Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can occur during pregnancy, delivery, and even the postnatal period. The condition means that the baby, at some point, was not receiving enough oxygen to their brain due to a lack of blood flow. There are many situations in which the cause of HIE can be traced back to improper actions or negligence of medical staff.
HIE also goes by other names, including birth asphyxia, neonatal encephalopathy, and perinatal asphyxia—and the condition can lead to significant brain damage and lifelong complications. Children who suffer from HIE due to a doctor’s or healthcare worker’s negligence deserve to be compensated for their suffering.
Families of babies with HIE can get help from skilled hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys in North Carolina when fighting for justice.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Determining Fault in a North Carolina HIE Claim
If you are debating whether to sue medical care providers for causing your child’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, one of the first steps is to establish fault. This is a type of medical malpractice claim, and there are specific details that your North Carolina HIE lawyer will need to prove:
- The standard of care
- A breach of this standard
- Injury causation
The Standard of Care
Establishing the nationally-accepted standard of care is the first step. With help from expert witnesses (other physicians with experience handling births), your NC HIE lawyer will need to show how reasonable medical professionals would be expected to act in circumstances similar to your pregnancy and your child’s birth.
A Breach in the Standard of Care
Fault, or negligence, can be shown when the expert witness(es) explains how the medical staff that served you deviated from the accepted standard of care. Examples of ways that a healthcare professional’s actions or negligence can breach this standard include:
- Improperly using delivery aid tools (such as forceps)
- Pulling on the baby’s legs (during breech birth) or head (during head-first birth)
- Failure to diagnose pregnancy risks
- Failure to recognize HIE causes, such as fetal-maternal hemorrhages
- Improper post-birth care
- Actions that lead to uterine rupture
Next, your attorney will need to use evidence that shows a connection between the breach of the standard of care and your child’s injury. Such evidence can include expert witness testimony, medical records, additional medical testimony, pictures or video of the birth (if available), and more.
Your attorney will also need to prove that your child suffered damages due to the injuries caused by the medical staff you are suing. “Damages” includes both the financial and subjective ways that your child’s injury will impact their lives.
North Carolina Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Getting Compensation for Your Child With HIE
Compensation is not just for the economic harm done to your child and your family. It is also designed to address harms that the medical staff’s negligence caused to your child’s quality of life. For example, your North Carolina HIE attorney will seek to catalog damages like:
- Medical expenses related to your child’s injury
- Future medical costs (such as surgeries, accessibility tools, and lifelong care services)
- Lost income as a result of needing to care for your child
- Any lost earning capacity your child may experience due to disabilities
- Physical pain and emotional/mental suffering
Conditions Caused By HIE
When your child’s brain does not get the proper amount of oxygen for an extended period, significant brain damage can occur. There are many conditions related to or directly caused by HIE. If your child suffers from any of them, they may be entitled to seek compensation:
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive impairments
- Organ dysfunction
- Apnea (temporary pauses in breathing)
- Brain bleed
This is a brief list of conditions that can result from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. It is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible if you believe that your baby is showing signs of HIE.
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Get a FREE Legal Consultation From HIE Lawyers in North Carolina
The attorneys at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group handle a wide variety of birth injury cases, including representing North Carolina children who have suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Many of our attorneys have experienced the pain of a birth injury in our own families. While we may not know exactly what you are going through, we share your pain and understand the need to fight for justice.
We provide all our clients with a FREE consultation to discuss the details of your claim. If you choose to be represented by us, we work solely on a contingency basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until we get you the compensation package you and your child deserve.
Head over to our contact page to schedule your free consultation today with a hypoxic encephalopathy lawyer in North Carolina.