Babies who suffer from a lack of oxygen before, during, or immediately after birth can develop a serious birth injury known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). You might be able to seek compensation if the medical staff’s actions or negligence contributed to this.
A Michigan hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer can assist you in pursuing the settlement or court award you need to set your child up for the best possible life. From handling paperwork, gathering evidence, negotiating with the opposing party, and representing you in court, we have your baby’s best interests at heart.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with a qualified birth injury lawyer.
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HIE and Cerebral Palsy
HIE is a serious medical condition that occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow, leading to permanent brain damage. It most commonly affects newborns during the perinatal period and causes long-term neurological deficits.
Cerebral palsy, on the other hand, is a group of motor disorders that result from damage to the developing brain, typically before or during birth. HIE is a known cause of cerebral palsy, as the lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain can lead to permanent injury, affecting the child’s motor function, muscle tone, and coordination.
While not all cases of HIE result in cerebral palsy, the condition remains a significant risk factor for its development. Early diagnosis, prompt medical intervention, and ongoing supportive care are essential in managing and improving the quality of life for individuals with cerebral palsy and other issues resulting from HIE.
Michigan Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Why a Parent May Consider Filing an Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawsuit
A birth injury diagnosis is devastating for the entire family, especially when a medical error causes it. Delivery complications like HIE impact your baby permanently, leading to conditions like breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairment. Filing a legal claim can help you obtain financial compensation for proper treatment.
An infant with a traumatic brain injury like HIE may have only mild symptoms but could also struggle to achieve the expected milestones like talking, walking, or feeding themselves. Though a settlement or court verdict won’t reverse your child’s developmental delays and other challenges, it could hold the negligent healthcare provider accountable and improve your child’s future.
By suing a medical professional or hospital, you can empower other parents whose children have suffered from the same medical negligence to pursue a similar legal claim.
How Much Compensation Is Your Child Owed in a Michigan HIE Claim?
Determining compensation in a Michigan HIE claim is often difficult. It requires calculating all the damages your child and family suffered from the injury. These are typically categorized into economic harms and non-financial harms.
The first category includes how your child’s neonatal encephalopathy has financially affected your family. Examples include the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income due to needing to care for your child
- Your baby’s lost earning potential for the future
- Accessibility equipment needed for your home
Since these items have clear-cut price tags and dollar values, this is often the easier category to understand.
HIE can cause your child and family to suffer in more subjective ways. Some non-economic damages include issues like your child’s lost quality of life, physical pain, and mental or emotional suffering due to this type of birth injury.
Compensation for this type of harm is limited by Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.1483, though the cap is much higher if your baby suffers from permanent harm like brain damage or paralysis.
The limit is adjusted often, so it’s best to speak with a birth injury attorney when determining how much your child is owed for non-economic damages.
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When to File a Michigan HIE Claim
The deadline to file a claim is called the statute of limitations. In Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805(8), the deadline for malpractice claims is two years from your child’s initial injury.
However, it’s often best to consult with experienced attorneys in Michigan as soon as possible. Not only does this give your attorney time to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, but there may be additional deadlines you must meet in your case.
Failing to file your claim within the statute of limitations may mean you cannot pursue compensation for your child.
Losses You Can Claim in Your HIE Lawsuit
Because of the catastrophic nature of HIE, the damage can be severe. Parents should pursue damages as a way to get justice for what happened and obtain funds to cover their children’s ongoing care. After a life-changing birth injury, you may qualify for economic and non-economic losses.
In Michigan, there are no punitive damages; however, the state does allow “exemplary damages.” Unlike punitive damages, exemplary damages compensate you for the defendant’s actions rather than deter future behavior.
Economic losses compensate you for the costs stemming from your child’s injuries and treatment. These damages typically include the following:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages due to parents missing work
- Specialized care equipment
Every case is unique, and your settlement or verdict will be based on your child’s specific condition and the evidence you and your attorney gather against the liable party.
Non-economic losses address the effects of the incident on you and your child. The most profound loss in these claims is pain and suffering, and this damage often falls into three distinct categories.
The first is for the child’s own suffering from a birth injury. The second addresses their future pain and discomfort. (HIE decreases the survivor’s enjoyment of life and impacts many aspects of their future.)
Lastly, as the child’s mother or father, you will experience the emotional pain of watching your precious little one struggle with this life-altering condition. You naturally had hopes and dreams for your child, which may not come to fruition due to their injury.
Process for Filing a Lawsuit After Birth Trauma Due to Oxygen Deprivation
Before moving forward with a formal birth injury lawsuit, a Michigan HIE lawyer bolsters a case by obtaining the pertinent evidence. The next step is issuing a demand for compensation. After that, the negotiations begin. If you do not come to an agreement with the other party, the case moves on to court.
The legal process generally includes the following stages:
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Your lawyer can file a medical malpractice suit with the Michigan court system. The court assesses the legal claim and contacts the other party to notify them of the complaint. If the defendants fail to respond to the notification within a certain time frame, you will win your case by default. Unfortunately, this scenario rarely happens.
If the other party responds, your case proceeds to “discovery,” and both of you can share any relevant facts supporting your respective sides. The judge typically sets the allowable timeframe for this stage, which could be several weeks or months.
After compiling evidence and presenting all the facts of the case, both parties can come together to negotiate a settlement. Having an experienced attorney represent you is vital during this stage. Once a settlement amount is agreed upon and the negligent party pays, the case ends. If a case does not settle outside of court, the judge will set the date for trial.
Before entering a judgment with their final decision, the court will hear arguments from both sides and review the evidence presented during the proceedings. The other side can prevail if your lawyer fails to demonstrate to the jury that malpractice occurred. In this situation, you can be left struggling to pay for your child’s many expenses.
The Benefits of Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer for Your HIE Case
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 state statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is two years from when you discovered the negligent actions, according to Michigan Compiled Laws §600.5805. However, the state allows for some flexibility since some injuries are not immediately apparent. If you find out about the injury later, you must file the lawsuit within six months of detection.
A Michigan hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney can help you file your lawsuit on time and complete the following steps:
- 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 money 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.
- Locate an expert witness to help your case.
Other Ways That Michigan HIE Law Firms Help Families
Our HIE attorneys serve Michigan families by providing various services to help with this difficult situation.
This includes filing the claim on time and determining the monetary value of the compensation you are owed, but it also includes many other services.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your child’s injury, several parties could be liable for the damage you and your child have suffered. These potential defendants include the following:
- Medical staff, including doctors and nurses
- Healthcare organizations (such as hospitals or birthing centers)
- Doulas, midwives, and other birth attendees
- Medical device manufacturers
As professionals with extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims, Michigan HIE lawyers can sift through the evidence in your claim and determine who should be held responsible for your child’s oxygen deprivation.
Partnering With Expert Witnesses
To successfully represent you in a medical malpractice lawsuit, your attorney must prove that the medical staff strayed from the nationally accepted “standard of care.” This is usually done by bringing in expert witnesses (other physicians with experience handling complicated deliveries).
Expert witness testimony goes a long way toward showing that the medical caregivers in your case did not act in ways that reasonable medical providers should.
Negotiating With Opposing Counsel
Going head-to-head with attorneys for large corporations like hospitals can feel overwhelming. However, your medical malpractice lawyer will work to prove medical negligence and handle the negotiations for you.
Most lawsuits end at the negotiating table when both sides agree to an amenable settlement package. It is best to have an attorney for HIE victims on your side in case the opposing party refuses to provide you with the compensation your child deserves.
Our HIE lawyers are willing to go the distance and take your case to court if needed to get a fair compensation package to help you care for your child.
You Can Trust Our Michigan Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group was founded by attorney Robert Goldwater, whose own triplets suffered from birth injuries. We are committed to providing legal assistance to families affected by preventable birth injuries due to asphyxia during birth.
Our compassionate hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers in Michigan are available to evaluate your case. All of the personal injury attorneys in our network work on a contingency basis. This arrangement means you don’t pay anything until you obtain financial compensation.
Call us or fill out the form on our contact page to get started with a free consultation.