Brain Injury at Birth
Brain injury at birth is among the most heartbreaking and complex cases we handle at East Coast Trial Lawyers. When avoidable birth injuries occur due to a doctor’s negligence, parents may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor to recover the costs associated with the child’s resulting medical issue. Our Virginia Beach brain injury lawyers are dedicated to helping families recover compensation to provide their children with the medical care they need.
Causes of Brain Injuries at Birth
Generally, there are two types of accidents that can cause brain injury at birth. One is intracranial hemorrhage, which is caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the skull. The other is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is caused by a deprivation of oxygen. These types of birth injuries may occur when the baby:
- Gets stuck in the birth canal
- Becomes tangled in the umbilical cord
- Has a blocked airway due to mucous or a defect in the trachea
- Suffers blunt force trauma from birthing tools, such as forceps or vacuums
Symptoms of Infant Brain Damage
Some symptoms of brain damage may be apparent immediately after birth, including an abnormally large forehead, distorted facial features, pale color, and difficulty focusing the eyes. The baby may also cry excessively, lack normal reflexes, and have trouble feeding or sleeping.
Other signs of brain damage do not surface until the child progresses in their development. As the child gets older, they may have difficulty processing information and communicating. The child may also display physical symptoms of brain damage, such as delayed or lack of ability to perform certain behaviors, such as crawling, walking, sitting up, getting dressed, and holding objects firmly in their hands.
Disabilities Stemming from Brain Injury at Birth
Children who suffer brain injuries at birth may experience lifelong disabilities that require various forms of treatment. Some of the most common consequences of infant brain damage include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive and communicative disabilities
- Emotional and behavioral issues
- Sensory impairments
Sometimes, brain damage can be reversed when the child is still an infant, however other cases involve children with permanent disabilities that require ongoing medical care. Depending on the type and extent of brain damage, treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
To prove medical malpractice, plaintiffs must show that:
- They had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor who caused their injuries, therefore the doctor owed them a duty of care
- The doctor failed to uphold the applicable standard of care; the type of care that would have been provided by a prudent, similarly trained medical professional in that medical community
- They suffered a compensable injury as a result of the doctor’s negligence
Generally, medical professionals who harm patients due to their failure to competently perform their duties may be held liable in medical malpractice lawsuits. The laws on medical malpractice vary by state, therefore it is advisable to contact a qualified Virginia brain injury lawyer to discuss your case.
Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act
Birth injury cases can be difficult to prove, especially for Virginia plaintiffs. The Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act applies to cases in which an infant’s brain or spinal cord was injured due to oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury in the process of birth. It prohibits patients from filing medical malpractice claims against the health care providers who delivered those babies and instead grants them benefits provided by a fund established under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program.
Our Virginia Beach Brain Injury Lawyers Help Parents Obtain Compensation for Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence
If your child was injured at birth, contact a Virginia Beach brain injury lawyer right away. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we can help you receive the maximum damages to which you are entitled. Conveniently located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we represent clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 757-352-2237.