Houston Birth Injury Lawyer: Birth Asphyxia & Brain Damage Cases
As Houston birth injury lawyers, we know that there are few things more painful than learning that your baby may have received a brain injury during pregnancy or the birthing process. Babies who have suffered brain damage are likely to require lifelong care. Depending on their condition, they may need extensive medical support, physical therapy, home care, and many other additional resources to ever have a chance at reaching their full potential.
Unfortunately, many of these services are extremely expensive. For these (and many other) reasons, if you suspect that something went wrong before, during, or directly after the birth of your child that could have been avoided with proper medical care, it may be wise to seek legal counsel and to investigate the potential for a claim.
Mithoff Law has over four decades of experience handling birth injury cases involving brain damage. We are here to make sure your child’s best interests are fully represented and to hold any responsible parties accountable. Take a moment to learn more about the legal processes surrounding babies with brain damage, and call us to explore your options.
What to do if your child received brain damage due to negligence or malpractice
In the chaos and confusion of adjusting your life to supporting a child diagnosed with brain damage, it can be overwhelming to have to address your concerns about the quality of care that you and your baby received. Here, we’ve outlined a few initial steps parents can take to find representation and initiate an investigation.
Note: For clarification of negligence and malpractice, please see our article on The Difference Between Negligence and Medical Malpractice.
1. Contact a Houston birth injury lawyer
If you believe that negligence or malpractice may have factored into your baby’s brain damage, one of the best things you can do for your case is to hire a reputable Houston birth injury lawyer. When selecting your representation, look for a personal injury law firm that demonstrates the following:
Experience: Look for a Houston birth injury lawyer with a strong record of success in this specific area of the law. Ideally, your lawyer will have additional experience specifically as a Houston brain injury lawyer. Note that these lawyers may advertise simply as a “catastrophic injury lawyer” or “medical malpractice attorney” without having the specific experience your case may require.
Access to expert witnesses: Expert witnesses are subject-matter experts that can testify in court about matters that fall in their field of expertise. For example, your Houston birth injury lawyer may request a neurologist or obstetrician to testify about your child’s medical condition or best practices in the birthing process.
An established and positive reputation: Although Mithoff Law strives to relieve their clients of as much of the burden of litigation as possible, the bottom line is that legal processes are rarely easy or brief. It is much better to navigate a settlement or trial with a seasoned legal team you know you can trust from the outset.
Mithoff Law has decades of experience representing Texas families in birth injury cases. Over the years, we have earned a reputation as one of Houston’s most renowned personal injury law firms. The firm has also built a strong network of subject-matter experts who specialize in brain damage and trauma.
We have won many birth brain damage cases, including one landmark case involving claims against a hospital and hospital personnel for negligence during a child’s birth. The doctor in charge of the birth did not respond to an urgent summons during delivery and the baby suffered severe brain damage from lack of oxygen.
Mithoff Law negotiated a settlement for the family prior to trial, including a lump sum payment of $4 million and periodic monthly payments of $7,000 for the life of the injured child, guaranteed for at least 20 years. At the time of the settlement, the value of the future periodic payments was estimated at up to $115 million.
2. Organize your documentation
When possible, begin to collect documentation relevant to your pregnancy and birth. This type of documentation can include:
– Records of previous doctor’s visits
– Medical images related to the pregnancy
– Paperwork regarding the birth, especially paperwork regarding your child’s brain injury
– Notes or images that document symptoms
– Names and contact information of relevant medical personnel
3. Learn as much as you can about your baby’s condition
One of the best things that you can do for your case and for you and your baby’s health is to learn more about their condition. On top of everything else, parents with a baby diagnosed with brain damage are often inundated with a slew of new information, including different types of conditions. We’ve outlined several of these below.
Anoxia/Hypoxia: Both birth anoxia and birth hypoxia are symptoms of birth asphyxia that contribute to brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen. The terms are frequently used interchangeably but have different medical meanings. Anoxia is the absence of oxygen supply to organ tissue, while hypoxia is decreased or reduced oxygen supply to organ tissue. Anoxia and hypoxia can both occur despite adequate blood flow.
Birth asphyxia: Birth asphyxia (also called perinatal asphyxia) occurs when a baby stops breathing during birth. Birth asphyxia can be caused by a long or difficult delivery (especially those in which the baby spends an extended amount of time in the birth canal), issues with the umbilical cord, infection, problems with how the placenta separated from the womb, a lack of oxygen in a mother’s bloodstream, and problems with the anatomy of a baby’s airway.
Cerebral palsy (CP): Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects a child’s ability to control their muscles. There are four main different types of cerebral palsy which vary in severity and symptoms. CP is caused by brain damage to the developing brain, more frequently before or during birth. It can be caused by a lack of oxygen, infection, or physical trauma to the brain. A child may not show symptoms of CP for several months after birth.
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is an umbrella term used to describe neonatal brain injuries caused by either lack of oxygen or blood in the brain. HIEs are considered a type of neonatal encephalopathy.
Neonatal encephalopathy: Neonatal encephalopathy is another umbrella term used to describe neurological issues in newborns. Its scope is not limited to brain injuries caused by a lack of oxygen; it also includes brain injuries caused by infection, hemorrhages, stroke, etc.
Some babies with brain damage may not have a specific condition, but may still suffer from side effects of brain damage, including mental retardation, developmental delay, motor impairment, and other issues with muscle function.
Contact the Houston birth injury lawyers at Mithoff Law
If you are seeking the help of a birth brain injury lawyer, Mithoff law can provide you and your family with the representation they need during this difficult time. Our intentionally small and streamlined firm will work hard on behalf of your child’s future and give your case the focus and attention it deserves.
If your child was diagnosed with a pediatric anoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy, or another type of HIE, put your case in the hands of nationally-recognized birth injury lawyers. Contact Mithoff Law by calling 713-654-1122 today.