Is a bruise or a lump on your child’s head after birth something to worry about? This is called an infant cephalohematoma. They often clear up on their own, but what caused the bruising? It may have been prevented and may be the first sign of a worse birth injury.
Some doctors use too much force trying to remove a baby from the birth canal. Forceps and vacuum extraction machines can cause these bruises. They’re a sign that there could be more damage to your baby. Our Glendale infant cephalohematoma lawyers at Birth Injury Lawyers Group can find out if there is and if you and your child deserve compensation.
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About Infant Cephalohematoma
The outer layer of most of our bones is covered with blood-bearing tissue called periosteum. If this tissue gets damaged, a bruise and a lump can form. This is called a cephalohematoma, literally a head bruise.
These are caused by trauma to the head. It can happen during the birth process, the actions of an abuser, or an accident like dropping a child. On their own, infant cephalohematomas usually clear up in a few weeks, but they require medical examination until they’re healed.
This is for two reasons. First, an infant cephalohematoma could be a first sign of a deeper birth injury like a brain bleed. Second, these injuries can have complications like anemia, jaundice, or an infection. The last can be quite dangerous. Thus, if your child is diagnosed with infant cephalohematoma, be sure to follow up with your doctor until it heals.
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Is This Condition Preventable?
Many times it is. Natural birth will always have a chance of infant cephalohematoma due to the pressure of contractions on the baby, but there are certain risk factors and delivery techniques that raise the chances of it happening.
If you have risk factors like a larger-than-average baby or multiple births, your doctor should discuss with you the option of a C-section. If they didn’t discuss this with you or brushed off your requests for one, then that could be evidence for your malpractice lawsuit.
Another factor is the use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices. These devices are used when a child isn’t moving out of the birth canal fast enough. They can save lives, but used improperly, they can cause serious damage to the head. In fact, vacuum extraction has a 12%-14% chance of causing infant cephalohematoma.
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Do I Have a Malpractice Case?
A discussion with a birth injury malpractice attorney with experience in cephalohematomas can help you know if you have a case. Our qualified attorneys will explain your legal options, your case’s strength, and your state’s birth injury laws.
You may need to have your child examined via X-rays, MRI, CT scans, or an ultrasound to see if there is deeper damage beyond the bruising. These images can help your lawyer know if you have a case. If you do, they can pursue damages out-of-court through negotiation or push for a malpractice trial.
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How do I Win My Case?
If your lawyer believes you have a case, then there are four things that must be proven to win. First, you must prove that you were under the care of the medical professional you’re suing. Your medical records will prove that easily.
The other three things that must be proven are:
- Proving what “reasonable care” was during the situation where the injury happened
- Proving that the defendant violated that duty of care and caused your child’s infant cephalohematoma
- Proving that the injuries caused damages to your family (e.g. medical costs, pain and suffering)
To prove these, your lawyer will gather your medical records, the testimony of others in the room, and statements from expert witnesses. While not every infant cephalohematoma is a medical malpractice situation, it is a sign that is worthy of further investigation.
What Compensation Could I Receive if I Win?
If your attorney wins your case, you can receive compensation according to Arizona’s medical malpractice laws. Arizona prohibits any limits on damages in civil cases for personal injury, so you and your lawyer are free to pursue as much money as the law and the evidence allow.
Some of the damages you can receive include:
- All medical care costs related to your child’s injury, including diagnosis and rehabilitation costs.
- The costs of taking time off work to care for your child’s needs
- Any other related out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages like pain and suffering
Evidence must support any claimed damages. Our Glendale birth injury lawyers will calculate these costs so you’ll get a fair settlement. No infant should have to suffer a serious injury because of medical error. You and your child deserve justice.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Birth Injury Case?
In Arizona, the normal deadline to start a case is two years after when the plaintiff discovers that medical negligence caused their injuries. However, with minors, that deadline is paused until they turn 18, so they could file their own lawsuit after that until the age of 20.
Getting your case started as soon as possible after an injury is always better. This gives your lawyer the best opportunity to preserve evidence before it disappears. Memories fade with time, and physical evidence could get lost or destroyed if too much time passes. That’s why there is a deadline on most civil cases. This is known as the statute of limitations.
Speak With a Glendale Infant Cephalohematoma Attorney Today
You could face gigantic financial and emotional challenges if your child has suffered a birth injury like an infant cephalohematoma. Sometimes the effects of a birth injury don’t appear until they miss developmental milestones or start having behavior problems.
The sooner you can help your child get care using the compensation from a birth injury lawsuit, the better their chances will be at life. Find out if your case qualifies for compensation by speaking with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group in a free consultation.
We have lawyers in Glendale, AZ, experienced in Arizona malpractice cases. Learn your legal options by calling or texting the number on your screen. You can also reach out to us via email through our contact page.
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