Neonatal Encephalopathy

New Mexico Neonatal Encephalopathy Attorneys

Call If Your Child Suffers from Neonatal Encephalopathy

Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) is a severe neurological condition that affects newborns, often leading to long-term cognitive and physical impairments. This devastating birth injury can arise due to various medical issues during pregnancy or childbirth, with many of those instances being the direct result of medical malpractice. When a medical mistake leads to a child’s NE diagnosis, it’s only right for the parents to take legal action to seek not only compensation for the immense medical costs and emotional distress but also justice for the preventable harm inflicted upon their child.

Located in Albuquerque and serving clients across New Mexico, James Wood Law is widely recognized for our outstanding work in complex medical malpractice cases, including those involving neonatal encephalopathy. Recognizing the urgency and sensitivity of such birth injury cases, our firm is committed to being available 24/7 for our clients, so you can rest a little easier knowing that help is never far away. We offer free case consultations, which can be conveniently scheduled in the comfort of your home or even in a hospital room, whichever location is best for you. Our dedicated team strives to provide compassionate, comprehensive legal support, guiding families through these challenging times and fighting tirelessly for the justice they deserve.

Talk to our New Mexico NE lawyers today by dialing (505) 906-6774.

What is Neonatal Encephalopathy?

Neonatal encephalopathy is a disorder characterized by abnormal neurological function in the first few days of life in an infant born at or beyond 35 weeks of gestation. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including birth asphyxia, maternal health issues, or complications during delivery, all of which may be related to or worsened by medical malpractice. NE often manifests as difficulties with respiration and feeding, decreased level of consciousness, and seizures.

Short-term symptoms of neonatal encephalopathy may include:

  • Seizures
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Low or high muscle tone
  • Breathing problems
  • Lethargy or decreased alertness

Long-term symptoms and complications may include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Motor disabilities such as cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Vision and hearing problems

Causes of Neonatal Encephalopathy

Neonatal Encephalopathy (NE) can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which are linked to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Many instances of NE are directly associated with medical malpractice, which may justify a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit filed against the medical provider and/or institution.

Medical malpractice can lead to NE in several ways, including:

  • Inadequate response to fetal distress: One of the most common causes of NE is the mishandling of fetal distress or birth asphyxia, which is a condition where the baby doesn't receive enough oxygen before, during, or just after birth. Timely and appropriate medical intervention is crucial in these situations. However, if healthcare providers fail to detect or adequately respond to signs of fetal distress, it can result in prolonged oxygen deprivation, leading to brain damage and NE.
  • Unsafe use of medical equipment: Improper use of delivery tools like forceps or vacuum extractors can cause physical trauma to the infant's head, resulting in NE.
  • Poor infection care: Maternal infections that are not properly managed can contribute to the development of NE.
  • Delayed C-section: A failure to perform a necessary cesarean section in a timely manner, especially in cases where there are clear indications of fetal distress, can also lead to NE due to oxygen deprivation.

Damages in Neonatal Encephalopathy Cases

In a neonatal encephalopathy case, several types of damages may be available to compensate the affected families, such as:

  • Medical expenses: Medical costs pursued through an NE claim could include past, current, and future medical costs related to the child's condition. All sorts of care, such as NICU care, surgeries, and ongoing therapies can be sought by the parents.
  • Pain and suffering: The physical pain and emotional distress experienced by the child and their family can be calculated as non-economic damages.
  • Life care costs: The costs associated with long-term care, such as home modifications, assistive devices, and ongoing therapy or rehabilitation, which could conceivably span the child’s entire life, can be pursued through an NE claim.
  • Punitive damages: In cases where the healthcare provider's negligence was egregious, punitive damages may be awarded as a way to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are rare, though, so they might not be available in your child’s NE case.

Calculating these damages requires a thorough understanding of both the legal and medical aspects of the case. Our New Mexico neonatal encephalopathy attorneys can work closely with medical experts, economists, life care planners, and other professionals to accurately assess the full extent of the damages owed to you and your child. We consider the immediate medical expenses as well as the long-term costs of care, the severity of the child's condition, the impact on their quality of life, and the emotional toll on the family. Our goal is to ensure that the compensation reflects the true cost of the harm caused by the medical malpractice, providing the financial resources needed for the child's ongoing care and support.

Filing a NE Lawsuit with Our Help

James Wood Law is dedicated to handling every aspect of a neonatal encephalopathy claim or lawsuit on behalf of our clients, allowing them to focus their attention on the care and well-being of their child. We understand the emotional and physical toll that NE can take on families, and we strive to alleviate some of that burden by navigating the legal process for them. Our team of experienced attorneys and support staff are well-versed in medical malpractice law and are committed to fighting for the justice and compensation our clients deserve.

We can help with all parts of your case and the surrounding legal processes, such as: 

  • Case evaluation: The first step is often a free case evaluation, which we can conduct in your home or hospital room if that is the most convenient for you. During this process, we can see if you have a valid birth injury claim to file for your child’s NE.
  • Claim preparation: Once we’ve determined that you have a valid claim and that we’re the right fit for the case, we can start to prepare it. This process includes drafting a detailed complaint (demand letter) that outlines the specifics of the malpractice and the damages you’re seeking and sending it to the liable party or parties.
  • Filing the lawsuit: If the demand letter is not answered with a fair settlement offer, we can file a claim against the responsible party or parties. We know the statutes of limitations that might apply to your case, so we can always file a claim before one expires and stops your case from going further.
  • Discovery and negotiation: Both sides of the case will exchange evidence during the discovery phase. We can attempt to negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers to reach a fair settlement, which may benefit everyone involved.
  • Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial. We have the experience, resources, and insight needed to confidently present your case before a judge or jury, using all available evidence to argue for the maximum compensation possible.

The New Mexico statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including neonatal encephalopathy claims, is generally three years from the date of the malpractice. Any lawsuit against a healthcare provider must be filed within three years from the date when the alleged act of malpractice occurred, or when the malpractice reasonably should have been discovered. Statutes of limitations can vary, so it is always recommended that you talk to our legal professionals if you have any questions or concerns about statutes that could apply to your case.

Rely On Our Legal Experience – Call Now

At James Wood Law, we have earned a strong reputation among clients, peers, and medical experts for our dedicated and effective handling of complex injury claims in New Mexico, including birth injury and NE cases. We are recognized for our meticulous attention to detail, our relentless pursuit of justice, and our deep commitment to the families we serve. We understand that there’s no “good time” to talk about something as serious and life-changing as your child’s NE diagnosis, which is why we are available 24/7. Whenever you want to talk to us about what happened, we will be here to listen. With James Wood Law by your side, you can focus on what truly matters: the well-being and happiness of your child.

Call (505) 906-6774 and ask for a FREE case review at any time.

  • American Association for Justice - President's Club
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers | James F. Wood
  • National Board of Legal Specialty Certification
  • Trial Lawyers College of Thunderhead Ranch
  • Board Certified Civil Law Trial Specialist
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating

Why We Should Be Your First Choice

  • Multiple Verdicts and Settlements Obtained of $1 Million or More
  • Tried More Than 50 Cases to a Jury & Settled More Than 150 Cases
  • Board Certified Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®

Let's Get Started Together on Your Case

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.