Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition in which an inadequate distribution of oxygen or blood in the brain results in a brain injury. It occurs during birth and is the fifth leading cause of death among children.
If you believe that your child suffered from the negligence of your medical team, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries from HIE require lifelong specialized treatment and care. A Louisiana hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney at Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you file a malpractice lawsuit to recover those costs.
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Why You Should File a Birth Injury Lawsuit
An HIE diagnosis can be devastating, even more so when it is caused by your medical team’s negligence. Birth injuries like HIE affect your child throughout their life, as they will need specialized care to manage and treat the disease. Filing a lawsuit can help you recover monetary damages for treatments.
A child with HIE may fail to achieve crucial milestones, such as walking, talking, or eating on their own. Though a lawsuit won’t reverse your child’s condition, it will provide the justice of knowing that the negligent doctor has been held accountable.
Filing a lawsuit against a particular doctor or hospital can alert other families who have suffered due to negligence, and they can file a similar lawsuit to receive compensation.
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The Benefits of Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer
If you are interested in filing a malpractice lawsuit, you should discuss your legal options with a birth injury attorney. Remember that you don’t have unlimited time to file a lawsuit due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations in Louisiana is one year from the time you discovered the negligent actions, but this can vary depending on the details of your case. However, the state allows for some flexibility since some injuries are not immediately apparent. If this is the case, you must file the lawsuit within six months of detection.
A Louisiana hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney can help file your lawsuit on time and offer the following assistance:
- Collect all the necessary evidence to support your case
- Hire an investigator to determine whether there is cause for a malpractice suit
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Determine how much settlement to request for your case
- Negotiate the best out-of-court settlement for you
- Speed up the claims process
- Prepare you for court hearings and depositions
- Contact an expert witness to help your case
Types of Damages in an HIE Lawsuit
Due to the widespread nature of birth injuries, the damages can be significant. Parents pursue compensation to seek justice for their child and recover some of the considerable costs related to their care. You may be entitled to receive both economic and noneconomic damages.
The average economic damages awarded by juries are between $1 and 2 million. However, the value could be higher depending on what your attorney can prove in court.
Economic damages are meant to financially compensate for your child’s injuries and the expenses associated with their current and future treatment. The damages include:
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost earnings
- Equipment for specialized care
The amount of compensation can depend on your child’s injuries and the amount of evidence against the defendant.
Noneconomic damages compensate for the trauma that the incident has caused you and your family. The largest damage in these cases is for pain and suffering, which is divided into three categories.
The first is compensation for the pain and suffering the child experiences as a result of the HIE. The second is compensation for their future discomfort and pain. HIE reduces the quality of life for the surviving victims and impacts every aspect of their lives.
Finally, the damages compensate you as the parent(s) for the pain and suffering of witnessing your child live with this condition.
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Process for Filing an HIE Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit in court, a Louisiana hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney first builds a case by gathering all the relevant evidence and sending a demand letter. If you and your lawyer cannot come to a settlement agreement with the defendant, the case proceeds to court. The court process involves the following steps:
1. Filing a Lawsuit
Your attorney can file the lawsuit with the court in your location. The court reviews the documents and notifies the defendants of the lawsuit. If the defendant fails to respond within the specified time, you win by default.
If the defendant responds, the case moves to the discovery phase, where both parties have the opportunity to share relevant facts. The judge can set a time limit for this phase, and it can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
3. Settlement Negotiations
After gathering and sharing all the relevant facts, both sides can meet to discuss a settlement. The defendant pays if an agreement is reached, and the legal action stops. If a settlement is not reached, the judge can set a trial date.
4. Trial Period
Before reaching a verdict, the court hears both sides’ arguments and reviews all the evidence provided during the trial. Either side can win at this point; if your attorney fails to convince the jury, you can lose and will not receive any damages.
Contact a Louisiana Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney Today
If you believe the negligent actions of the doctors responsible for caring for your baby resulted in HIE, Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help. Contact us today to speak with a Louisiana hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney with years of experience handling HIE and other birth injury cases.