The childbirth process requires close medical attention during all phases. Infants in the womb and those about to be born are incredibly fragile. The medical professionals who perform childbirth procedures must adhere to the highest standards of care for patients in labor and delivery at all times. Unfortunately, birth injuries occur when medical professionals fail to adhere to the appropriate standard of care for a patient’s condition. One of the most damaging types of birth injuries a baby can sustain is brain damage.
Infant brain damage can cause lifelong complications for the affected child and significantly diminish their development. This type of birth injury often requires long-term medical care for the affected child, placing substantial economic strain on their parents and family. If your family has experienced a birth injury resulting in infant brain damage, call our firm. It is vital to discuss your legal options for a medical malpractice claim with a San Diego birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Infant brain damage can lead to a host of medical complications, development delays, and an uncertain future for an affected child. Navigating any medical malpractice claim can be extraordinarily difficult, and the effects of a birth injury may not be immediately noticeable after the child’s birth. Some birth injuries are more obvious than others, and no two people have the same experience from brain damage. An experienced San Diego birth injury lawyer can help you to better understand your family’s situation and legal options for financial recovery.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers not only more than 20 years of practical experience in California civil law but also the experience of a licensed medical doctor. Kenneth M. Sigelman, J.D., M.D., provides clients with a unique approach to legal counsel. If your family has experienced a birth injury involving brain damage to an infant, this is an incredibly difficult time for your loved ones. Facing legal matters on top of these emotional challenges is an extraordinary burden. As your San Diego birth injury attorney, Attorney Sigelman can clarify your options for legal recovery and help you approach an infant brain damage claim with greater confidence and peace of mind.
How Do Infant Brain Damage Injuries Happen?
Infant brain damage can lead to a medical malpractice claim for birth injury if an attending medical professional failed to ensure an appropriate standard of care for the situation. Childbirth can be a complex and sometimes dangerous process for the mother and her child. The medical staff handling labor and delivery must use reasonable, professional care at all phases of care. Infant brain damage injuries most often occur due to a lack of oxygen to the infant’s brain during childbirth, but it can also occur from physical trauma and toxic exposure.
Even a brief interruption in an infant’s oxygen supply can cause an onset of brain damage with uncertain effects. Failure to properly monitor the mother’s or the baby’s vital signs, incorrect use of surgical equipment and medical tools, inattention, or gross negligence can all potentially lead to hypoxia or anoxia, which define partial or total oxygen deprivation, respectively.
Roughly four out of every 1,000 live births in the United States result in some type of oxygen deprivation to the infant in delivery. This may happen due to a physical problem with the umbilical cord or its arrangement in the womb, the baby becoming lodged in the birth canal, or low infant blood pressure. Cerebral palsy and a host of other medical complications are likely to appear after an infant brain damage injury of any kind.
California Statutes for Birth Injury Claims
A birth injury claim is a medical malpractice claim. California’s Code of Civil Procedure provides a three-year statute of limitations for any medical negligence claim involving a victim under the age of six full years old. Alternatively, parents have until the child’s eighth birthday to take legal action; the longer of these two options applies in a birth injury case. Some effects of a birth injury from infant brain damage may not manifest noticeably for months or even years. Some children recover almost completely if their attending medical staff are careful enough. Unfortunately, many children who sustain infant brain damage experience developmental delays, cognitive impairment, sensory disability, motor impairment, and other unpredictable symptoms.
It is essential to discuss your legal options with an experienced San Diego birth injury lawyer as soon as possible once you have positively identified a birth injury from infant brain damage. Your San Diego birth injury attorney can coordinate with expert witnesses in the medical field if necessary to ensure your child’s full prognosis is addressed in good faith during your legal proceedings.
California law almost always requires expert witness testimony from verified medical professionals in birth injury case determinations. Working with a San Diego birth injury lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to start building your case. While some of the effects of infant brain damage will likely take at least a few years to manifest, your legal team can consult with medical experts to determine the full range of care the injured child will likely need in the future.
Damages for Infant Brain Damage in California
Unfortunately, California state law limits the amount of noneconomic recovery a plaintiff can expect from an infant brain damage claim. All medical malpractice claims filed in California must acknowledge a cap of $250,000 for pain and suffering compensation in a birth injury claim. This amount compensates for the child’s diminished quality of life, physical pain, disfigurement, and other immeasurable effects of the birth injury. Many argue this limit is unfair, but plaintiffs will still likely have the ability to recover substantial compensatory damages for the medical expenses an infant brain damage injury can impose.
The plaintiff in an infant brain damage injury claim can also secure compensation for the child’s lost future earning capacity and the lifetime of disability they are likely to face. Ultimately, an infant brain damage injury is a devastating incident for any family, and the potential recovery from a successful medical malpractice claim could be substantial.
The legal team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates wants to provide you and your family with peace of mind during a difficult time. We believe in holding negligent medical professionals accountable for the damage they cause, especially when the victim is an infant facing a lifetime of disability. If you are ready to discuss your options for legal recourse after an infant brain damage injury, contact Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates today and schedule a free case evaluation with a compassionate San Diego birth injury attorney.