When your child is born, the last thing that you want to hear is that there were complications with the delivery. In some cases, the risk of injury is escalated by difficult deliveries, large babies, or narrow birth canals. However, many of these risks can be dealt with in various ways to avoid injuries. When the doctor instead fails to avoid these issues and commits errors that lead to significant brain damage, your child could suffer serious injuries and ongoing health conditions such as cerebral palsy.
If you experienced a difficult delivery and suspect your child may have sustained brain damage and developed cerebral palsy because of your doctor’s negligent care, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Dallas and Arlington, Texas cerebral palsy and brain damage attorneys represent injured infants and their families in lawsuits against negligent physicians. For a free consultation on your potential claim, contact our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
How a Doctor’s Negligence Causes Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a serious medical condition characterized by difficult limb control and reduced motor skills. This condition is often “acquired” – meaning that it occurred because of injuries or problems after birth – or “congenital” – meaning that it developed because of injuries during or before birth. This is contrasted with inherited” CP, which means that factors that increase the risk of developing CP were passed down from the parents. If the doctor’s mistakes caused injuries and brain damage, the child may develop cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy can develop from two types of brain damage. First, traumatic brain injury can cause cerebral palsy. Injury to the developing brain sometimes causes tissue death or halts future development, potentially affecting the body’s motor skills and causing CP symptoms. Alternatively, brain damage can occur from a lack of oxygen that results in tissue death and brain damage.
Traumatic brain injuries are often caused during childbirth when the baby suffers damage to the skull. This occurs rarely from seriously negligent mistakes such as dropping the baby or bumping their head against a table. More commonly, head and brain injuries occur because of negligent or unnecessary use of forceps to clamp down on the baby and pull them from the birth canal. This is necessary in some cases but should be used only when necessary – and when forceps are necessary, the doctor should use the proper care and skill expected of them to safely deliver the baby.
Brain injuries can also occur from lack of oxygen. This is common in cases where the baby’s umbilical cord is wrapped around their neck or kinked. If the cord is kinked, the baby may not get the oxygen they need from their mother, and they could suffer because of it. If the cord is wrapped around their neck, it could cut off the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, causing tissue death and potential CP.
Suing Doctors for Negligent Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy in Newborns
If your doctor’s negligent care contributed to your child’s brain damage and cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to compensation for your baby’s injuries. First, you will need to prove their negligence before you can get compensation. Then, you must prove the damages you want to claim, including current and future costs and expenses.
To prove that a doctor was negligent in how they delivered or handled your newborn, you typically need to turn to other medical experts. You and your partner may have witnessed the delivery, which often gives you insight into what went wrong or when the issues occurred. However, your case might require you to hire a medical expert who can explain to the jury what was expected of the physician and what precisely they did wrong to cause the injuries.
Damages for Infant Cerebral Palsy
Once you prove the doctor was at fault, you can claim any damages you can prove are related to the injuries they caused. This often involves claiming medical expenses, lost future wages, and pain and suffering damages.
Your child may require additional medical care to treat the injuries they suffered and deal with the effects of cerebral palsy. Emergency medical care could help reverse some of the effects of the injury, but if the child develops CP, they will need ongoing care. This can include medical devices like wheelchairs and crutches as well as ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, and doctor’s visits, which should be covered into the future by this compensation. If your child needs home nursing care or home care equipment, this should also be covered.
In the future, your child may also face difficulty working to support themselves. Some cases of cerebral palsy are severe enough that the patient cannot work or must take on reduced work tasks. Any lost earning capacity can be projected into the future and compensated in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
You can also claim damages for your child’s pain and suffering. These conditions are often degenerative, and your child will continue to face worse pain, discomfort, and mental/emotional distress from the injury and condition. This cannot be reversed with financial compensation, but the compensation can help your child to cope with the injuries.
Talk to an attorney about what your case is worth and what evidence is necessary to prove your claim.
Call Our Arlington Cerebral Palsy and Brain Damage Attorneys for a Free Case Consultation
If your child suffered brain damage and developed cerebral palsy because of birth injuries and negligent care from your doctor, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys fight to get families financial compensation for their doctor’s negligent care and the injuries their children faced because of it. To set up a free legal consultation and learn more about your potential case, call our Dallas and Arlington cerebral palsy and infant brain damage lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.