including:
- Comprehensive care for your child to improve their health, quality of life, and comfort
- In-home assistance to enable a more balanced family life
- Counseling and support for the entire family
- Financial advice to assist in effective budgeting and planning
- Recovering lost wages to take care of your child’s special needs
- Costs associated with the treatment of the condition throughout their lifetime
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How to Determine Damages in an HIE Lawsuit
The cost of compensating HIE through a lawsuit depends on the severity of the injury caused by the medical negligence. HIE can cause permanent brain damage that would require compensation amounting to millions of dollars.
It’s challenging to understand the exact nature of a child’s injury while filing an HIE lawsuit within their first year of life. It’s also difficult to determine the actual damages to be considered since the costs associated with HIE are not apparent within the early years of a child’s development. Thankfully, with the help of a birth injury attorney, you can establish the kind of award you should receive in compensation.
An experienced birth injury attorney can work with the following relevant experts to determine your compensation:
- A special education professional to understand your child’s future needs and educational expenses
- A medical expert to quantify the level of care that will be necessary for your child
- A rehabilitation expert to outline your child’s therapy needs
- A vocational expert to give their opinion on the type of work that your child might be able to do when they are older
- An economic expert to forecast future inflation in terms of the costs and services your child will need
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Compensable Damages from an HIE Birth Injury Lawsuit
Once you’ve determined how you’ll recover your damages, your next step should be determining what type of damages you can recover. Compensable damages can either be economic or non-economic, and healthcare professionals can face punitive damages depending on the level of negligence.
These refer to the actual financial costs associated with HIE. They are usually out-of-pocket costs and money that your child will spend in the future. Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses that are used to treat your child for the rest of their life
- Rehabilitation costs for all the forms of therapy that your child will need
- Lost earnings associated with the time you missed at work due to the injury
- Lost wages related to the child’s inability to work in the future
- The cost of buying specialized medical equipment to aid in your child’s mobility
These refer to non-tangible costs associated with your child’s birth injury. They usually compensate for the experiences that the child will endure for the rest of their life.
The most significant part of these damages is pain and suffering, which refers to the physical and emotional trauma or discomfort suffered by your child. In HIE, your child may suffer pain resulting from hip dislocation, respiratory issues, UTIs, and intestinal problems. It also involves the mental anguish and psychological trauma associated with the debilitating injury they’ll have to deal with for the rest of their life.
Pain and suffering are usually considered a significant aspect of compensation in an HIE lawsuit since they are permanent. However, you should note that the experiences of pain and suffering are subjective, and there’s no easy way to measure them. Juries are always advised to use their best judgment while awarding these damages.
Punitive Damages in HIE Lawsuits
You can seek punitive damages if the healthcare provider’s negligent actions were due to extreme carelessness or gross negligence. These damages for HIE can be based on the following factors:
- The doctor did not conduct an emergency C-section, resulting in placental abruption and uterine rupture
- The doctor failed to act upon warning signs such as fetal distress and wrapping of the umbilical cord around the child’s neck, even after being informed by nurses
- The doctor failed to act upon clear signs of acute fetal distress and perform an emergency C-section
- The doctor induced labor before the required timeline following an inappropriate diagnosis
Free Consultation with an Idaho Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney
You need to seek compensation for an HIE case within two years, according to Idaho’s Statute of Limitations. Working with a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Idaho will make the case as easy as possible for you and your family. It will also help you take the right steps, avoid mistakes, and save money.
An Idaho hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer at Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you gather relevant evidence, file your lawsuit, and look for all potential at-fault parties to increase your chances of compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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