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Arnold Chiari Malformation

Baltimore Attorneys Helping Families Seek Compensation for Birth Injuries

Healthy brain development is essential for an infant’s overall health. Sadly, however, complications shortly before or after an infant’s birth can cause them to develop brain abnormalities known as Arnold Chiari malformations. Arnold Chiari malformations can cause debilitating symptoms that drastically reduce a child’s quality of life, and in many instances, they are caused by medical errors and oversights. If your child was diagnosed with an Arnold Chiari malformation, it may be the result of an injury at birth, and you should speak with an attorney regarding your options. The assertive Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group understand the devastation caused by an infant’s preventable harm, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue a favorable result.

Potential Causes of Arnold Chiari Malformation

An Arnold Chiari malformation is a condition in which the tissue of the brain spreads into the spinal canal. Generally, Arnold Chiari malformations arise when an infant’s skull is smaller than usual or misshapen, which causes pressure on the brain, forcing it downward. There are multiple types of Arnold Chiari malformations, and the symptoms associated with each type range in severity from very mild to fatal. Factors that can bring about Arnold Chiari malformations in an infant include hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain, brain tumors, hematomas, and trauma during birth. Regardless of the cause of an Arnold Chiari malformation, a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are critical to a good outcome.

Pursuing Damages Following an Arnold Chiari Malformation Diagnosis

Although some Arnold Chiari malformations are unavoidable, others are caused by mistakes made by medical professionals before, during, or after an infant’s birth. If a doctor’s errors caused a child to develop health issues, the parents may be able to pursue a birth injury lawsuit against the doctor. Generally, the plaintiff in a birth injury case will allege that the defendant was negligent. Under Maryland law, negligence in the context of medical care is made up of four elements, and the plaintiff must prove each element to demonstrate fault.

The first element, duty, is an obligation imposed on the defendant to provide medical care that meets the applicable standard, which is the treatment that a competent professional in the same practice area would offer under the same circumstances. The second element is a breach of the duty owed. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions or failure to act constitute a deviation from the standard of care. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to hire a medical expert to testify regarding the standard that applies and the way in which the defendant failed to abide by the standard. The third and fourth elements, damages and causation, are linked, as the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that they sustained actual losses and that the losses would not have occurred absent the defendant’s breach. Usually, linking the defendant’s acts to the plaintiff’s harm and showing the extent of the plaintiff’s losses requires expert testimony as well.

A plaintiff that establishes a defendant’s fault in a birth injury case may be awarded damages for the cost of any medical care the child needs or will need in the future. If the child will not be able to work, they may be granted compensation for their loss of income as well. Additionally, the parents may be able to recover damages for their emotional distress, and the child may be owed compensation for their pain and suffering.

Speak to a Dedicated Baltimore Attorney

Multiple factors, including medical malpractice, can bring about Arnold Chiari malformations, and doctors that negligently cause children to suffer birth injuries should be held accountable. If your child sustained harm at birth, it is advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and aid you in pursuing the full extent of damages recoverable under the law. We regularly represent families in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a confidential conference.