If you believe that your baby’s intracranial bleeding was due to medical malpractice, learn what types of injuries legally qualify as medical malpractice and what to expect from the process of filing a claim.
What Is Intracranial Bleeding?
Intracranial bleeding is a serious, life-threatening emergency that refers to acute bleeding inside a baby’s skull or brain. Most cases of intracranial bleeding are the result of a head injury, so if your child experienced head trauma of any kind during birth, it is important to carefully monitor the situation for signs of brain damage and seek immediate medical help if your baby displays symptoms of internal bleeding.
These injuries are also known as brain bleeds or intracranial hemorrhaging, and they can cause brain damage, spinal damage, and other complications. Some of the most common types of brain bleed birth injuries include:
- Cerebral hemorrhage: This is bleeding in the brain caused by a stroke.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This is bleeding that occurs between the two innermost membranes covering the brain.
- Intraventricular hemorrhage: This happens when there is bleeding into the ventricular system, where spinal fluid is produced.
- Subdural hemorrhage or subdural hematoma: This is bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel between the surface of the brain and the layer of tissue separating the brain from the skull.
Intracranial bleeding can be caused by negligent medical professionals who have been negligent in their care:
- Failing to recognize an infection, such as Group B Streptococcus
- Using mechanical devices carelessly to aid in childbirth, such as traction or compression
- Failing to recognize cephalopelvic disproportion, where the infant’s head is too big to move through the mother’s pelvis
- Failing to recognize and treat birth asphyxia
The symptoms of intracranial hemorrhages vary depending on the type of injury, but there are a number of signs that something is seriously wrong:
- Feeding difficulties
- Bulging fontanelle/soft spot
- Shallow or strained breathing
- Abnormal tone
- Altered level of consciousness
- Neonatal seizures
While intracranial bleeding is becoming more recognized as a serious childbirth complication, as recently as 2018 researchers still reported that incidents are likely far more common than are diagnosed. Depending on the type of injury, intracranial bleeding can even be deadly. When there is a chance that your baby’s injuries may have gone unnoticed while they were still treatable, speaking with a lawyer is a step toward finding out the truth and seeking compensation in the case of medical malpractice.
What Do You Need to Prove a Malpractice Case Involving Intracranial Bleeding?
In order to prove that you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, your situation must meet the following basic criteria for general malpractice:
- Duty of care. The medical professionals you are considering suing were responsible for your or your loved one’s care.
- Violation of standard of care. The healthcare provider violated processes or procedures 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.
Malpractice claims generally fall into three categories:
- Failure to Diagnose. When a doctor fails to diagnose an existing medical condition or assigns a diagnosis for a medical condition the patient actually does not have
- Negligent Treatment. When the doctor made a mistake that a reasonably competent doctor would not have made.
- Failure to Warn. When medical professionals fail to warn the patient of known risks, such as through informed consent.
How Are Intracranial Bleeding Malpractice Lawsuits Resolved?
The first step in working toward resolution of any medical malpractice case is to contact an experienced malpractice law firm. Any case involving malpractice is going to be complex, and lengthy, and it can add stress on top of your injury. Having an experienced legal and medical team on your side will ensure that a difficult process doesn’t become harder than it has to be.
Depending on your situation, the statute of limitations—the time you have to file a suit—can be short. It’s important to reach out for a consultation as soon as possible so you can get all the facts you need to make your decision. If your injury occurred when you were a child, and you are now an adult, you may have a right to file a claim in your state. As soon as you suspect a problem, contact an attorney, who can help you better understand time limitations.
If your case is determined to be eligible for a claim, your malpractice lawyers will work to get you justice and compensation, whether that is a settlement or a trial judgment in your favor. Settlement amounts vary, taking into account the following factors:
- Doctor and hospital bills—past, current, and future
- Lost income—past, current, and future
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Quality of life concerns
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, Is Here to Help
If you or a loved one have had intracranial bleeding caused by or worsened by medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. Janet, Janet & Suggs has over 40 years of experience with medical malpractice lawsuits. We provide expert witnesses and attorneys, including our in-house medical staff, to support clients through the complex process of intracranial bleeding medical malpractice cases.
Our nationally recognized track record of successful verdicts demonstrates our commitment to working for justice and fair compensation. We fight for victims of medical malpractice, and there are no fees until we win your case. Contact us for a free 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