Florida Brain Damage Birth Injury Attorneys
Although birth injuries have been steadily decreasing in the past few decades, adverse events during labor and delivery still injure one out of every 500 babies born in the U.S. Some of these injuries are minor, such as bruising or scratching the scalp, while others, such as those that involve nerve damage or oxygen deprivation, can cause lifelong problems.
Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia or asphyxia) during labor and delivery is especially worrisome, since it can result in damage to the baby’s brain that can affect her physical, social and cognitive development and abilities. Fortunately, with good health care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, these problems can usually be avoided. However, if doctors and other health care providers are not observant and careful, your baby could suffer a brain injury during the birth process that could have lifelong consequences.
If you think your child suffered brain damage during the birthing process caused by negligent health care, you may be able to hold the negligent physician and/or other health care providers liable for negligence and the damages it caused. With a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially obtain substantial compensation for your child’s medical expenses, care, pain, suffering and other damages resulting from the birth injury.
The Paul Knopf Bigger Florida medical malpractice attorneys are committed to obtaining justice for victims of preventable birth injuries. We have decades of experience in all types of Florida medical malpractice cases and have achieved multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for many families whom we have had the privilege of representing. Let us put our experience and expertise to work for you so we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Causes Brain Damage in a Fetus or Newborn Infant?
A child’s brain can be damaged during pregnancy, during the birth process or in the neonatal period. Problems during pregnancy that can result in brain damage include:
maternal drug or alcohol abuse, heart disease, problems with blood flow to the placenta, preeclampsia and maternal diabetes.
Problems during labor and delivery that can result in oxygen deprivation and brain damage include: umbilical cord problems, placental abruption, breech birth, prolonged labor and very low maternal blood pressure.
Problems after birth that can result in neonatal brain damage include: extreme prematurity, trauma to the head or brain, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, serious lung or heart disease and serious infections.
Sadly, many of the problems that cause brain damage in newborns could have been avoided with good health care and effective treatment. When health care providers do not provide good care and treatment during pregnancy, the birth process and the neonatal period, they may be liable for medical negligence. Examples of medical negligence that can result in brain damage include:
- Inadequate monitoring of the pregnancy
- Negligent fetal monitoring
- Failure to recognize abnormal positioning of the fetus (such as a breech birth)
- Failure to recognize and remedy umbilical cord problems, such as a prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord
- Failure to perform a timely C-section
- Impulsive vacuum extraction
- Failure to recognize and treat perinatal hypoxia
When medical negligence leads to brain damage in a newborn, it can have devastating effects. Besides a prolonged hospital stay, unanticipated medical expenses and worries concerning their child’s future, parents experience deep pain knowing the injury could have been prevented. If their child dies because of the injury, this pain can be all-consuming.
How Does a Brain Damage Injury Affect Newborns and Children?
When complications during labor, delivery and the neonatal period lead to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) and brain damage, symptoms may be immediately apparent or they may become noticeable later as an infant develops. Symptoms that may occur in the neonatal period include:
- Weak cry
- Organ dysfunction (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and blood)
- Poor eating
- Low muscle tone
- Decreased consciousness
As the baby develops, severe, permanent disabilities may become apparent, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Delays in growth and development
- Cognitive impairment
- Behavioral disorders
Throughout early childhood, disabilities may become even more evident. Children who suffered brain injuries during the birth process or neonatal period are often later diagnosed with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and problems with cognitive functions. They may require ongoing care and therapies throughout their lives.
Can Parents Sue If Their Child Suffered Brain Damage Due to Medical Malpractice?
If your child exhibits symptoms of brain damage that could have been caused by medical negligence, you should consult with an experienced Florida brain damage malpractice attorney to discuss how you can hold the negligent party or parties accountable and get compensated for the damages you and your child have suffered.
Florida medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, so involving a skilled attorney in the case as soon as you suspect medical negligence is in your best interest. Working with an experienced brain damage malpractice attorney will ensure your claim demonstrates the four elements of a valid Florida medical malpractice claim:
- Duty – The negligent doctor or other healthcare providers had a duty to you to provide the same quality of care another reasonably prudent practitioner of the same specialty would have provided in similar circumstances.
- Breach – The health care provider(s) fell short of or breached the expected standard of care.
- Cause – The healthcare providers’ negligence in breaching their duty caused harm to your child.
- Damages – The harm your child suffered because of the medical negligence resulted in damages to you and your child. These damages can be economic and non-economic.
If you can prove these elements, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for damages recoverable under Florida law.
How Can Victims of Brain Damage due to Medical Malpractice Get Compensated for Their Injuries?
If your child has suffered brain damage due to medical negligence, Florida law entitles you and your child to recover economic and non-economic compensatory damages for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical expenses – including past, current and future expenses
- Rehabilitation, therapy and care costs
- Diminished earning capacity
- Other damages that are specific to your circumstances and recoverable under Florida law
Proving that the doctor’s or other healthcare providers’ negligence led to your child’s injury and damages is a complicated legal process involving a complete understanding of all the facts, top quality expert testimony, skill as a trial lawyer and experience with medical malpractice cases. The dedicated team of attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger has a proven record of success with birth injury medical malpractice cases and will put our tenacity, skill and knowledge to work pursuing justice and winning the substantial compensation you and your child deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Florida Birth Injury Brain Damage Malpractice Cases?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from the date the medical negligence occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The latest date allowed for discovering malpractice and pursuing a claim is four years from the date the medical negligence occurred. However, in cases involving children, you have up until their eighth birthday to initiate litigation, as long as you would not have been expected to have known about the injury and the possibility of medical negligence earlier.
Proven, Trusted Florida Brain Damage Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have the experience, skill and resources you can trust to win your child’s case. Other attorneys throughout Florida and the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims because of our track record of success and reputation for attention to detail and experience in all facets of medical malpractice.
If your child suffered brain damage due to medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the outstanding legal representation, individual attention and substantial compensation you deserve. Let’s discuss what happened to your child and the best legal action soon.
Contact us at 800-673-9585 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website, and one of our experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys will listen to what happened and advise you on your best course of action at no cost to you.