Hydrocephalus, which literally means “water in the brain” is a medical condition—usually developed during infancy—in which a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain occurs. This causes swelling within the ventricles and leads to increased pressure on the brain. Acquired hydrocephalus in newborns and infants most often occurs as a result of external trauma during the birthing process, such as improper use of forceps or vacuum.
If you believe that your child has fallen victim to hydrocephalus due to medical malpractice, do not hesitate to consult a birth injury lawyer. Read on to learn what qualifies as delivery malpractice and what to expect from the legal process.
How Do I Know Whether My Child Has Hydrocephalus?
Many of the common symptoms of hydrocephalus will be visible, but this is not always the case:
- Unusually large head size
- Rapidly increasing head circumference
- Prominent scalp veins
- Bulges or soft spots on the forehead
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to have them checked out by a medical professional. In most cases doctors can quickly diagnose potential hydrocephalus but, as it is not always immediately noticeable, you may see symptoms well after your child is discharged. While there is no cure for hydrocephalus, it is quite treatable if it is diagnosed quickly.
In severe cases of hydrocephalus, in addition to physical abnormalities there may be neurological complications as well, including future dementia and other forms of brain damage due to the pressure of increased cerebrospinal fluid. When medical negligence has led to your child’s injuries, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Delivery Malpractice Case Involving Hydrocephalus?
In order to prove your eligibility for a medical malpractice case, you must first determine if your situation meets a few general criteria for malpractice.
- Duty of care. The medical professional(s) you are considering suing was responsible for your care.
- Violation of standard of care. The healthcare provider violated practices that the general medical community would consider standard.
- Injuries. That negligence or error resulted in injury.
- Damages. The injury has resulted in negative financial, emotional, or similar consequences.
When hydrocephalus is caused by medical error, there are usually some medical errors that factor into your child’s injuries:
- Failure to perform a C-section
- Misuse of delivery tools, including vacuum and forceps
- Failure to properly diagnose a prenatal infection
- Traumatic delivery of any kind
Why You Need a Hydrocephalus Birth Injury Lawyer
Pursuing a birth injury medical malpractice claim on your own is tough. Hydrocephalus claims, like other birth injury claims, are complicated, and they are not quickly or easily resolved. The litigation process is complex, with many moving parts that require thorough investigation, access to resources, and a profound knowledge of both medicine and the law.
- A preliminary investigation. Your attorney will collect information—including medical records and bills and researching applicable federal and state laws—in order to build your birth injury case.
- The demand letter. The next step involves contacting the doctor and their lawyers, or insurance company, with a demand letter. This notice presents why the medical provider is responsible for your injury as well as how much compensation will be needed as a result.
- Filing a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, the court will send it to all defendants and applicable parties, and the defendants will have a window in which they are expected to respond.
- The discovery phase. The most time-consuming, yet important, part of the case—the exchanging of information between you and the defendant—is the discovery period. Your malpractice lawyer will continue to gather information and evidence to support your medical malpractice claim. The discovery stage will also include taking depositions (questioning parties under oath) and interviewing expert witnesses to support your case.
- Negotiating a settlement. Because of the high costs and time necessary for taking a catastrophic birth injury case to trial, most lawsuits are settled before reaching the courtroom. If the case is settled, a settlement agreement completes the litigation process. If the case does go to trial, the facts are argued in front of a judge and possibly a jury, and they will decide the outcome.
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, is backed by over four decades of collective experience and a dedicated team of legal professionals and medical expert witnesses. We have recovered over $3 billion on behalf of our clients, including some of our most significant verdicts and settlements:
- $33.5 million verdict for a delayed C-section
- $24.25 million verdict for failure to diagnose an airway obstruction during birth
- $18.1 million verdict for mismanaged labor and delivery
- $18 million settlement for medication error
- $17.5 million settlement for mismanaged delivery
While past results do not guarantee future outcomes, they represent our level of commitment and determination, which we bring to each and every case we accept. If the defendant decides to settle, we negotiate for you with aggressive insurance companies, who are trying to pay the least possible amount for your claim. If the defendant chooses not to settle, we will support you through the trial phase of your case.
In cases of catastrophic injury, the stakes are high, and you need skilled representation from a resourceful and experienced law firm that will work to recover maximum compensation for your harms and losses.
Why Should You Choose Janet, Janet & Suggs?
Janet, Janet & Suggs has over 40 years of experience with medical malpractice lawsuits. Our legal and medical team supports clients through the complex process of a malpractice case.
We have successfully recovered hundreds of millions in record-breaking birth injury settlements and verdicts. This track record of successful outcomes demonstrates our commitment to working for justice and fair compensation. JJS fights for victims of brain damage caused by preventable birth injuries, and there are no fees until your case is won. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and learn about your rights.
Trish Fletcher, MS, BSN, CRNP, NNP-BC, ALNC
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner | Birth Injury Legal Nurse Consultant
Tricia is a dedicated, focused, Birth Injury Legal Nurse Consultant and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with more than 25 years of experience. Her strong clinical and critical thinking skills, paired with expertise caring for neonates in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), ensures meticulous medical records review. READ FULL BIO