After a baby is born, it will typically spend most of its first few days sleeping. Babies need a lot of rest, and could be described as generally “lethargic,” but many newborns suffer from conditions and disorders that make these symptoms worse, potentially leading to slow or sluggish reactions and movements that indicate deeper problems.
Sometimes, birth complications and birth injuries cause lethargy and other symptoms in newborns. In many of these cases, you may be able to hold the doctor accountable for mistakes or errors they committed that caused your baby avoidable health complications. For a free legal consultation and more information about these kinds of medical malpractice claims, contact our Miami attorney for lethargy from birth injuries and complications. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA to set up a free legal consultation today at (305) 694-2676.
Causes of Lethargy in Newborns
Extreme lethargy in a newborn is usually characterized by an apparent lack of energy. While babies are often sleepy in their first few weeks, they should still stir and have moments where they are animated and responsive to sounds and sights. If a baby just lays there, doesn’t respond to stimuli, and does not even appear to have the energy to feed, something deeper might be going on.
In many cases, these issues are caused by problems that the baby experienced after being born. This could involve physical discomfort, minor injuries, or illness. In other cases, the issues may stem from congenital health issues such as developmental disorders that affect their movement. Other injuries sustained during birth might also be responsible for this kind of lethargy.
Many birth injuries affect the child’s brain and future development, sometimes without obvious outward signs of injury. In some cases, a negligent doctor might accidentally injure your baby while delivering them, potentially resulting in brain injuries and future symptoms.
Some of these injuries are caused by negligent handling, potentially involving forceps injuries. Forceps are large clamps used to help pull a bay from the birth canal. These tools are not recommended in all cases, and when they are used, negligent use could result in serious injuries if the doctor squeezes the baby too hard. This could cause brain injury or nerve injuries resulting in sluggish or weak movement. Some brain injuries could result in cerebral palsy and other conditions that affect your child’s ongoing physical abilities and development.
Other injuries are caused by hypoxia. If the delivery is difficult, your baby may suffer from a lack of oxygen. This can come from being tangled in or strangled by the umbilical cord or from slow or drawn-out deliveries that cause a baby to begin to suffocate. In either case, the lack of oxygen being delivered to the baby’s brain could lead to brain injuries and future developmental disorders.
Suing Your Doctor for Infant Lethargy After Birth Injuries
If your doctor was responsible for the injuries that led to symptoms like lethargy, developmental issues, and lack of motor skills, the doctor can be held responsible through a medical malpractice lawsuit. These lawsuits seek to get the victim and their family compensation for the harms they suffered because of the doctor’s negligent healthcare.
Whom to Sue for Birth Injuries
First off, you must decide whom to file the lawsuit against. In most cases, you can sue your doctor directly for their mistakes. In many cases, you may also be able to sue the hospital. Many obstetricians are hospital employees who work directly for the hospital, which allows you to sue the hospital in its role as the doctor’s employer. In other cases, the obstetrician might be in private practice, which makes them part of a separate legal entity. This means you can only sue the hospital for any contributions it made to the injuries, such as if its nursing staff helped cause the injuries or complications.
Proving Fault for Birth Complications
When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that your doctor was at fault for the injuries. This means proving to a jury not only the issue that caused the injuries, but also that the doctor did something wrong to cause these symptoms.
A doctor cannot be held liable just because there was a bad outcome to their healthcare. Many complications are unforeseeable or unavoidable, even with immense skill and focus. However, if the doctor failed to use the proper care or skill to treat your baby, they should be held responsible for any harms that arise.
Damages in Birth Injury Lethargy Cases
When you sue for damages in a lawsuit, the compensation you are entitled to claim might be surprising. First, you can claim any damages for the medical care your child needs because of the injury or negligence. This can help cover physical therapy and occupational therapy costs as well as any screening or testing your child needs to determine what is wrong. Second, you can also claim any damages for the pain and suffering your child faces. This can be difficult to prove when your child cannot speak for themselves about how their condition affects them, but it is possible.
Lastly, you may be able to claim future damages as well. This can cover additional future medical care costs, future pain and suffering, and damages for future lost wages. If your child has a degenerative condition or a permanent disability from the birth injuries, it could affect their earning capacity as an adult, and you may be entitled to those damages now.
Call Our Miami Birth Injury and Lethargy Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If your baby suffers from lethargy or slow or weak movements after being born, they may suffer from medical complications or birth injuries that caused these conditions. If your doctor caused these injuries through negligence, our Miami attorney for lethargy caused by birth complications may be able to seek justice for you. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676 to set up a free legal consultation on your case.