Horner’s syndrome can result from trauma to the head, neck, or shoulders during childbirth. This trauma may occur because the attending physician is negligent or uses an inappropriate assistive method to speed up birth.
If your baby developed Horner’s syndrome because of a birth injury, you may have grounds to pursue your doctor for medical malpractice damages. At Newsome | Melton, our Horner’s syndrome birth injury lawyers help those whose children suffered injuries hold doctors, healthcare providers, and facilities accountable.
We want to put our resources to work for you. We offer a free consultation, and our attorneys do not collect a fee until you recover damages. To speak with a member of our team, call 888-526-8947 today.
How a Doctor’s Negligence Can Lead to Horner’s Syndrome
A common risk factor for Horner’s syndrome is trauma to the neck and shoulders during the delivery process. If a doctor is negligent during childbirth, it may cause an injury that is overwise avoidable.
When birth trauma affects a baby’s head, neck, or shoulders, damage may result to the nerve pathways where signals travel from the brain to the side of the face. This causes the facial muscles, including the eyes, not to receive brain signals telling them to move. This can cause several symptoms, many of them permanent:
- Small pupils
- Different sized pupils in each eye
- Delayed dilation of pupils in dim light
- Eyelid droop
- Eyelid elevation
- Sunken eyes
- Little to no sweating on one side of the face
If your child’s Horner’s syndrome arose because of a birth injury, your doctor may be responsible. Causes of birth trauma to the head, shoulders, or neck include:
- Shoulders stuck in the birth canal after the head is delivered
- Use of birth assistance devices, such as forceps or a vacuum
- Rough handling of the neck or shoulders during delivery
- A large baby and/or small birth canal (in cases such as these, we may establish that the doctor was negligent by not ordering a C-section)
Proving Liability for a Birth Injury That Caused Horner’s Syndrome
A medical malpractice claim must prove four things:
- Your doctor owed you and your child a duty of care;
- Your doctor was negligent;
- Your child suffered a birth injury because of your doctor’s negligence;
- You incurred damages because of your child’s injury.
Duty of Care
We first must demonstrate that your doctor owed you and your child a duty of care. This extends to the doctor’s entire staff, including nurses, physician assistants, and lab technicians. Accordingly, if we can show that you had a doctor-patient relationship, we can demonstrate the doctor’s duty of care.
Failure to Uphold Duty
We next must show that the doctor or other healthcare professional failed to uphold the duty of care. To illustrate that the doctor was negligent, we compare the doctor’s actions to those of another reasonable healthcare professional in the same situation.
We can bring in medical expert witnesses, such as another doctor with experience in childbirth. Our expert witness can review the evidence and testify about the standard of care under the circumstances with which the doctor was faced.
Once we have established a clear failure to follow a standard of care, we must link that failure to a birth injury and connect the injury to your child’s diagnosis of Horner’s syndrome. We may do this using many types of evidence, including your child’s medical records, lab test results, and statements from other physicians your child has seen.
Economic or Non-Economic Damages
The final step is to list the economic and non-economic damages your family has suffered because of your child’s condition.
The Newsome | Melton team wants to make sure you recover fair compensation for your child’s birth injury. Damages you may be eligible to collect include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future costs of care
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Emotional distress
Statute of Limitations
To preserve your right to recover medical malpractice damages from your doctor or another healthcare professional, you should act quickly. Depending on your state, you may have only a short time before the statute of limitations expires.
A Horner’s syndrome birth injury lawyer can explain the rules of your state and help you ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. Get a free case evaluation by calling 888-526-8947.