Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can have devastating effects on your family, both emotionally and financially. If your child received this diagnosis and suffered other complications because of a preventable birth injury, it is important to explore your legal options.
You deserve to have someone on your side advocating for your legal rights and helping you to seek compensation for the damages a medical professional caused. A hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Chicago may be able to take over your case and hold the negligent care provider who injured your child financially responsible.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Can Have Lasting Effects on Your Child
HIE is a brain condition that results from reduced or loss of blood and oxygen flow to the brain. It generally occurs at or around the time of birth, often when an infant’s airways become blocked during delivery, causing a period of asphyxia. This condition can also develop sometime during pregnancy or after birth.
Although some causes are unpreventable, HIE may be caused by a missed diagnosis or mistake that the attending doctor or medical staff made regarding the mother’s or baby’s care. While many babies who experience HIE are able to recover with minimal to no serious health consequences, this is not always the case.
Based on a study from Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, as many as 60% of those who suffer from this condition develop severe disabilities or pass away by the age of two. Conditions that HIE may lead to include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Delays in physical or cognitive development
- Vision and/or hearing impairment
With the possibility of such serious consequences, you and your family may wonder if it is possible to hold someone responsible for your child’s HIE. If there is evidence that a preventable medical error was the cause, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice case.
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When HIE Warrants a Medical Malpractice Case
In some cases, there is no identifiable cause for birth asphyxia and the development of HIE. However, studies have cited different factors that can play a role. Many causes are detectable with proper care from a medical professional (nurse, doctor, hospital staff member) overseeing the pregnancy and birth. They should monitor pregnancies for potential complications, such as:
- Placental abruption, in which the placenta detaches from the womb
- Issues with the umbilical cord
- Breech presentation, in which the baby is positioned incorrectly for birth
- A narrow birth canal, or a baby with a high birth weight, which can cause the infant to get stuck during the birthing process
A medical professional’s intervention may help resolve such complications and prevent injury, such as ordering an emergency C-section or scheduling one in advance. However, nurses and other medical professionals still make mistakes that lead to infant injuries.
If your care provider failed to take steps that were reasonable and necessary in your situation, a medical malpractice case with a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Chicago might be logical.
How to Pursue Compensation for HIE and Its Effects
The effects of HIE that your child may experience can require lifelong medical treatment, therapy, assistive devices, and developmental support. The costs of such needs can quickly rise and create a lasting financial burden for the family, not to mention the struggles the child may experience throughout life.
Proving Negligence in a Chicago Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Case
These and other damages may be available to you and your family through a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties. To pursue compensation for these damages, it is important to understand how medical malpractice cases work.
Building this type of case generally involves proving that:
- The doctor or other medical professional owed your child a certain standard of care. All care providers have a responsibility to take any and all reasonable steps to ensure their patients’ wellbeing.
- The responsible party failed to abide by the appropriate standard of care, either due to negligent actions or inaction. This can be determined by comparing the doctor’s actions to those of others in similar situations with the help of testimony from medical experts.
- Your child developed HIE, along with related injuries or conditions, because of the negligent care provider’s actions.
- Your child’s injuries caused your family recoverable damages.
If this seems like it will require time and resources that you do not have, you do not need to worry. A Chicago hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorney can help you with these tasks and move the process along to avoid missing any state-mandated deadlines.
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Chicago HIE Lawyers Provide Their Services to Help You Win
Birth injury lawyers take on cases in order to advocate for victims of medical negligence. No parent should have to watch their child suffer or mourn the loss of their infant due to preventable birth injuries or conditions.
The services that many Chicago hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorneys offer are meant to make this process as simple as possible for you. They can provide the time and resources to:
- Investigate the cause of your baby’s HIE and related conditions
- Pinpoint the responsible individual(s) or entity
- Review and compile evidence that supports our theory of the case
- Identify your recoverable damages and determine their overall value
- Present the case to the liable party, the insurance company, and the court if necessary
- Advocate and negotiate for you in communications with the parties involved
- Address your questions and concerns along the way
Note that under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/13-212, the Illinois statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits, victims under the age of 18 are generally given eight years from the cause of their injuries, but not longer than their twenty-second birthday, to submit their lawsuit.
Punitive Damages in a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawsuit
Your hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer can fight to get you the most financial compensation to cover your economic and non-economic damages, known as compensatory damages. You may also be eligible to get justice for punitive damages.
Punitive damages are set as discipline and are typically awarded at the judge’s discretion when the medical professional’s behavior is found to be harmful. According to Illinois Statute §2-1115.05, these damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to you.
How Much Can You Recover in a HIE Birth Injury Claim?
The amount of compensation you can recover with your Chicago hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorney will depend on the specifics of your claim. You may be entitled to receive compensation for any, if not all, of the following:
- Medical expenses (ambulance, hospital, physician, rehabilitation, equipment)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Hospital bills
Your birth injury lawyer will total up the economic and non-economic losses your family has suffered and use this dollar figure in settlement negotiations so that you can get full compensation for this diagnosis.
Cost of a Hiring a Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney
Because of the added pressure on your finances this condition can cause, many hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers not require payments upfront. Instead of paying a sum of money before your case has begun, you do not have to pay anything unless your family wins compensation.
You can expect most law firms to work on a contingency fee that’s about 33% of your settlement or court award. Fortunately, medical malpractice cases do not have a limit on compensation in the state of Illinois.
Call a Chicago Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Today
If you are seeking a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Chicago to represent you, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can review your case today. A representative is standing by to take your call and discuss your child’s HIE and your ability to recover compensation. Call us today for your free case review.