]The birth of a baby is usually a cause for joy and celebration. But when the bundle of joy develops catastrophic health conditions like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), it can be a devastating experience.
No parent or child should have to develop HIE because a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional was lax in carrying out their duties according to established standards of care. Unfortunately, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is almost always caused by negligence and poor medical attention.
If you suspect that your child’s HIE was caused by the negligence of healthcare professionals who should have known better, an HIE birth injury lawyer can ensure that you get all the help you need to give your child a chance at a full recovery.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Determining Liability in a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawsuit in Virginia
One of the most painful things about HIE is the suffering that the child often has to go through because their brain didn’t get enough blood and oxygen when they should have. In many instances, this needless suffering could have been prevented if the healthcare practitioners had just done their jobs correctly.
Sadly, that’s not usually the case. These mistakes can lead to critical outcomes that often leave the child with a lifetime of disability. Worse is the fact that the medical professionals who should know better, often deny their culpability. It’s not unusual for them to deny every allegation of medical malpractice–in fact, it appears to be a standard operating procedure for them.
While it’s true that hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy can occur naturally, it’s best to make sure that there was no foul play on the part of the doctors, nurses, midwives, or other healthcare personnel.
To do this, you need an experienced HIE medical malpractice attorney in Virginia to investigate the case’s circumstances. To do this, the lawyer will measure the actions of medical personnel against laid down standards of care.
The Role of Standard of Care in a Virginia HIE Case
The goal of evaluating the actions of the medical practitioners in accordance with established standards of care is to ensure that there was no negligence. To do this, the Virginia medical malpractice lawyer will look for the following occurrences:
- Poor monitoring of mother and child by the healthcare personnel
- Delay in diagnosis leading to hypoxia
- Delay in informing more experienced healthcare professionals about possible or evident complications
- Unduly prolonged birth leading to the child not getting adequate oxygen
- Poor early detection of possible complications
- Poor accurate evaluation of the need for emergency procedures
- Outright denial of mother’s or parents’ demand for a medical intervention
- Delay in giving the mother and child their drugs
- Delayed c–section
- Wrong surgical procedure or medical approach to birthing the child
The medical malpractice attorney will also look for signs and evidence of a cover-up among the hospital staff and birthing team. If there are one or more occurrences of some of the conditions listed above, a skilled Virginia HIE attorney will sue for compensation on your behalf.
And while money isn’t everything, having the proper settlement will help give you and your child a fighting chance. And sometimes, that’s all you need–the opportunity to fight and hang in there–to provide a good life for your child.
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Damages to Claim in a Virginia HIE Lawsuit
Once your Virginia HIE attorney finds proof of a lack of standard of care and preventable negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and errors, the lawyer can help you file for damages and pursue a financial recovery. Some of these are:
- Cost of past, present, and future medical care–for instance, the child may need frequent MRIs to help the doctors monitor the child’s recovery progress
- Lost wages–this is necessary if one or both parents have to quit their job to look after the child full-time
- Pain and suffering–for both the parents and the baby
- Special mobility equipment and facilities
- Household care expenses–covers the cost of having someone look after the house while parents focus on caregiving
- Caregiver cost–in case parents decide to hire a live-in or full-time caregiver for the baby
- Cost of improving access to and within the house–for instance, building a ramp that will make it easy to wheel the baby in on a stretcher
- Cost of modifying the vehicle for transport or buying a new vehicle
- Mental distress
- Reduced income earning capacity–for instance, one parent can decide to resign from their job so they can take care of the child
- Wrongful death
These are just some of the damages that an experienced hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer in Virginia can file for on your behalf.
Possible Settlement Amounts in an HIE Case
Because of the severity of neurological damage, a sizable percentage of HIE cases often result in serious health conditions like cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, this can be a lifelong health issue, which is why these cases tend to attract significant compensation.
A successful HIE birth injury lawsuit in Virginia can attract six to eight-figure settlements. In fact, one of the largest HIE settlements was a $130.5 million settlement against Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.
How much you’ll get when you file a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy case in Virginia depends on the following:
- How bad the child’s injuries are–the prognosis for about 60 percent of children who suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is dire
- The child’s chance of recovery from the injury
- Loss of income in the family
- Expenses associated with taking care of the child
- Cost of treatment and care for the rest of the child’s life
- The pain and suffering that the child, the parents, and siblings go through
- Loss of support
There are many other factors that a medical malpractice attorney in Virginia will take into consideration before pursuing compensation on your behalf. We understand that this is a very trying time for you, which is why it’s best to allow a seasoned HIE birth injury attorney to handle the claims process for you.
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How Long do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Your Child’s HIE Diagnosis
The Code of Virginia Section 8.01-243 states that you have just two years from the date you discovered your child had hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy to file a claim. However, there are exceptions to this rule:
- If there’s a foreign object left in the victim
- The medical personnel covered up, hid or misrepresented evidence or facts, thus making it harder to identify that there was an injury
- The medical personnel failed to accurately diagnose a malignant tumor
- The injured person was not an adult or was legally incapacitated for the duration of the statute–for example, the person was in a coma for two+ years
Virginia also has a rule preventing an injured person from filing a medical malpractice claim after 10 years of the incident–the only exceptions being point #4 above. An HIE attorney in Virginia can review your case to determine how long you have to seek justice for your child.
Contact a Virginia Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer
Pursuing compensation for your child’s birth injury is a very difficult task. It’s bad enough that you have to take care of and spend a small fortune on the hopeful recovery of your child. If you add the extra stress of pursuing damages, it will be overwhelming.
Medical personnel are known to deny all liability and their hospitals often have large legal departments dedicated to burying you in paperwork. With the help of an experienced hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Virginia, you can focus on your child’s treatment, while we go to “battle” for you.
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our Virginia HIE lawyers are experienced, dogged, committed, and dedicated to getting you a fair and satisfactory outcome. We’ll do everything we can to get you and your child the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by filling out this form or call our toll-free line for a free no-obligation consultation.