Hydrocephalus is a medical condition that, if left untreated, can cause serious injuries and potential death. Adults and children can get hydrocephalus, but this condition is also common among infants who may be born with the condition. Sometimes called “water on the brain,” hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain that can cause brain damage and death from the increased pressure.
If your child’s doctor failed to diagnose hydrocephalus and your child suffered serious brain injuries or passed away from the condition, contact our Arlington attorneys for failure to diagnose hydrocephalus. The Queenan Law Firm’s medical malpractice lawyers may be able to fight to get you compensation for your child’s suffering, medical care, and other harms. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (817) 719-8082.
Risks of Delayed Diagnosis and Failure to Diagnose Hydrocephalus in Infants
Hydrocephalus is a condition caused by increased fluid in the brain. This increased fluid pressure can increase the pressure and cause the skull to expand or bulge while causing injury to the brain. In most cases, the condition can be fixed if it is caught early by implanting a shunt to reduce the flow of fluid. However, if the condition is not diagnosed and your child continues to face increased pressure, it can cause severe brain damage and even death.
The increased pressure can cause tissue death in the brain or cause damage to the brain that causes serious complications. You child might face other conditions, such as cerebral palsy, motor control issues, delayed development, cognitive issues, and other serious, permanent conditions if hydrocephalus is left unchecked. In the worst cases, your child may even pass away.
Treating hydrocephalus after a delay in diagnosis may require more serious intervention. Invasive medical procedures might be necessary to go into the brain and relieve pressure, repair damage where possible, and remove the extra fluid in the brain cavity. This can be expensive and cause additional pain and suffering for your newborn.
Suing for Medical Malpractice Involving Hydrocephalus
Your doctor owes your child a duty to give them adequate healthcare. This care must be in line with how a reasonable physician would care for a patient with a similar condition. This means that your doctor must look for warning signs of hydrocephalus, such as signs of severe distress, headaches, and pain in your newborn. They should also look for the most physically obvious symptom: an enlarged head. The physician should likely order tests and scans to confirm the condition and treat it accordingly. If your baby’s doctor failed to do so, you may be able to sue them for the negligent healthcare they provided your child.
Proving that the healthcare fell below the applicable standard of care is the first step in proving your case in court. This almost always means hiring a medical expert to testify on your behalf in court. This expert can present medical information and expertise to the jury to help them see what your healthcare provider should have done differently and why their failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis was negligent.
Once you prove the doctor was negligent, you must also prove the damages you are claiming to get them paid. The cost of additional healthcare caused by the delayed diagnosis is one area of damages you can claim. If your child faced additional expensive or invasive surgeries, ongoing physical therapy, medication, and future healthcare costs because of the delayed diagnosis, you can claim these damages in full. Moreover, you can claim other damages your child will face in the future, such as potential lost wages. If your child suffered permanent injuries that will make it hard to work to support themselves in the future, you can claim damages for their lost earning capacity, even though they are only an infant now.
You can also claim damages for your child’s pain and suffering. Leaving them without treatment to alleviate the pain and the pressure in their head can be agonizing, and your child deserves compensation for this pain. Moreover, the pain and suffering caused by the increasingly severe symptoms or side effects of advanced hydrocephalus also deserve compensation.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Hydrocephalus
The process of filing your case is complex. First, your attorney will file a “complaint” with the court and serve the defendant – your doctor – with a copy of the complaint. This will start a back-and-forth of court filings to refine the claims and advance the case. Next, you will get to the “discovery” stage where both sides can hold depositions and collect evidence to support their claim or defense. If the case advances to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court and present evidence and testimony to the jury. This evidence will include the testimony from your medical expert.
At the end of the case, the jury decides the case, not the judge. This prevents the judge’s outside information from previous cases from tainting the decision and helps ensure that the decision is neutral and fair.
Ultimately, the doctor or their medical malpractice insurance company may offer a settlement instead of fighting the case in court. Talk to a lawyer before accepting any money for your case to ensure it is fair and covers your needs.
Call Our Arlington, Texas Hydrocephalus Malpractice Victim Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If your child’s doctor failed to diagnose them with congenital hydrocephalus or acquired hydrocephalus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the increased healthcare needs, increased injury, and other effects of the delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose. For a free legal consultation on your case, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington, Texas medical malpractice lawyers for failure to diagnose hydrocephalus offer free case consultations to help you understand your claim and how much it might be worth. Call us today at (817) 719-8082.