Ehline Law Firm PC – Shaken Baby Syndrome Attorneys For Greater Los Angeles
What is shaken baby syndrome, or SBS? SBS is a form of head trauma that is typically caused by abuse. It even has its own label, called Abusive Head Trauma, or AHT, which is a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury (ITBI). As will be discussed, it is totally preventable, and is also one of the most terrible forms of endangering, physical child abuse known to modern civilization. When these violent shaking take place, brain tissue can be impacted, damaged or destroyed. This is due to the fact the undeveloped brain violently rotates inside the skull cavity. This rough movement also tends to tear or rip the child’s blood vessels that nurture its little brain. Once blood and fluid build up inside the skull, the brain becomes like food in a pressure cooker, causing terrible brain damage. Damage to the eyes or bloody retinas are also a sure sign of shaken baby syndrome. If you think your tender little baby was victimized by an abuser, call our greater Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for a free case review.
- What are the primary causes of Shaken Baby Syndrome (“SBS”)?
- What are the primary symptoms of SBS?
- What are the permanent effect of SBS?
- What are the SBS Statistics?
- What do I do About it?
- How Do I Prevent SBS?
- Costs of Future Care?
- Civil or Criminal?
- Private Lawyer?
- Contact Help Now!
What are the Main Causes of SBS?
Physically abusing a small infant is by far the primary cause of serious and catastrophic head injuries leading to SBS. The act of shaking a child violently by its legs, arms or shoulders, is where this horrific syndrome derives its very name. (Read more.) However, tossing or throwing a child, and hard impacts, jolts and blows to its head can just as readily lead to SBS.
What are the Primary Symptoms of SBS?
The whiplash effect discussed above, tends to lead to bleeding of the brain and fluid build up in the cranium. Although sometimes there are clues that an infant may have been violently shaken, in less drastic situations, it may not be visible to the naked eye, making a diagnosis next to impossible.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, says to be vigilant in noticing these symptoms:
- 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
Of course in the more notorious SBS cases, severe neurological disorders run with the territory, and dying is not an uncommon event. This is because the suckling will often pass out from a violent shaking episode, as the central nervous system quickly breaks down. Of course this does not automatically mean the infant was a shaken baby syndrome victim, but it would be wise to consult with a health care professional in order to find out about a sudden onset of the unexplained conditions above.
What are the Permanent Effects of SBS?
Unfortunately for parents and their little ones, shaken baby syndrome advance in seriousness, and become a traumatic brain injury, or TBI (read more about TBI here), and a whole litany of other permanent disabilities.
Some of the effects of TBI are:
- Major or even minor learning disablities
- Incorrect or biased motor function
- Problems with receptive language
- Problems with memory cognition
- Permanent speech issues
- Inability to perceive
Since a baby’s neurological network and brain are still under development, shaken baby syndrome may lead to serious developmental disabilities. Erratic emotions, lack of physical control over the muscles and limbs, are all possibilities that go hand in hand with a permanent disability.
What Do The SBS Statistics Say?
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome says that almost 1,400 infants are given medical care for SBS each and every year. Of those tragedies, about 25 or 30 percent of these infants pass away from the complications of SBS. Those lucky enough to survive will carry the emotional and physical scars for the res of their lives. The sad truth is, that some victims may suffer from this conditions and never know it, since there is usually little external proof of these injuries.
What Do I Do If I Suspect My Child is a Victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome?
When a parent or primarily responsible adult, teacher or foster parent suspects that a child is the victim of a traumatic shaking or throwing episode, the first step is to get to the emergency room and seek the treatment of a medically trained professional. Tell the doctor or nurse what you discovered that makes you think the child may have been hurt. Otherwise, since lack of physical proof makes it hard to diagnose, the doctor may seek unnecessary tests, instead of treating an otherwise identifiable cause. The longer the delay is seeking medical treatment for shaken baby syndrome, the more the chances are increased of an untimely death, or symptoms worsening and leaving the infant in a vegetative state.
How Can SBS Be Prevented?
Of course, education is the primary way to prevent SBS. But some adults are pure animals, and they hurt kids on purpose. The available research indicates that adults tend to shake kids to try and stop them from crying, or out of anger and frustration. So patience and good parenting are the best ways to avoid hurting a little one. Careful hiring of caretakers is also very important, and this of course, goes along with proper parenting. Making sure the people caring for the baby are patient when a baby whines or cries is key.
Crying, incessant sniveling and whining are all part of growing up, and properly meeting it with love and understanding is the most effective way to deal with it. Don’t respond to normal developmental behavior with throwing a child, shaking it, hitting it, or bullying it in any way. This is no solution and says a lot about the kind of monster you are, and also a sign that the sitter may need professional help. Instead, walk away, count to 10 and and console the little one, or try and distract him or her with a toy, for example. Redirection is a great method to stop a child from crying.
Preventing child abuse is something that every responsible citizen, including sitters, family members and pedestrians can do to make the world a better and more loving place. Educating those around you, especially 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 entirely, the potential risk factors. The end game is prevention.
What Are Future Expenses a Child With SBS May Incur?
Babies who have suffered in a shaking incident, from a nanny, babysitter, or day care worker, will have future expenses for medical costs, rehabilitation, and in some cases, full-time care for life. Seeing the accused brought to justice in criminal court is not enough. That person, and whoever could have stopped them, is financially responsible for what they’ve done. Our job is to see they pay for their transgressions.
What are the Differences Between and Criminal and Civil Case Against the Wrongdoer?
A criminal case that involves a shaken baby is much different that a civil case. In civil court, negligence is the focus of the issues, not whether a crime can be proven. Proving that injury was intended for the baby is not needed to be proven in a civil lawsuit. Instead, a family injury attorney will seek to prove that 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. 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 use handle the baby in a reasonable manner.
What are the Relevant Standards of Proof?
The standard of proof in a civil case is a preponderance of the evidence and not beyond a reasonable doubt. This lower evidence standard means your shaken baby syndrome legal counselors need only prove that the person accused of shaking the baby “more likely than not” did it. Where a district attorney may decide against bringing a case against the accused because he or she lacks a solid case and cannot prove the accused did it “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the family protectors at Ehline Law can go forward with the evidence gathered during the discovery process and hire experts to hold the accused financially responsible for the injuries.
Don’t Get Discouraged
So, there’s no reason to be discouraged by the legal process just because the district attorney was hesitant to go forward with the case because it wasn’t a “slam dunk.” The civil lawyers such as those located in Santa Ana, or Anaheim Hills, will still represent your baby and your family when the district attorney bows out. The same goes for Los Angeles shaken baby syndrome attorneys as well.
What are Some Advantages of a Private Lawyer?
When someone is accused of shaking a baby, the only lawyer most people think of is the attorney hired to represent the accused. But who represents the baby and the family affected by the incident? The family injury attorneys at Ehline Law Firm PC are fighters who can and will represent you and your baby in meritorious cases like these. We fight for your valid legal claims through the civil law process, and the criminal courts, as allowed by the law.
The other advantage we hold over the district attorney in seeking discovery and investigations, is our ability to call upon a wider range of medical experts, some the most respected physicians in California, to testify on your baby’s behalf. We will meticulously prove the time the injury occurred to pinpoint responsibility on the proper parties. Fewer limitations; better witnesses; proven trial experience. That’s why choosing the shaken baby syndrome attorneys to take on your shaken baby syndrome case is your best choice.
Whether you need an excellent and competent, tragic incidents involving a baby law firm, we are waiting for your phone call on our attorney hotline. Call 1-888-400-9721 for a free consultation today.