Brain injuries can be mild or severe. They may result in cognitive impairments, developmental delays, or seizures. While some brain injuries may be detected soon after birth, others may take time to become evident. A child with an undiagnosed brain injury may miss milestones or struggle in various ways. A baby’s brain injury can result from many different things, including oxygen loss, physical trauma, untreated jaundice, or a perinatal infection. If your baby sustained a brain injury, and you suspect that it was caused by medical malpractice during pregnancy or labor and delivery, you should discuss what happened with the Upstate New York brain injury lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent people in the areas around Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany.Brain Injuries to Babies
There are many different kinds of brain injuries that babies might sustain because of medical malpractice during pregnancy or labor and delivery. Cerebral palsy is the most common. Other brain injuries include intracranial hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Often, intracranial hemorrhages or brain bleeds result from traumatic brain injuries caused by prolonged labor or the misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors. However, sometimes brain injuries result from a mother’s untreated infection with chorioamnionitis, herpes simplex virus, E.coli, Group B strep, or staph traveling to the baby. A health care provider should treat a maternal infection that is detected, and they should also treat a newborn’s infection to avoid permanent brain damage. Another potential source of brain injuries is an umbilical cord complication, such as a true knot, prolapse, or vasa previa. The umbilical cord allows oxygen-rich blood to flow from the mother to the baby, and if a doctor fails to handle a problem with the cord properly, the baby could be cut off from oxygen. Placental abruption can also substantially decrease the oxygen-rich blood traveling to the baby. If there is a mild placental abruption, your doctor might treat it with medication to assist with fetal lung development, but if it is a severe placental abruption, an immediate delivery might be needed.
If your baby suffered a preventable brain injury caused by your doctor or nurse’s mistake, a brain injury attorney in Upstate New York can help you bring a birth injury case. It is important to find out from an expert whether your doctor’s conduct fell within the professional standard of care.Liability
To recover damages for brain injuries, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed the baby and you a professional duty of care, there was a deviation from the professional standard of care, the deviation caused your child’s brain injuries, and you suffered actual damages.
In New York, the professional standard of care owed by your obstetrician-gynecologist or other provider depends on the accepted medical practices of other reasonably prudent providers in the same specialty and same geographical region when confronted with similar circumstances. For instance, if reasonably prudent obstetrician-gynecologists in Upstate New York would have performed an emergency C-section due to fetal distress, but your obstetrician-gynecologist did not, and your baby suffered a brain injury, this likely was a breach of the professional standard of care.
Our Upstate New York brain injury attorneys will need to consult an expert even before filing a birth injury lawsuit, and we will need to file a certificate of merit with your complaint.Damages
It may be possible to recover compensatory damages if your baby’s brain injury was a result of malpractice. Compensatory damages are damages that are meant to put you back in the position in which you would have been had there been no malpractice. The nature and amount of the damages will hinge on what your baby’s particular brain injury is and how much medical care is needed to treat it.
Economic losses may include medical bills, rehabilitation, therapy, around-the-clock care, and out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic losses may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. If your baby’s brain injury resulted in death, it may be possible to recover pecuniary losses through a wrongful death lawsuit.Consult a Birth Injury Attorney
When brain injuries are serious, the consequences can be tremendous. Your family may feel devastated by the costs and other losses. If your baby suffered brain injuries, you should contact the brain injury lawyers at the Upstate New York firm of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.