Minneapolis HIE Lawyers
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a newborn brain injury much like cerebral palsy. If the baby’s brain is oxygen deprived, even for a few minutes, serious complications could arise, immediately in the future. These complications include cognitive disabilities, sensory impairments, and epilepsy. Such conditions have a multiplying effect. For example, if Steven has a mild cognitive impairment, he falls further and further behind in school the further he goes.
Pre-labor or labor medical negligence usually causes HIE. Doctors have a duty to closely monitor mothers with diabetes, preeclampsia, and other high-risk conditions. During the delivery itself, issues often arise with the umbilical cord. If the baby does not slide down the mother’s birth canal, the cord could wrap itself around the baby’s neck.
The experienced Minneapolis HIE lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman have successfully handled birth injury cases for decades. Over the years, we have developed proven methods that allow us to quickly evaluate your case and collect evidence to support your claims. Once the case goes to court, our professional team knows what it takes to obtain maximum compensation for families and hold negligent doctors responsible for their actions.
Duty of Care
Doctors have complete control of all medical treatment decisions throughout the entire PLDR (prenatal, labor, delivery, and recovery) process. Since they have so much power, and patients usually have no voice in the process, doctors have a very high duty of care.
This duty of care is a fiduciary duty. That’s the highest level of legal responsibility in Minnesota law. Usually, a duty of reasonable care, like most drivers have, requires people to balance competing priorities in such a way that protects other people from intentional harm. A fiduciary duty is different. Doctors must ignore all other priorities, such as making money and spending time with their families, and entirely focus on what is best for their patients.
Because of this high duty of care, there is usually no such thing as a medical “accident.” Instead, moth PLDR errors are medical negligence. Any lapse in care is usually a breach of the standard of care.
As a result, a Minneapolis HIE lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation in these cases. These families need this compensation so they can carry on with their lives without depending on the government or anyone else for needed financial help. The lifetime cost of a childhood brain injury usually exceeds $5 million.
These families also deserve compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, since the birth injury was not their fault.
Additional punitive damages are usually available in medical malpractice cases, usually because of the higher duty of care. These damages are available if the victim/plaintiff proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the tortfeasor (negligent actor) intentionally disregarded a known risk. A punitive damages cap might apply in some situations.
Resolving a Medical Malpractice Case
Almost all birth injury cases settle out of court. Such resolutions end cases more quickly, thus limiting the additional emotional strain these matters often involve. Additionally, such resolutions give victim/plaintiffs more control over the outcome. That’s usually a welcome change from the aforementioned lack of control they experienced previously.
Informal settlement negotiations often begin almost immediately. If the legal and financial issues in the case are crystal clear, these informal negotiations often bear fruit.
More frequently, however, the case settles later, during mediation. Basically, mediation is a court-supervised negotiation session. Each party has a legal duty to negotiate in good faith. So, the hospital, insurance company, or other defendant cannot take a hard-line “take it or leave it” approach. Instead, both sides must be willing to make some compromises, if that’s what it takes to resolve the matter.
Contact a Dedicated Hennepin County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced HIE lawyer in Minneapolis, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman LLC by going online or calling 410-567-0800. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.