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Head trauma is damage to the brain, skull, or scalp caused by injury, and it can happen at birth. It’s also referred to as a head injury. Head trauma can be a closed injury, meaning that the damage does not penetrate the brain tissue or break the skull. However, swelling or bruising may still occur in the brain. Head trauma could also be an open injury, where the injury penetrates the skull and causes problems like bleeding, the pressing of bones against structures in the brain, or a skull fracture.
In birth, a baby may endure brain damage or head trauma when its head gets stuck in the birth canal and the doctor uses too much force or forceps to pull it out. It could also happen because of asphyxiation or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), where the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Asphyxiation occurs when the mother is sick, when the baby’s head gets stuck in the birth canal, or when there are complications with the placenta or umbilical cord.
Symptoms of Brain Damage/Head Trauma
Symptoms may be noticeable right away, or it could take time to determine the full extent of the damage. Early on, a baby may have a large forehead, a small skull or head, neck stiffness, abnormal eye movement, a malformed spine, or distorted facial features. In terms of behavior, there may be excessive crying, trouble eating or sleeping, fussiness, and seizures.
Later on, parents may notice that their baby has sensitivity to light and trouble sleeping. They could have extreme fatigue, paralysis in certain areas of the body, tremors, and muscle spasms. And developmentally, they may lag when it comes to sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking. As they grow, they could have trouble learning tasks like tying their shoes and getting dressed, as well as other motor milestones they are supposed to learn by a certain age. They could struggle with focusing and concentrating, and they may act out and have a lack of impulse control.
One common type of brain damage injury that could occur during birth is cerebral palsy. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include struggling with fine motor skills, difficulty swallowing, abnormal limb movements, trouble speaking, poor coordination, growth delays, drooling, seizures, scissoring legs, and learning disabilities.
Treating Head Trauma/Brain Damage
Treatment for head trauma/brain damage depends on how mild or severe the baby’s injury ends up being. They might need immediate treatment and be fully cured, or they could require treatment for the rest of their life.
If a baby has bleeding on the brain or a skull fracture, then they may have to undergo surgery. A baby might have to go through hypothermia treatment, where their body temperature is lowered for about 72 hours in an attempt to reverse or prevent brain damage.
As a baby gets older, physical therapy like flexibility exercises and strength training may be necessary. They might have to go on medication for their physical or mental symptoms, taking anti-seizure pills for seizures or Adderall if they ADHD, for instance. They could do speech and language therapy if they need help talking or learning new vocabulary, or occupational therapy if they have trouble doing everything activities like brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and eating without help.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Head Trauma/Brain Damage?
If your baby has head trauma or brain damage, you may suspect that it occurred at birth. Maybe your doctor used forceps or some other instrument to pull out your baby, or you were told that your baby lost oxygen during birth. But how do you know if it was a fluke or medical malpractice?
Really, there’s no way to know unless you call an experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer who has dealt with head trauma/brain damage cases in the past.
As a busy parent, you don’t have the time or energy to argue with your doctor’s office. At the same time, you want justice to be served. You deserve compensation for all your baby’s medical bills and other expenses you’ve had to pay because of the head trauma or brain damage. On top of everything else, your family has suffered emotionally and you don’t know where to turn. It’s best to leave this up to a professional medical malpractice lawyer who can determine if negligence or a mistake caused your baby’s injury.
How Much Will I Receive From a Head Trauma/Brain Damage Birth Injury Settlement?
If it’s determined that medical malpractice did occur, then the doctor or other healthcare professionals who delivered your baby would need to compensate you.
You may be able to recover damages for things like:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
There’s no way to determine if you will win damages or how much you’ll win, but your medical malpractice lawyer will work hard to get you what you deserve.
Settlement Offers in a Head Trauma/Brain Damage Case
You might be worried about having to go to court in order to get a proper settlement. The truth is that the defendant, whether it’s the doctor, nurse, hospital, or insurance company would rather pay you a settlement than drag out the case in court. Court is timely and costly and, if you have a strong case, they could end up having to pay you much more than if they had settled.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant that will cover your damages. If your lawyer comes back with a settlement that is not suitable to you, they could always renegotiate with the defendant to get you more money.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
You and your family went through a traumatic experience. Now, all you want to do is ensure your baby is happy and healthy and that you can cover your medical bills and lost wages. If it applies, you also want to make sure that your family has money to provide your baby with long-term care.
A birth injury lawyer will do the work for you by collecting your medical records and any other information you gathered about your case as well as contacting and negotiating with the defendant. They will advocate for you and fight for the compensation that is owed to you.
Head Trauma/Brain Damage Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby suffered from head trauma/brain damage and you suspect the injury was caused by malpractice, then you need to get in touch with a birth injury attorney today. They will be able to guide you on what steps to take next, as well as fight for you so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Need help now? Then contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.