Any brain damage suffered at birth often comes with many life-long challenges for both the injured baby and their family. These challenges can be physical, emotional, financial, and mental.
If your newborn suffered an infant brain injury in Michigan due to a medical professional’s negligence, you and your child deserve compensation.
A compassionate lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help. By investigating the circumstances surrounding an injury, a knowledgeable attorney could be a crucial ally for each step of the claims process.
- Common causes of brain damage during childbirth
- Infant brain damage lawsuit settlement example
- Notice requirements to file a lawsuit in Michigan
Common Symptoms of Infant Brain Injury
There are many common symptoms of an infant brain injury. These include:
- Infant’s head fails to expand causing increased pressure on the brain;
- Sporadic, uncontrolled body movements;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Excessive crying and fussiness;
- Baby will not sleep lying down;
- Refusal to eat or drink;
- Developmental delays;
- Cerebral Palsy.
Many symptoms appear immediately after birth, while others are identified as the child gets older.
Causes of Brain Damage During Childbirth
Without oxygen, an infant’s brain function may cease altogether.
In order for a fetus to receive proper oxygenation, the umbilical cord must not be compressed or twisted, and the placental must remain intact and functioning properly on the uterine wall.
In many instances, the umbilical cord or the placenta are compromised, leading to a lack of oxygen to the fetus.
If this lack of oxygen is short-lived, the baby usually does not have any residual effects. However, the longer the period without or with little oxygen, the greater the chances that infant brain damage will occur. Additional causes include:
- Head injury from a fall after an abrupt vaginal delivery
- The profound developmental delay from inadequate hydration of a dehydrated newborn
- Maternal infection present during the pregnancy or delivery
- Placental abruption or uterine rupture prior to birth
- Maternal high blood pressure during the pregnancy (preeclampsia)
- Improper administration or dosage of epidural or labor-inducing drugs during the delivery
- Failure to timely perform an emergency C-section
- Hypoxic and anoxic injuries
- Severe jaundice
Filing an Infant Brain Damage Lawsuit
Doctors and other labor and delivery staff receive special education and training to recognize situations in which brain damage might result. This includes when there is fetal distress and other situations that require prompt medical action.
When the medical staff does not recognize a problem or treat it properly, they may be negligent afor the resulting injuries and damages that arise from their mistakes.
A detail-oriented lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. will gather evidence to determine if you have the basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your child was the victim of medical negligence, we will sue the hospital and doctor responsible for your child’s brain injury.
Infant Brain Damage Settlement Example
A birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against a hospital. The case alleged that a doctor and nurse were negligent in assessing an expectant mother.
Indications showed an an early delivery was necessary, but a timely C-section was not performed. As a result, the baby suffered hypoxic ischemic encepholapthy.
It caused brain damage and a seizure disorder. The child has permanent mental impairments due to the malpractice.
The hospital paid a $2.5 million dollar settlement in the case.
Notice Requirements to File Suit in Michigan
Each lawsuit based on malpractice for an infant brain injury in Michigan begins with a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI). This is a legal requirement to help unburden the court system and encourage cases to settle outside of courts.
A NOI must be in writing and given in to the defendant(s) a minimum of 182 days before the lawsuit is actually filed.
When the NOI is served, the two-year statute of limitations pauses for 182 days.
It is also important for potential plaintiffs to note that if the NOI is not in compliance with all statutory requirements, the 182-day pause is void and if the claim violates the statute of limitations it could be dismissed.
Affidavit of Merit
As per Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.2169, any malpractice suit requires that a qualified healthcare professional sign an affidavit of merit.
A qualified healthcare professional is defined by the law as someone who is licensed and practicing or teaching in the same specialty as the defendant.
If the defendant has any board certifications, the qualified healthcare professional must have them as well. The affidavit of merit must submit a signed document establishing:
- The standard of care pertaining to the case
- That the defendant breached the standard of care
- What the defendant could have done differently to avoid the breach
- How the breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries
Hire a Lawyer to Pursue a Claim for a Michigan Infant Brain Injury
If your newborn suffered a infant brain injury in Michigan because of a medical professional’s careless or reckless behavior, it is important to understand your legal rights and options during this difficult time.
A top-rated lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help by answering your questions, gathering the necessary documentation, and demanding full and fair compensation for your losses.
To schedule a consultation, reach out to an experienced attorney today to schedule a consultation.
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