Shaken baby syndrome or SBS, is a severe and life-threatening condition. It faces the most vulnerable people in our society. So abuse is, of course, a culprit in this situation. Further, it could result in Abusive Head Trauma or AHT. This is a type of Inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury. (“ITBI”). This type of injury remains preventable. But once afflicted, immediate action needs must follow to protect the life of babies.
Here, the undeveloped brain gets violently shaken inside the skull cavity. So it can tear the child’s blood vessels that nurture the mind. Once the blood and fluid build up in the brain, it severe pressure may lead to brain damage. Warning signs include bloody retinas or eye damage. Get the infant to a doctor. Most of all, contact an attorney immediately.
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Physical abuse is a terrible crime, especially to infants. Abuse is the top cause of catastrophic head injuries leading to SBS. Shaking a child can cause this easily while throwing a child or hard impacts can also lead to it.
Whiplash can lead to severe issues, including bleeding of the brain and fluid in the cranium. While there may not be obvious clues, often there are warning signs to look for.
As stated by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, these can include:
- Bruises about the head, arms, neck and chest
- Respiratory problems like difficulty breathing
- Problems lowering and raising the head
- Inability to track movement with the eyes
- Different sized pupils from left to right
- A normally happy child no longer smiles
- Throwing up food out of the blue
- Welts or bumps on the head
- Swollen forehead or head
- Problems with speech
- Less lean muscles
- Convulsive attacks
- Inability to eat
In many serious SBS cases, the severe neurological disorder could be a result, perhaps leading to death. A child can pass out and never recover from the event, leading to nervous system collapse. There is only one way to be sure– contacting a doctor that will help you through this tough time.
If the case of SBS is particularly severe, it could be a Traumatic Brain Injury. This could cause serious injury or permanent disabilities.
Some of the effects of TBI are:
- Major or even minor learning disabilities
- Incorrect or biased motor function
- Problems with receptive language
- Problems with memory cognition
- Permanent speech issues
- Inability to perceive
Because the child’s brain and the neurological network is still growing, this is among the most severe issues that can be faced. Erratic emotions, lack of physical control over the muscles and limbs are all possibilities that go hand in hand with a permanent disability.
The National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome statistics shows that 1,400 infants are given medical care for SBS each year. Unfortunately, about 25 or 30% of these infants pass away from the complications of SBS. Those that survive often face severe and life-altering injuries that can stay with them for decades if not longer.
When a responsible adult suspects that a child is a victim of shaking or throwing, they must first bring the child to the doctor or emergency room. If this is proven to be the case, you must consult an attorney to determine the next step of recovery.
Education is the primary way to prevent SBS. Some adults are awful and hurt children. With SBS being not entirely preventable, dealing with this severe issue is necessary. Not hitting children for crying or shaking children inadvertently is vital.
Preventing child abuse is something that every responsible citizen, can do to make the world a better and more loving place. Educating new parents is key to reinforcing prevention.
Mentoring new families by identifying the emotional triggers and methods of working through them can certainly mitigate, or diminish the potential risk factors entirely. The end game is prevention.
Infants that suffered a shaking incident experience future issues related to it– and so will have their family. If the child was hurt by a family member, a nanny, babysitter, or daycare worker insurance may be at play. If there is coverage, it can help offset the costs of medical issues, rehab, and full-time care could bankrupt a family. Either way, subrogation may apply. So a great lawyer is essential to navigate these matters.
A criminal case that involves a shaken baby is much different that a civil case. But in civil court, negligence is the focus of the issues, not whether a crime can be proven. So showing injury was intended for the baby is not needed to show a civil lawsuit. Instead, a family injury attorney must prove the person handling the baby failed to use reasonable care.
Since proving a criminal case requires a unanimous verdict, the accused may escape a criminal conviction. But this does not mean we as your civil attorneys cannot still prove your case. If we can show a jury in a civil case that the person responsible was careless, unintentionally injured the baby, or did not handle the child reasonably.
When dealing with a lower level of evidence, it becomes easier to prove the responsible party should pay for the damage. So this makes the job a bit easier in showing they carried out the assault. In any event, our specialized attorneys at the Ehline Law Firm can tackle the issue in court.
So that way we can hold the responsible party financially liable in court. In any event, our attorneys don’t give up. As a matter of fact, our resolve means getting you what you deserve.
Obviously, an attorney with experience in cases like this can make a big difference. Of course, this remains especially when dealing with these issues. In fact, often it remains a deciding factor. The fighters at the Ehline Law Firm stand ready to assist the victims of such an assault and their families.
As a matter of fact, we know the steps in the civil law process, the criminal courts, and how to convince a jury or even settle out of court. So we organize evidence, consult with medical and other professionals, and front the costs. In fact, we don’t charge you a dime unless we win for you. In any event, we can testify on your and your infant’s behalf.
Because we use our wealth of knowledge to help get this dark time, we are experts. Call us today for a free consultation.