Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an extremely serious birth complication that causes brain damage to newborn children. The reason is a lack of oxygen or blood to the brain. Many cases of HIE could be improved or prevented if medical professionals avoided negligence.
The consequences of HIE are profound and expensive. Parents and children who are victims of negligent doctors should not have to pay for the errors of others. If you feel your child’s HIE was caused or worsened by the actions of a medical professional, you need to speak with a Missouri HIE attorney immediately.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
The Severe Consequences of HIE
When HIE happens, the cells of the newborn’s brain begin to die and leave behind toxic compounds. This can cause other cells in the brain to get damaged or die in turn, even hours after your baby gets oxygen again.
Any function of the body or mind can get affected by HIE. In moderate and severe cases, 60% of children die. If this is your situation, allow us to extend our sincere condolences. You may be able to seek a wrongful death claim with our help.
For the children that do survive, they face a lifetime of medical care, specialist visits, and challenges growing up. All of this costs money, but you may get it through filing a malpractice suit with the help of our lawyers.
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Winning an HIE Malpractice Lawsuit
The insurance company might have to pay out millions for your child’s care and will try to fight your claim. In order to win, four things need to get proven by your hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Missouri:
- The medical professional or institution was caring for your child at the time of the injury.
- They performed an act of negligence outside of the standards of care for similar cases.
- That negligence caused your child’s HIE.
- Your child suffered injury because of HIE.
The part about the standards of care is the most important part of malpractice lawsuits. Medicine is an imperfect science. A doctor can do everything right and fail to prevent injury or death. Standards of practice are the guidelines that doctors follow to care for patience.
With the help of our medical experts, we can see if your medical team failed to follow these guidelines. For instance, if they failed to connect a fetal monitor correctly or ignored warnings from medical devices, that is a negligent act. Proving such an act is critical to win your case.
What Compensation Can My Child Receive?
The two main types of compensation are economic and non-economic damages. Under Missouri law, you are eligible to receive all economic damages related to your child’s injury, including current and future medical care and many others. Your HIE lawyer will work with you to calculate this amount.
Non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering are capped in Missouri. This cap gets raised every year. Most HIE cases will fall under the catastrophic injury category. As of 2022, the cap is $787,671 and grows each year by 1.7%. You can find the current rate at the Missouri Department of Insurance.
There is also a chance of punitive damages if the negligence was especially bad. This is additional compensation awarded by a court to victims when negligence goes beyond a harmful mistake to something much worse.
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Not all cases of HIE are caused by medical malpractice, but doctors should be prepared to treat your child if they find it. One of these treatments is therapeutic hypothermia. Doctors have known for a long time that therapeutic hypothermia has a neuroprotective effect.
While it improves the chances of moderate and severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, it is not foolproof and carries its own dangers. One major one is a chance of pneumonia after emerging from hypothermia.
Balancing risks like these is one challenge of medicine, and few lay people know how these risks are balanced. If you’re even the slightest bit unsure about whether your doctor’s advice was correct, speak with one of our lawyers. We can tell you if you have a case or not.
Speak With a Missouri HIE Attorney Now
Early intervention is critical for children with HIE, and we can help you get the money you need to get access to specialists to treat the consequences of this birth injury. To speak with one of our Missouri HIE attorneys in a free consultation, contact us online or call us at the number on your screen. Our team will connect you with a birth injury lawyer in your area who can help.