For many parents, nothing trumps the joy of bringing a new baby into the world. But when that hope and excitement are dashed because some healthcare officials were negligent in their duties, causing conditions like hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), it can be extremely heartbreaking.
No parent should ever have to deal with the agony of watching their child lead a life of disability because of a preventable mistake. If you’re currently dealing with medical negligence or carelessness, you need all the help you can get to improve your child’s chances of making a full recovery.
And if the child is unable to recover, you need to be able to cater to the child’s needs. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our Utah HIE lawyers can help bring you some justice and make the errant medical personnel and other liable parties pay heavily for their negligence.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Proving Medical Negligence in an HIE Case in Utah
It’s easy for new parents to miss the signs proving that their child’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy was caused by a healthcare practitioner’s mistake. Because most parents are unaware of these, doctors and other healthcare professionals tend to take advantage of parents’ ignorance.
Worse is the fact that they rarely own up to their mistakes. As a result, many parents go on with their lives assuming that their child’s HIE diagnosis was somehow their fault or happenstance. Therefore, it is up to the parents to see if there was some form of error or negligence that led to their child’s health complications.
And the easiest way to know this is by getting an experienced birth injury malpractice attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding their child’s development of HIE—particularly if there were no previous complications and the child was healthy.
Establishing the Standard of Care
A Utah hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney will examine the actions of the healthcare personnel in keeping with the established standards of care to prove if there was any form of medical negligence.
Specifically, the lawyer will look for the following errors in the standard of care:
- Inadequate monitoring of the child and mother
- Inadequate evaluation of the possible dangers associated with the child’s birth
- Failure to identify possible problems early on
- Errors in diagnosis (delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis)
- Wrong medication administration
- Delayed administration of crucial medications
- Poor drug delivery
These are just some of the elements that an experienced HIE lawyer will fight for. The goal is to prove through thorough investigations that there were issues before, during, and after the birthing process. If the medical practitioners did a great job and weren’t liable for the HIE diagnosis, these investigations will prove that too.
Ultimately, it’s best to have an experienced attorney carry out these investigations. At the very least, it’ll help give you some peace of mind if the lawyer doesn’t find any negligence or errors leading to the HIE diagnosis.
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What Damages Can You Claim if Your Child’s HIE Was Caused by Medical Negligence?
If your experienced medical negligence attorney in Utah is able to prove that there was some negligence, mistakes, errors, or problems during the birth of your baby, you may be able to file to claim some damages for the child’s injury.
Some of the damages that you can claim in a birth injury case in Utah include:
- Present and future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Mental anxiety or distress
- Special equipment for transport and mobility
- Modifying parts of the vehicle or house to improve accessibility
- Physical therapy for the child
- Wrongful death
How Much Money Can You Get in a Child Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claim in Utah?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children who have serious developmental disabilities may require the following amounts throughout their lifetimes:
- Loss of hearing or auditory perception: $589,000
- Eye defects and temporary or permanent loss of vision: $799,000
- Cerebral palsy: $1.3 million+
- Mental retardation: $~1.44 million
Please note that these numbers have been adjusted for inflation and are based on a 70 to 80-year life span. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can lead to cerebral palsy or even mental retardation. So, if your Utah HIE lawyer will be going after specific figures, it’ll probably be in the six or seven-figure range.
Factors That Could Affect Your Compensation
How much you’ll receive as compensation from an HIE lawsuit in Utah depends on a number of factors. Some of these include:
- The severity of the child’s injuries (studies show that only 27% of post-HIE patients regain consciousness)
- The extent of brain damage
- Prognosis (whether they may or may not recover fully or partially)
- Family losses (for instance, if one parent has to give up their career and income earning ability to care for the child full-time)
- Costs of raising and caring for a child with brain injuries
- Loss of support
- How much pain and suffering all parties have to live with
- Possible future therapies and medical care
- Lifetime care costs
Based on all these factors, it is easy to see why a birth injury malpractice case in Utah can attract a seven-figure payout.
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What’s the Statute of Limitations for an HIE Case in Utah?
Utah Code § 78B-3-404 allows a window of two to four years within which you can file your hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy claim. Specifically, you have two years from the date you discovered the injury and four years from the day that the medical malpractice incident occurred.
This means that if you try to file a medical malpractice claim after the statute of limitations has elapsed, the court will most likely deny your claim. The best way to strengthen your case is to bring legal action very quickly.
Don’t assume that you have time to file an HIE lawsuit in Utah. The reality is that it’s easier to gather evidence when it’s still there. Delaying the filing means that you may lose the evidence, the liable doctor or healthcare professional can be transferred, you may forget important details, and the court might not be so favorably disposed to your case.
Also, medical malpractice cases can be complex and lengthy. This means that you’ll keep spending money you probably don’t have for the child’s treatment when you could have received your settlement on time. So, get an experienced hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Utah to look into your case immediately.
Talk to an Experienced Utah Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer
Although it’s very difficult to talk to a skilled HIE attorney about your child’s birth injury, the reality is that it’s one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll be able to give your child what they need. There’s a limit to how much out-of-pocket expenses you can shoulder by yourself.
Treatment for HIE can easily run into millions of dollars, which you are unlikely able to afford. Talking to a compassionate birth injury attorney gives you the opportunity to provide your child with everything he or she needs.
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys understand the pain of dealing with problems like this. Therefore, you’ll find that once we take your case, you won’t need to do much else except wait for your settlement.
If you feel like you might have a case, talk to us today. Our experienced hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys in Utah will evaluate your case for free. You can contact us by filling out our free case evaluation form or by calling our office today.