The first weeks of parenthood should be full of joy, not fear. However, a parent's dream of a healthy newborn can turn into a nightmare if their child develops severe jaundice. Although jaundice is a common condition with readily available treatments, negligent medical care can lead to severe complications. If your child suffered injuries due to a doctor's failure to diagnose or treat your child's jaundice properly, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Read on to learn more about complications from jaundice and what you may be entitled to recover. 

Common Complications from Jaundice

Jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes caused by bilirubin buildup, is a common ailment suffered by newborn babies. Though most cases are mild, serious complications can arise when jaundice is more severe or left untreated. Common medical issues resulting from jaundice include:

  • Kernicterus. This devastating condition occurs when high bilirubin levels damage a newborn's brain. Symptoms include lethargy, poor feeding, high-pitched crying, and seizures, while long-term effects can include cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.
  • Acute Bilirubin Encephalopathy (ABE). This temporary brain dysfunction arises when increased levels of bilirubin affect brain cells. Signs include lethargy, poor feeding, and high-pitched crying. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent permanent damage.
  • Developmental delays. Studies suggest that even moderate levels of jaundice in newborns may cause developmental delays later in life. Such delays later manifest in a child's speech and motor skills.
  • Hearing loss. High bilirubin levels damage the delicate structures in the inner ear and increase the risk of permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss significantly impacts a child's ability to communicate with others, among other developmental delays.
  • Skin and eye problems. The yellowing of skin and eyes is the most common symptom of jaundice. However, prolonged or severe cases of jaundice also cause xanthomas, or yellowish bumps under the skin, and cataracts or clouding of the eyes.

Early detection and treatment of jaundice are crucial to minimize the risk of complications. New Jersey jaundice lawyers carefully review medical records and uncover whether your doctor or other medical professionals were negligent in their care. 

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice? 

If your child suffered complications from jaundice, succeeding on a medical malpractice claim requires establishing the four elements of negligence:

  • Duty.  Every medical professional must uphold a standard of care toward their patients, including diagnosing medical conditions and providing effective treatments. 
  • Breach. The doctor or medical professional must have deviated from this standard of care in your child's treatment. You can show a breach occurred through a missed or delayed diagnosis, improper treatment protocols, or a failure to order necessary tests to monitor a medical condition.
  • Causation. There must be a direct link between the doctor's breach and your child's injuries. Experienced New Jersey jaundice attorneys carefully analyze medical records and other facts to successfully prove the doctor's actions or inaction caused the harm.
  • Damages. The victim must have suffered damages from the doctor or medical professional's breach. Damages include medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

Proving medical malpractice is challenging without a New Jersey jaundice attorney. Improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome by retaining an attorney to help gather evidence, navigate the legal system, and fight for the compensation you and your child deserve.

What Damages Can I Recover? 

Victims of negligence in New Jersey are entitled to recover compensatory damages through economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages aim to replace the tangible financial losses from medical malpractice, including: 

  • Medical expenses, 
  • Lost wages, 
  • Loss of future earnings, and 
  • Medical equipment costs. 

Tangible evidence assists New Jersey jaundice lawyers in calculating the value of your economic losses, so it's vital to keep all documentation related to your child's injuries. 

Noneconomic damages address intangible losses related to your child's injuries. These commonly include:

  • Pain and suffering, 
  • Loss of emotional distress, 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • Permanent disability or injury.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim seeks accountability for a medical professional's negligent conduct but also secures the financial resources you and your family need. A New Jersey jaundice lawyer can help obtain the best possible outcome in your case to ensure the best possible care for your child moving forward. 

Contact Us 

At O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our practice is built on securing justice for our clients. We understand that choosing an attorney is one of the most important decisions of your life. When you choose us, you benefit from decades of legal experience and an impeccable reputation in the community. We have recovered hundreds of millions in judgments and settlements for our clients when they need it most. We handle various cases, from car accidents to employment law to medical malpractice, and are ready to help. We represent victims of negligence because we believe everyone deserves a voice.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble can help you.

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