Michigan Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a form of neonatal brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth. It is considered a birth injury.Terms that may be used as synonyms for HIE include birth asphyxia, neonatal encephalopathy, intrapartum asphyxia, and perinatal asphyxia, although each has a slightly different meaning.

In some cases, babies with very mild HIE that are promptly treated do not experience any lasting consequences. However, HIE can lead to permanent health conditions and disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP), intellectual impairments, epilepsy, and more.

HIE is often the result of negligent actions by medical professionals. If this is the case, and there is permanent brain damage, the child may be eligible for compensation through a birth injury lawsuit. This is a very specific subset of medical malpractice law, so it is best to hire an attorney who focuses specifically on birth injury cases.

If you have any questions while reading this page, feel free to reach out to our firm.

How is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy related to medical malpractice?

There are a number of medical mistakes that can lead to a diagnosis of HIE. These include the following, among others:

For more information on the causes of HIE, and how this birth injury may stem from medical malpractice, click here.

What is therapeutic hypothermia?

After a baby sustains a hypoxic-ischemic injury, they may be eligible for a treatment called therapeutic hypothermia. This treatment can minimize, or in some cases even prevent, permanent brain damage from HIE. However, it  must be administered as soon as possible after the injury, which usually means within hours of birth. Failure to provide therapeutic hypothermia to an eligible baby with HIE, or to recommend transfer to a medical facility that can provide it, is negligence. If this negligence causes harm, it constitutes medical malpractice, and families may choose to pursue a birth injury lawsuit.

Your baby was diagnosed with HIE. What are your next steps as a parent?

After parents receive an HIE diagnosis, it can be helpful to speak to your child’s doctor about therapeutic hypothermia (if the oxygen-depriving incident occurred very recently), or about other treatment and therapy options if it is too late to provide therapeutic hypothermia. However, it is important to realize that it is not your responsibility to know what treatments are necessary: that is the job of your child’s doctors. They should discuss your child’s case with you and make recommendations so that you can provide informed permission for treatment. Failure to provide you with this information is negligence.

If the child has long-term impacts from HIE, parents should consider enrolling them in various therapies (such as occupational, speech, and physical therapy). The child may also benefit from medications, surgeries, assistive/adaptive technology, and educational early intervention programs. They may also need special education services.

If a parent is worried that they will be unable to afford the care and resources their child requires, they have some options, especially if the HIE resulted from a medical staff member’s mistake. This injury is commonly the result of medical malpractice, and the professionals who made the error must be held accountable for their actions, as such medical mistakes have profound and life-changing consequences for these babies. Parents can talk to a birth injury attorney in order to discuss their legal options.

When can you file a medical malpractice lawsuit for a baby with HIE?

There is a time limit regarding when a person can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice (called a statute of limitations, or SOL), and this can differ vastly from state to state. Feel free to contact us in order to determine if and/or when you can seek legal help for you child’s injuries.

Michigan lawyers helping babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

If you believe your child’s HIE was caused by the negligent actions of a medical professional or organization in Michigan, the attorneys at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) may be able to help. Although our firm is based in Bloomfield Hills (a suburb of Detroit), we advocate for children with HIE throughout the state of Michigan and in many other parts of the United States.

Michigan hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers: our staff

The Michigan HIE attorneys at ABC Law Centers focus on birth injury cases, and are very knowledgeable and experienced in this area of law. Our lawyers have over 130 years of combined experience, and serve as leaders of important legal organizations such as the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG), the Michigan Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). They work closely with in-house medico-legal consultants (certified nurses) in order to delve deep into cases and demonstrate instances of medical malpractice. Our attorneys also consult outside experts, such as doctors, forensic specialists, and life-care planning professionals.

Michigan hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers: our case results

Our Michigan attorneys frequently win multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for children with HIE and other birth injuries. This money helps to cover lifelong treatments, therapies, and other expenses such as assistive/adaptive technology and home and vehicle modifications to improve accessibility. It can also go towards paying caregivers, or helping parents afford to miss work in order to care for their own children. Learn more about our case results here, along with examples from specific cases.

Michigan hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers: our awards

Our attorneys have won a variety of prestigious awards, both in the state of Michigan and on a national level. Some of the Michigan awards include the following:

  • “Top 10 Attorneys in Michigan,” Super Lawyers Magazine: firm owner Jesse Reiter won this award in 2013.
  • “Leaders in the Law,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly: In 2012, Jesse Reiter was selected among 25 attorneys in the state to receive this award. In 2019, Rebecca Walsh was listed among 30 attorneys.
  • “Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit,” dBusiness Magazine: Jesse Reiter, Rebecca Walsh, and Euel Kinsey have all received this designation.

Some of the national awards include:

  • Recognition by Super Lawyers Magazine
  • Inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Best Law Firms in America,” by U.S. News & World Report. Jesse Reiter also received the 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” award for medical malpractice plaintiffs attorneys in Troy, Michigan.
  • “AV-Preeminent Rated,” Martindale-Hubbell: In 2019, Jesse Reiter and Anne Randall received this very prestigious designation. Additionally, Rebecca Walsh received the “AV-Distinguished” rating.

These are just a few examples of the awards and honors we have. For more information, please click here.

Michigan hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers: our client testimonials

Although we greatly value our awards, we may value our client testimonials even more highly, because these reflect exactly how we have helped our clients. Here’s one recent testimonial:

“Words can’t explain how close and how important the team at ABC Law Centers have become over the 13 years we have known each other. I recommend anyone who is seeking legal guidance regarding any malpractice issues to ABC Law Centers. I don’t want to sound like a promo, because I am not in any way being compensated for my review because these are nothing but facts. I went straight to their office in 2005 after my daughter was discharged out of NICU with nothing but questions, and they have been there ever since. It was an emotional roller-coaster, but I couldn’t have asked for a better team.” – Amber M.

Want to read more about what our clients have to say, and watch testimonial videos? Click here!

Michigan hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers: our community involvement

In addition to our legal work, we try to stay involved in our community. Specifically, we focus on helping children with birth injuries and other types of disabilities. Here are a few examples:

    • The Reiter HIE Research Fund: Jesse Reiter established this fund to support the research of Dr. John Barks, a University of Michigan professor and researcher who is working to develop new treatments for newborns with HIE. You can learn more about the fund, and how to contribute, by clicking the link above.

To learn more about how we give back, please click here!

Legal help from our Michigan HIE attorneys

If you believe your child’s injuries were the result of medical malpractice, we encourage you to reach out to the team at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.). We are birth injury attorneys first and foremost – we focus exclusively on birth injuries, unlike other large firms that deal with vastly different practice areas like auto accidents, pharmaceutical side effects, or adult surgical malpractice. Our focus of birth injury and track record of results make us uniquely equipped to help you with the details of your Michigan birth injury case. We have worked with numerous families whose children have been impacted by HIE. 

Do you have a case?

We never charge out any out-of-pocket fees – we only get paid if we make a recovery for you. We’re available 24/7 for a free consultation.

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