The birth of a child is one of the most critical days in a parent’s life. However, if the labor and delivery process goes wrong, it can devastate both parents and their new baby.
- An Injury During Childbirth Has Devastating Consequences
- Caring for a Child with Birth Injuries Is Challenging and Expensive
- Birth Injuries That Commonly Result in Rockford Medical Negligence Cases
- Compensation Available in Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
- Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
- Put Our Proficient Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers to Work on Your Behalf
The good news is that legal remedies are available to parents who have suffered a loss at birth. Were you injured or lost your child due to medical malpractice?
You may be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, hospital bills, and funeral costs.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys build strong cases that get results!
Contact our Rockford personal injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal advice, discuss your legal options, and schedule a free consultation.
An Injury During Childbirth Has Devastating Consequences
Medical errors can cause devastating injuries to babies during birth. Studies show that approximately 6-8 babies are injured during birth for every 1,000 births in the United States.
So, while many expectant mothers are confident they will have an uncomplicated pregnancy and healthy baby, childbirth risks are still involved at any stage.
It means that thousands of families suffer injuries and losses every year due to preventable errors by medical professionals.
Caring for a Child with Birth Injuries Is Challenging and Expensive
Rising healthcare costs over the last thirty years have not helped families with loved ones suffering from chronic conditions or disabilities, as the increased costs have squeezed their finances.
It can make it even more challenging to provide for children with a birth injury because one parent may be required to stay home to tend to their needs, exacerbating the problem even further through lost income.
Throughout a child’s lifetime, it may cost millions of dollars for special care, therapy, and other programs and assistance to allow them to live a happy and productive life.
It is too large of a burden to expect a family to cover without support and compensation— primarily when the condition resulted from an injury linked to medical negligence or malpractice.
The Rockford birth injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work tirelessly for families forced to care for special needs children because of injuries they suffered during or shortly following birth.
In addition to the financial toll that caring for a child with this condition can have, families often suffer from high-stress levels and the grief of watching their child suffer from their birth injury throughout their development.
Worrying about what may happen to the child long after the parents have passed on also creeps in.
Our personal injury law firm understands that fear, making substantial financial recovery a priority to help families ensure that they have the compensation they’ll need and access resources for their children to thrive well into adulthood.
Birth Injuries That Commonly Result in Rockford Medical Negligence Cases
Children must be monitored throughout pregnancy and during labor to ensure no signs of fetal distress or oxygen deprivation to the brain.
Hypoxia, long-term oxygen deprivation, is one of the leading causes of cerebral palsy during birth.
A lack of oxygen can lead to a catastrophic birth injury, making it imperative that the child’s vital signs are closely monitored and that doctors decide to act quickly upon discovering a potential problem.
Here are some of the more common causes of a catastrophic birth injury.
- Infection occurring during pregnancy or at birth: the immune response triggered by an infection can be devastating for infants because of increased body temperature and other common measures the body takes to defend itself. Since infants’ bodies cannot handle the immune response, an infection can be more dangerous and lead to severe injuries to vital organs, including the brain.
- Elevated bilirubin levels: bilirubin is a substance produced in the body in response to an injury such as bruising or blunt trauma. Our livers remove bilirubin from the blood, but infants’ livers are not fully developed at birth, making it impossible for their livers to regulate levels of the substance. Jaundice is a clear indicator of a problem, and when it is caught quickly, it can be treated without injury.
- Fetal distress: there are many ways that things can go wrong during labor, and doctors often respond to these complications efficiently and effectively when they arise. However, the failure to detect fetal distress often results in permanent injury. It may be attributed to the nurse not monitoring the child’s vitals correctly or the doctor’s delayed response to indicators of distress.
- Testing inaccuracies or misinterpreted results: most doctors’ decisions in modern medicine are predicated on information they receive from diagnostic tests, as these tests allow them to consider multiple hypotheses. When the tests return incorrect results or the doctor doesn’t interpret them correctly, they can be catastrophic.
- Incorrect or improper medical procedures: doctors may attempt to deliver a baby prematurely by trying a C-section, but this can lead to permanent injuries if done too early. In other instances, doctors may use the wrong procedure entirely and injure the child’s brain.
- Failure to follow protocol: following a strict set of guidelines that are in place to keep the birthing process under control is essential, but mistakes do happen. Doctors become overworked and fall behind on their caseloads, which can lead to negligence.
Birth injuries caused by doctors or nurses during delivery may be attributed to any number of preventable factors, including:
- Failing to monitor vital signs: the nurse and doctor should monitor vital signs frequently during labor, preferably more than once per hour. Unexplained changes in vital signs may indicate fetal distress or other abnormalities that need immediate attention to prevent injury.
- Failing to act on changes in vital signs: more often than not, doctors face complications during labor that they have never encountered before. In such cases, the treatment plan should be discussed with other doctors to ensure that a child is not injured due to indecision.
- Failing to follow accepted medical procedures applies to handling labor and delivery, including post-delivery care for newborns. For example, suppose you suspect your child’s injury resulted from the doctor failing to follow accepted medical procedures. In that case, it is essential to file a complaint with hospital administrators and insist they investigate.
- Delaying necessary medical action: delay in treatment or diagnosis can be disastrous for infants because their brains are still developing rapidly during their first year. Moreover, any insult to the brain at this stage can result in permanent injury.
- Failure to utilize necessary equipment: whether it is a ventilator, suction device, or other equipment crucial to the delivery process, failure to use such tools when needed may lead to an infant’s injuries or death.
- Inadequately trained personnel— an inadequately trained nurse or doctor can lead to injury if they attempt a procedure they are not qualified to perform. Furthermore, such personnel might fail to notice an infant’s distress signals and administer an unnecessary treatment.
- Informed consent— it is becoming more common for doctors to expect their patients to make major medical decisions without offering them complete information about the risks of the procedure, which can lead to injury if the patient chooses a riskier option.
- Distractions— doctors often become distracted with other duties during labor and delivery, which can cause them to miss critical changes in vital signs or fail to notice that a baby requires immediate attention.
- Failure to diagnose fetal distress— sometimes birth injuries are caused by failure to diagnose fetal distress, but determining the cause of such injuries can be complicated.
- Failure to monitor fetal heart rate— it is essential that doctors monitor the health of a pregnant mother and her unborn child during labor. Failure to do so may result in birth injuries, including brain damage.
- Misdiagnosis— misdiagnosing the cause of fetal distress can lead to injury if doctors fail to administer necessary treatments promptly. Misdiagnosis may also result from poor hospital recordkeeping, leading to evidence being lost or destroyed.
- Negligent supervision— negligent supervision is one of the most common causes of birth injuries caused by medical personnel.
- Hospital negligence— birth injuries may result from hospital negligence, such as failing to ensure that all necessary equipment is available and maintained in working order. Hospital negligence may also include inadequate safety arrangements, such as neglecting to provide smoke detectors or properly-functioning elevators for staff and patients.
- Malpractice is a common cause of birth injuries in Illinois and throughout the country.
- Fetal monitoring— failure to monitor a fetus’s heart rate can result in brain damage if no treatment is given when necessary. In some cases, it may be challenging to determine whether negligence caused an injury because multiple doctors or nurses were involved in the delivery process.
Anyone of the failures above could be catastrophic for the mother and her infant. Knowing what remedies may be available is crucial if you believe one of these failures contributed to your child’s injury.
The law requires hospitals and doctors to exercise high skill and care in handling birth injuries. As such, Illinois medical malpractice laws require victims of deliveries gone wrong to file a claim for legal recourse within two years of the date of the injury.
Doctors and hospitals are required by law to report errors or other medical issues that can impact newborns immediately. However, this reporting system is not foolproof, and time may pass before an infant’s condition becomes clear enough to be correctly diagnosed.
Compensation Available in Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Determining the value of a medical malpractice case can be difficult. The evidence and facts of every birth injury case are unique, as is the extent of the child’s injuries in the financial needs in dealing with temporary or permanent disabilities.
Birth injuries can result in significant damage. They can impact the victim’s ability to enjoy life, maintain employment, and provide for the family. Therefore, the extent of this loss may be considered when determining damage awards.
The following list indicates the types of damages available:
- Lost wages: If a child cannot work because of injuries sustained during birth, the victim or their family may be able to sue for lost wages.
- Future medical costs: These expenses are often included in a claim for damages. Medical bills continue to come in even after an injury and quickly pile up into high costs. If you have concerns about your child’s future medical expenses, speaking with your attorney about possibly bringing a claim is crucial.
- Emotional distress: If a child has been permanently or temporarily disabled due to medical malpractice during birth, family members may be able to file a claim for emotional damages. It is because emotional injuries have long-term consequences that may not be immediately apparent when filing a claim.
- Non-economic damages are less calculable but can be significant in some instances. Non-economic damages vary widely but may cover pain and suffering or emotional/mental distress. It is important to note that the victim does not need to experience pain for non-economic damages to apply; it is enough if the birth injuries hurt the victim psychologically.
- Rehabilitation costs: Sometimes, an injury is temporary, and a victim might eventually return to work or live without trouble. If this occurs, the victim may still be able to file a claim for rehabilitation expenses, such as job training necessary to increase the likelihood of finding employment in light of injuries sustained during birth.
- Pharmaceuticals: Birth injuries can result in long-term effects that require certain pharmaceuticals. If your child’s doctor prescribes any medications during their lifetime due to medical malpractice, you may be able to seek compensation for those prescriptions.
- Scheduled surgeries: In cases where the injuries are particularly severe, your child may require surgeries in the future. The costs of these procedures can be included in a claim for damages if they result from medical malpractice during birth.
- Adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers: If a child suffers an injury that limits mobility, they may need equipment to help with daily tasks. Parents or legal guardians can sue for damages if their child needs an adaptive device due to birth injuries.
- Home modifications: In some cases, a child is permanently or temporarily disabled to the extent that they cannot use their home correctly. If this occurs, the parents may file a claim for damages concerning modifications made in their home to make it easier for their child to live there.
- Specialized transportation services: Although it is possible to file a claim for damages if an injury requires specialized transportation services, it is essential to note that this type of case may have less impact on the amount awarded. However, using public transportation or independently driving can be important for some disabled children.
- Recreation activities: Birth injuries can affect a child’s ability to engage in physical recreation. For example, suppose an injury reduces the ability to play sports or engage in other recreational activities. In that case, families can file for damages if it is financially challenging due to the child’s injuries.
- Education: Birth injuries can cause long-term effects that interfere with certain educational activities. For instance, speech or reading difficulties may limit a child’s understanding of school learning. This long-term effect can result in special education that the victim’s family must cover if their child sustains birth injuries.
- Physical therapy: Children born with physical disabilities may require regular physical therapy treatments to help them adjust and maintain their mobility. The cost of these treatments can qualify as damages in a medical malpractice case, and it is important to note that the parents do not need to experience any pain for this type of compensation.
- Recreational activities: Even if your child’s birth injuries do not physically affect them.
- A lifetime of care and support: Birth injuries can result in severe disabilities that require ongoing medical treatment. In addition, the effects of these disabilities often require a lifetime of care and support from parents, guardians, family members, and therapists. In cases where medical malpractice has rendered a child with long-term or permanent disabilities that affect their quality of life both physically and emotionally, compensation may be available for the ongoing care they require.
- Medical care: For the first month of your child’s life, you must provide primary medical care until a doctor clears the release. This type of case can result in compensation for missed work, Ongoing medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs.
- All side effects of the injury: Birth injuries are not always immediately apparent. Some side effects of a child’s medical malpractice case may remain hidden after surgery, medication, or therapy has been completed. In addition, some symptoms can be delayed.
- Wrongful death: When a mother or her infant dies due to medical malpractice that led to a birth injury, her family may be able to file a wrongful death claim based on Illinois law. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated, and it is essential to note that damages are not the same as those available in other birth injury cases.
As you can see, damages associated with medical malpractice cases can be challenging to calculate in a certain sense.
Therefore, Illinois courts take a more holistic approach to awarding damages for birth injury cases rather than focusing on a specific number.
Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Our Rockford personal injury attorneys will work closely with you and their experts to calculate your child’s damages as accurately as possible. An attorney can also help you file a claim for compensation within the statute of limitations.
A birth injury lawyer is available to work with families impacted by a medical error causing severe injuries during childbirth, and they will review your circumstances free of charge. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our medical malpractice lawyers today to learn more
Local Resources for Families of Children with Cerebral Palsy
It is often comforting for families caring for disabled children to know that they are not alone and have a support network to rely on when raising their children and overcoming their day-to-day challenges.
The United Cerebral Palsy Sequin of Greater Chicago offers services to families that include life skills development, employment training, Community Integrated Living, and mobility services that help children at all stages of their development. You can contact UCPSGC by calling (708) 863-3803 or visiting http://ucpseguin.org/.
Put Our Proficient Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers to Work on Your Behalf
Did your child suffer a birth injury and have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy? If so, our personal injury law firm understands the emotional anguish you must be feeling and your worry for your child’s future.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped thousands of clients recover the fair compensation they needed to ensure their children were provided for long into adulthood.
An experienced birth injury lawyer can also connect you to the resources and support needed to enrich your child’s life and see them thrive.
Contact an experienced birth injury lawyer today to arrange a free consultation to discuss Illinois law and see compensation for your injured child.
Please speak with one of our award-winning legal teams so our Rockford personal injury lawyers can review the details of your claim, conduct a thorough investigation and negotiate a resolution with the insurance company representing the medical professional and the medical facilities involved in your claim.
Our northern Illinois personal injury law firm will also assess your child’s needs so our Rockford personal injury attorneys can seek enough compensation to ensure they will be provided the medical and financial support they need throughout their lifetime.
Additionally, should our law firm be unable to recover damages on your behalf for any reason, you are assured our services will come completely free of charge.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with your experienced Rockford, IL, birth injury lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Additionally, our law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures that you pay your personal injury lawyer nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Our personal injury lawyers serve clients throughout Illinois and various practice areas, including car accident cases, hospital negligence, birth injury cases, premises liability, defective medications, product liability, truck accidents, pedestrian fatalities, wrongful death lawsuits, etc, involving someone else’s negligence.