Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
When doctors and nurses make mistakes during the labor and delivery process, the consequences can be tragic for the child and family.
When birth defects or birth trauma in your child's birth are caused by medical negligence, you may be legally entitled to substantial financial compensation.
Lawyers for Cook County Birth Injuries
You can take legal action to get compensation for the emotional and financial costs of the birth injury, and the future costs of caring for a child who has sustained a birth trauma.
However, it is a daunting task to face insurance companies and healthcare providers who are well-experienced in defending these claims, especially while you are handling the after-effects of medical malpractice.
Call our law office to speak with a Chicago birth injury attorney to learn more about how we can help. When you call for your free consultation, we will discuss your legal options.
Our experienced birth injury lawyers work with you every step of the way after we begin the attorney client relationship.
Lawyers Holding Medical Professionals Accountable
Our Chicago birth injury lawyers are committed to holding hospitals and medical professionals accountable, to allow families to recover the compensation needed to care for their child’s injuries.
The costs of raising a child with a birth related injury can be considerable. We understand the actions that need to be taken to allow you the best chance of financial compensation.
Our law firm offers a free consultation to start the process and will be by your side 24/7 to see your birth defects or injury case through to the end.
If you are wondering how you will afford a birth injury attorney when you are struggling under the weight of mounting medical bills and care costs, don't. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that we are not paid unless you are.
If for some reason your case is not successful, you are not presented with a bill for your legal fees. In addition, you do not need to write us a retainer check upfront, nor do you need to pay hourly legal fees.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully litigated birth injury cases in Chicago, including labor and delivery negligence cases across Illinois. In one instance, our law firm recovered $6.14 million for a child who developed cerebral palsy after the obstetrician failed to perform a cesarean section when signs of fetal distress were present.
Our personal injury lawyers have handled many types of birth injuries cases in which the child suffers developmental or neurological problems that will accompany them for life.
Different types of birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions that require long-term care or a permanent care provider can place a great deal of stress on the family, and a tide of medical bills.
While investigating potential birth trauma lawsuits, our law offices regularly assemble medical records from prenatal care and delivery; fetal monitoring strips; ultrasounds; laboratory testing; interviews with nurses and physicians; evaluation of the client with a psychiatrist and reports regarding their long-term care needs; and reports from economists regarding the present cash value of care required.
We work with medical experts as we attempt to establish that the doctor committed medical malpractice that caused serious injury to your child.
Statistics Relating to Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are unfortunately too common, even in a developed country like the United States. However, the different types of birth injuries have little to do with healthcare technology and everything to do with the level of care that the medical professional exercises.
Birth injuries are not a matter of economics as children from wealthier areas will still suffer at the same rate as children from poorer areas.
There are estimates that as many as 8 in every 1,000 children in the U.S. will suffer some type of birth injury. The low end of the statistical estimates is 6 out of every 1,000. Roughly 134 out of every 100,000 children will die from birth injuries. This works out to around one in every 800 births. Most birth injuries will be categorized as moderate to severe.
Doctors have cut the rate of birth injuries in recent years as they are more likely to perform a cesarean section surgery more quickly, in part due to the legal liability they may face for delaying these vital procedures.
They realize that they can be found liable for medical malpractice when they unreasonably delay this surgery in cases of maternal or child distress.
Representing Families in Chicago Illinois
Any time an infant is born with birth defects, or permanent injury or injuries that require ongoing medical care, the situation merits close evaluation.
Once you engage with us, we begin the process of gathering information about the birthing process to determine what happened and why. Our birth injury attorneys will work to prove that the doctor or medical professionals were negligent.
Proving negligence in a birth injury case involves comparing what the doctor did in your case versus what a reasonable doctor would have done under the circumstances. This is why birth injury cases required an experienced attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases.
These cases are fact-intensive, and an attorney needs to understand the science involved. Our law offices regularly probe medical records to get a clear picture of the types of birth injury involved.
Damages that Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys May Pursue
In birth injury cases, there are two major tasks that your attorney must accomplish. As we just covered, they must prove that the doctor was negligent. Then, they must either negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or persuade the jury to grant you adequate damages.
Birth injuries will put your family under a lifetime of financial strain. The medical expenses alone can break a family, even if they have health insurance.
After establishing negligence, our birth injury attorneys work toward establishing damages, so a judge or jury can fairly value the case and our clients can receive the verdict or settlement they are owed.
Like any Chicago personal injury occurrence, you are entitled to money to compensate you for both your economic and non-economic damages.
Here are some of the following damages that you can recover after your child's birth when they were harmed by a negligent doctor:
- Medical expenses (both past and future)
- Lost earnings for time missed to care for the child
- Wrongful death
- The cost of future home care or rehabilitation for the child
- Special education costs
- The child's past and future pain and suffering
- Compensation for loss of a normal life
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Punitive damages if the doctor's negligence was especially glaring
Why Birth Injuries Happen
Many birth injuries happen because the child suffered from oxygen deprivation at some point during the delivery.
In many cases, the doctor could have and should have performed a cesarean section surgery to deliver the baby because either the child or mother was in distress. Instead, the medical professional missed these signs or failed to appreciate the danger.
In other cases, there was trauma during delivery. Either the doctor was negligent in using medical equipment such as forceps or also failed to perform a timely C-section surgery. In some cases, the umbilical cord is wrapped around the child's neck, cutting off oxygen. All it takes is for the baby to lose oxygen briefly to suffer a serious lifelong injury.
Common Birth Injuries that Our Attorneys See
Below are some common birth injuries we see that may be associated with trauma during labor and delivery or medical negligence.
- Cerebral Palsy: (CP): CP is frequently manifested when a child loses their ability to control their muscles. Most CP cases are attributed to congenital issues, with the balance attributed to complications during labor and delivery when the oxygen supply is interrupted. There is no cure for CP.
- Facial Paralysis: Sometimes referred to as facial nerve palsy, the condition may be caused when a doctor puts pressure on a baby’s face before or during delivery.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: A brachial plexus is a group of nerves that controls movement in the arm, shoulder, elbow, and hand. During labor and delivery, pressure may be put on the area when a doctor attempts to retrieve a child who may be stuck in the birth canal. Some of these types of injuries may heal on their own, while more severe injuries involving severed nerves may be permanent.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Particularly in difficult deliveries, babies may be put at risk for spinal cord injuries when doctors apply force or use aggressive maneuvers. Symptoms include lifeless limbs. Injury location dictates how or if the injury may be treated.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage: Commonly referred to as bleeding within the skull, infants with intracranial hemorrhage may develop motor problems or cerebral palsy. When identified early, doctors may treat the condition with medication or surgery. However, prolonged pressure on the skull can cause bleeding and brain damage.
- Bone Fractures: Occurring in approximately 1 out of 1,000 births, these injuries are more common in situations where the doctor attempts to maneuver the child for delivery. Depending on the location of the fracture and severity, the bones may be treated with immobilization or surgery.
- Brain Damage: Oxygen deprivation is the leading cause of infant brain damage, occurring in 4 out of 1,000 full-term births. Even a brief interruption in a baby’s oxygen supply can have drastic consequences such as permanent brain damage or cerebral palsy.
Helping Clients Get Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Here are some settlements and jury awards that legal clients have received when they have sued a medical professional for birth injuries.
- $6,140,000: Cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuit filed in Cook County, Illinois.
- $5,000,000: Settlement achieved via mediation for a family of a child who allegedly sustained a brain injury due to oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery.
- $1,730,000: Labor and delivery error involving brachial plexus/shoulder injury.
- $1,100,000: Wrongful death, stillbirth settlement with hospital and physicians’ group.
- Confidential seven-figure settlement: Awarded to the family of a boy who developed cerebral palsy after hospital staff recognized fetal distress, but failed to contact a physician.
Familiarize Yourself with the Legal Process in Illinois
When you hire a birth injury attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, you gain peace of mind that a caring and experienced attorney will see you through the process of taking legal action.
This process may differ between cases, but generally consists of the following:
- Claim investigation: In our initial free consultation, we will gather the details of your birth injury
- Filing a claim: Your attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will draft and file your legal complaint against the defendant, describing how the injury occurred.
- Discovery: This phase entails obtaining all the evidence needed to try the case, including consultations with the appropriate medical practitioners.
- Settlement: Not all birth injury cases go to trial. It is possible to achieve resolution outside of the courts, which may be best in order to save time and money. Your lawyer will guide you through negotiations for a fair settlement. Note that the settlement stage is not a part of every case. In some cases, the defendant may look to settle. When that happens, trying to negotiate is absolutely in your best interest. However, some defendants may not want to settle or may not make an equitable settlement offer.
- Trial: If no settlement is reached, your lawyer will see your case tried in the courts before a judge or jury.
- Verdict and award: The jury or judge will determine if compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff. Once liability has been determined, there will be a damages phase of your case.
- Appeal: If you have won your case in court, you can expect that the defendant will appeal the verdict because these verdicts and awards can often be large.
A Chicago birth injury attorney would advise you that the legal process in these cases does not work quickly. If your lawsuit goes all the way through to trial, you can count on it taking years.
Even if your case settles, it could also take years as the defendant theoretically could settle any time before a jury verdict.
Reviews from Our Clients
I can’t thank Mr. Rosenfeld enough for helping my family through a difficult time. He really went above and beyond to make sure our son’s needs were met. I consider him more than a lawyer—he is a real friend. – Maggie S.
We feel very fortunate to have worked with this law firm. They took the time to understand our situation, and helped us through a difficult time. – Marco W.
Real professionals who are excellent advocates and trusted advisors. They were extremely thorough and provided a valued service for my husband and myself. – Deborah B.
FAQs on Chicago Birth Injury Cases
Here are the answers to common questions that a birth injury lawyer is commonly asked:
What are the main causes of injuries to newborns during labor and delivery?
Doctors and attending staff have the duty to take reasonable measures to ensure patient safety. When they fail to do so, you may hold the negligent party accountable.
Our birth injury lawyers handle cases on behalf of clients whose children have suffered injuries during pregnancy and birth.
The following is a list of common birth injury causes frequently involved in birth injury litigation:
- Conditions that cut off oxygen to the infant’s brain, which can result in brain damage, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, breathing problems and death.
- Bone fractures caused by improper use of equipment such as forceps and vacuums. These accidents can cause permanent deformities, brain damage, and Erb’s palsy.
- Failure to notice fetal distress, which is usually the result of improper monitoring of the fetal heart rate and vital signs.
- Strangulation by the umbilical cord, which is often preventable or easily treated if noticed in time.
- Ordering a C-section too late or not ordering one when doing so would have prevented trauma or injuries.
What is the difference between 'birth injuries' and 'birth defects'?
In the United States, doctors are required by law to report any disability or abnormality to parents before delivery, so if you were expecting a healthy baby, yet the infant has a disability, this is one indication of a problem.
In many instances, failure to properly diagnose health issues leads to birth injuries that could have been prevented. Additionally, the color, health, and status of the baby at delivery is generally an indication of whether or not a birth injury occurred, though some birth injuries don’t present until later.
How long do I have to file an Illinois birth injury lawsuit?
Generally, Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits must be commenced within two years from the date of the incident alleged, however for birth injuries there are many factors that may extend this time allowance.
In situations involving a child harmed during labor and delivery but with no permanent disability, the case must be filed within eight years from the date of the occurrence.
If a medical care provider purposely withholds information to conceal an error, the statute of limitations extends to five years from the date that the patient discovers the injury.
When a child has a birth injury-related disability, the statute of limitations is paused until two years after the disability has ended. In the case of a brain injury or cerebral palsy, they could theoretically pursue a lawsuit at any time during their life.
What type of compensation can I recover with a birth injury lawsuit?
Under Illinois law, you can claim for economic and non-economic damages which covers your financial losses and future financial needs (economic), as well as emotional trauma, pain and suffering (non-economic) experienced as a result of the avoidable birth injury.
How do I choose the right birth injury lawyer?
Choosing the right birth injury lawyer is about finding the right combination of experience and personal comfort. You obviously need an attorney who has handled your type of case before who knows how to make your case to the jury.
Here, you would look at the attorney's previous track record, something that we have at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.
In addition, you are also looking at the type of working relationship that you could develop with the lawyer, considering that you would be working closely with your Chicago birth injury lawyer for what could be several years.
Why is choosing the right Chicago birth injury lawyer crucial?
It is very difficult to know now how much you will need to care for an injured child for the rest of their lifetime. Medical costs will increase, and you may not know the full extent of the child's diagnosis.
You are estimating what may happen many years out, and you need to be precise. This is necessary both in terms of proving your damages and making sure that you have enough money to meet care needs for years. You only get one chance to receive a birth injury settlement or jury award.
After you have received the money, you cannot go back and file a second claim if the money is not enough. Therefore, you need a Chicago birth injury lawyer who can work with the various experts to figure out exactly how much your claim is worth.
Proving Your Birth Injury Case
In order to recover compensation in an Illinois labor and delivery malpractice case, families must establish the truth of certain elements in relation to the case.
As the plaintiff in the lawsuit, the burden of proof would be on you to establish that medical malpractice occurred. The legal standard is that you must prove your case by a "preponderance of the evidence."
This means that what you are alleging about the birth injury is more likely than not to have happened. You must prove each of the following elements in your Chicago IL lawsuit:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed between the OB-GYN and the mother.
- The OB-GYN had a duty of care to the mother and her child.
- The OB-GYN and/or medical staff breached their duty of care owed to the mother and newborn child.
- The OB-GYN’s and/or medical staff’s breach of care was the proximate cause of injury to the child or mother.
- The newborn baby or mother has incurred or is likely to incur some type of physical or emotional harm as a result of the doctor’s conduct.
Contact our Chicago Law Offices for a Free Consultation
Our Chicago birth injury attorneys work tirelessly to help prove medical malpractice and secure financial compensation so that families can return to what matters most; taking care of your injured child.
We will investigate all details surrounding your child’s injuries to establish how they occurred and who is responsible. By working with nationally recognized experts in medicine, counseling, and economics, we seek compensation that will aid in the comprehensive care of your child and family.
Get in touch with us for a free case review and take the first step to get the compensation you deserve. Given the time limits that Illinois imposes and the scientific complexity of these cases, it is best to start working with an attorney sooner rather than later.
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