In the medical field, it is not uncommon to see doctors commit errors of some kind. Generally, adults are able to identify pain and determine that the doctor made a mistake somewhere, but it is impossible for infants to do this. Therefore, if there is an injury that occurs to an infant during birth, it can be completely up to the attending doctor or to the parents to identify the problem. One such issue is a neonatal subgaleal hematoma, which can be extremely dangerous for your child. In the event that a delivery went askew, your child might have been afflicted with this condition. It is important that you seek appropriate legal action from one of our medical malpractice lawyers in Los Angeles at the Downtown LA Law Group.
Subgaleal Hematoma Information
A hematoma is a gathering of blood below the skin. A subgaleal hematoma happens when blood pools on the outside of a baby’s skull between the protective membranes. These injuries happen very rarely, in between 0.04% of vaginal deliveries and 0.59% of assisted deliveries (often with vacuums or forceps).
The subgaleal hematoma can sap the newborn of vital blood that it needs to survive. Internal blood loss can result in many complications, some of which may carry over for months or years. Nearly 25% of infants who are found to have a subgaleal hematoma end up dying from the affliction.
Causes of a subgaleal hematoma primarily include trauma-related forces. This generally happens when the infant is forcibly removed from the mother during pregnancy by use of forceps, vacuums, and more. The pressure from these objects can cause damage to the head and force the hematoma to pop up. It is more likely for a subgaleal hematoma to occur in premature births or when the labor is very long, both of which often prompt assisted deliveries. Cephalopelvic disproportion (different pelvis size in women) and macrosomia can also contribute to the problem.
To identify a subgaleal hematoma, you should look for any stress signals like a diminished tone or respiratory distress. Monitoring can also show tachycardia, decreasing blood pressure, head swelling, and more. Doctors and nurses alike should pay careful attention to the monitors in the immediate time after birth to ensure that the baby is healthy.
It is crucial to identify and treat a neonatal subgaleal hematoma in a timely manner. If the infant is not promptly treated, he or she can suffer the following complications:
- Developmental disabilities and cognitive disabilities
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Periventricular leukomalacia
To learn more about these conditions, contact a doctor. If you feel that your doctor has directly injured your infant during delivery, get in touch with our subgaleal hematoma lawyers today.
Liability of a Doctor or Hospital
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to show that the the doctor was negligent in some way. Medical malpractice claims are slightly different than personal injury claims in the method used to prove negligence and liability. There are still four points, but they are as follows:
- There was a doctor/patient relationship established between you and the attending
- The doctor made an error that other medical professionals would not have made in the same scenario under the same conditions
- The error resulted in an accident of some kind, namely the subgaleal hematoma
- The effects of the subgaleal hematoma were actual and had an effect
Many insurance companies try to sneak around the question of liability by declaring that the incident did not have an effect. For example, if a medical item were left in the body for years but was never discovered, and it was also never linked to any issues, the opposing side could argue that there were no injuries caused by the error. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys will ensure that your subgaleal hematoma lawsuit hits no such snags.
How to Sue for a Neonatal Subgaleal Hematoma
In order to file a lawsuit against a hospital or a doctor for your child’s neonatal subgaleal hematoma, you must have sufficient evidence on your side. This evidence can be gathered from the time you were at the hospital and beyond. You should be sure to do the following:
Keep all receipts, treatment notes, prescriptions, and more from the hospital stay, and ensure that your child is properly attended to. Further, do not delay going to the doctor if you feel something is wrong with your infant. If you delay, you risk your child’s health.
Take pictures of the damages if you can, or videos if available. Physical proof of the damage will be crucial to your case.
If there were any eyewitnesses, family members, nurses, or other individuals who saw the hematoma or signs of it and can provide their testimony, add them to your case. Their input and perspectives will give your claim much more weight.
Be sure to take down the insurance information and other details about the doctor who delivered your baby, the nurses who were present, and more so that you can hold the correct individual accountable.
Once you have gathered the evidence you need, you should reach out to a skilled lawyer with experience in subgaleal hematoma lawsuits. If you try to go forward with your claim by yourself, you may not get anywhere and it may stall. The insurance agents from the hospital will do everything they can to throw your claim out or delay it, or prove that there were no faults. We will handle your case for you and hire expert witnesses and other doctors who can testify that your infant was hurt and the hospital should be held accountable. We will let you tend to the care of your baby while we handle the legal process.
Compensation from a Subgaleal Hematoma Malpractice Lawsuit
If your child were delivered and suffered a subgaleal hematoma, you will be able to receive various forms of compensation if the cause of the hematoma were the doctor’s or nurse’s errors. We believe that all parents should be fairly compensated if a doctor makes an error while delivering a child, and no one should walk away from such an incident without bearing their share of responsibility.
We will aim to secure you the following forms of restitution:
- Medical expenses for yourself and for the damages your child suffered, including surgery, additional hospitalization, medication, and more
- Loss of income if you were unable to return to work or if you could not work in the future because of appointments and treatments
- Pain and suffering damages to account for emotional anxiety, PTSD, fear, mental trauma, and more
In California, pain and suffering damages are capped out at $250,000. You cannot earn more than that amount for your medical malpractice or pregnancy malpractice lawsuit. However, medical expenses have no ceiling.
Additional, you could sue for wrongful death expenses if your child passes away as a result of the hematoma. Wrongful death expenses can cover the costs of the funeral service, the burial plot, the casket or cremation, pre-death pain and suffering, pre-death medical bills, and much more. Speak with a subgaleal hematoma lawyer to learn what the value of your case truly is and what the best way to go about it is so you earn the maximum amount for your damages.
Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is either 1 year from the discovery of the injury or 3 years from the injury itself. The statute of limitations allows you ample time to come up with evidence so you can file a claim, but if you fail to sue within that time period, you will not be able to collect any compensation for your damages.
It is highly recommended that you speak with a medical malpractice lawyer who can tell you when all of the important deadlines are or who can file your claim for you. He will be able to ensure that you do not miss an important date. Many victims fail to get any restitution because the statute of limitations expires before they submit any lawsuit.
How We Help
The Downtown LA Law Group is known for being one of the most successful law groups in Los Angeles. We have a long history of success and our attorneys are highly rated. Our clients have enjoyed millions of dollars in recovery and we know the best tactics to secure every penny you deserve. We are aggressive and will stop at nothing to negotiate a fair deal from the hospital.
Call us today to set up a free legal consultation with a medical malpractice attorney. We will walk you through the case, tell you how much we think the value of it is, what you can expect, and more. We’ll gladly answer all your questions, as well. If you hire us, we’ll also give you our zero fee guarantee. This means that you will pay no fees, win or lose, for our case. We will have our expenses covered by taking them from a portion of the settlement we bring you if we win, if we lose, we get paid nothing whatsoever and we eat the costs we spent on the claim.
To get help from a neonatal subgaleal hematoma lawyer, contact the Downtown LA Law Group.