Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
When a child is seriously injured during delivery, the emotional toll on the family can be devastating.
Unfortunately, medical errors are common in childbirth, where many of these mistakes could have been prevented if medical professionals had administered proper care.
Did your newborn sustain a preventable birth injury due to medical malpractice? If so, it's crucial to act right away to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive compensation for any damages caused by negligence or misconduct.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are here to help you recover compensation through a birth injury claim for all related costs and losses caused by this preventable accident.
Contact our Chicago medical malpractice law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Defining Birth Injuries
You undoubtedly have many questions and worries if you had significant problems during childbirth or delivered a newborn who suffered birth injuries.
What is the distinction between a birth injury and a birth defect?
Birth injuries occur during the labor and delivery process. It might range from a bruise to a bone break to more significant problems, including spinal cord damage and brain injuries.
More common injuries arising during pregnancy, labor, or the birthing process could include:
- Shoulder dystocia: In some deliveries, the child's shoulders are lodged in the birth canal when pressed against the mother's pelvic area. In many shoulder dystocia cases, damage to the child's shoulders results from a mistake made by the nurse or obstetrician.
- Brain trauma: Fetal distress could lead to a child's brain injury during birthing. The length of time the child does not have sufficient oxygen will determine the severity of the condition that might lead to ongoing medical treatment, the need for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and lifelong disabilities.
- Facial nerve palsy: This condition can develop when too much pressure is placed on the newborn's face during birth. The palsy could result in a loss of voluntary muscle movement of the facial muscles.
- Brachial plexus: A brachial plexus injury (Erb's palsy) affects a network of nerves beginning at the spinal cord and radiating down the arms nerves. A child's damage to the brachial plexus might result from neuropraxia, neuroma, rupture, or avulsion of the complex nerve in that area.
A birth injury occurs when either or both the child and mother are injured due to malpractice. For example, the child's injury might result from a misdiagnosis, mistreatment, or birth complications when the injured child suffered some birth trauma or death by the delivery doctor, medical team, or other medical professionals.
Often, injuries occur when a medical professional deviates from typical medical protocols and standards of postnatal and prenatal care by not anticipating, noticing, or reacting to a scenario. These risk factors could promptly lead to the child's birth injury.
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 medical expenses of caring for an injured 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 birth injury lawsuits, especially while handling the aftereffects of negligence or medical errors.
Call our Chicago law office to speak with a birth injury attorney to learn more about how we can help. We will discuss your legal options when you call for a free consultation.
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 attorneys are committed to holding hospitals and medical professionals accountable to allow families to recover the compensation needed to care for their child's birth injuries.
The costs of raising a child with a birth-related injury can be considerable. However, our many birth injury lawyers understand the actions that need to be taken to allow you the best chance of financial compensation.
Our legal firm offers a free case evaluation to start the process and will be by your side 24/7 to see your congenital disabilities or injury case through to the end.
Are you wondering how much birth injury lawyers cost when you struggle with mounting bills from negligent medical care? We can help you today because our Chicago birth injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that we are not paid unless you are.
If your childbirth injury case is unsuccessful for some reason, you are not presented with a bill for your legal fees. In addition, you do not need to write us a retainer check up-front to initiate your claim, nor do you need to pay hourly legal fees. Call us today to discuss your legal options.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer about Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has successfully litigated birth injury cases in Chicago, including labor and delivery process negligence cases across Illinois.
In one instance, our Illinois 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 injury lawyers have handled many types of severe and common birth injury cases in which the child experienced developmental or neurological problems that will accompany them for life.
Different types of injuries during birth:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb's palsy
- Spinal cord injuries
- 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 injury lawsuits, our law offices regularly assemble medical records from:
- Prenatal care and delivery
- Fetal monitoring strips
- Laboratory testing
- Interviews with nurses and physicians
- Evaluation of the client with a psychiatrist
- Reports regarding their long-term care needs
- Reports from economists regarding the present cash value of care required
We work with medical experts to establish that the doctor committed malpractice that caused severe injury to your child.
Statistics Relating to Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, childbirth injuries are too common, even in developed countries 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 postnatal and prenatal care 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.
It's estimated that as many as 8 in every 1,000 children in the United States will suffer childbirth injuries. The low end of the statistical estimates is 6 out of every 1,000.
So roughly 134 out of every 100,000 children will die from childbirth injuries. It works out to around one in every 800 births.
Most birth-related 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, partly due to the legal liability they may face for delaying these vital procedures.
They realize they can be liable for healthcare malpractice when they unreasonably delay this surgery in maternal or fetal distress cases.
Representing Families in Chicago, Illinois
Any time an infant is born with defects, permanent injury, or childbirth injuries requiring ongoing medical care, the situation merits close evaluation.
Once you engage with us, we gather information about the birth delivery to determine why the injury occurred. Then, our birth injury law firm will prove that the doctor or medical professionals were negligent.
Proving negligence and malpractice 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.
A birth injury case requires an experienced attorney with experience in a medical malpractice claim.
These cases are fact-intensive, and an attorney needs to understand the science involved. Therefore, our law offices regularly probe medical documents to get a clear picture of the types of birth injury involved. Call us to discuss your legal options through a free consultation with an experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer.
Damages that Our Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys May Pursue
There are two primary tasks that your experienced personal injury attorney must accomplish in birth injury cases. First, 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.
Childbirth 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 Chicago birth injury attorneys work toward establishing damages, so a judge or jury can value the case fairly 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 your economic and non-economic damages.
Here are some of the following medical malpractice damages that you can recover after your child's birth when a negligent doctor harmed them:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost earnings for time missed caring 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 an everyday life
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Punitive damages if the doctor's malpractice was especially glaring
Why Childbirth Injuries Happen
Most common birth injuries happen because the child suffered from oxygen deprivation during the delivery.
In many cases, the doctor could have promptly performed a cesarean section surgery to deliver the baby because either the mother or child was in distress.
Instead, the medical professional missed these fetal distress signs or failed to appreciate the danger.
In other cases, there was trauma during delivery. The doctor was either negligent in using medical equipment such as forceps or failed to perform a timely C-section surgery. Sometimes, 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 severe and lifelong trauma to the brain or other types of common birth injuries and permanent disability.
Typical Injuries That Our Birth Injury Attorneys See
Some more common childbirth injuries our national law firms see that may be associated with trauma during the delivery or medical malpractice, leading to a lifetime of expensive medical treatment, include:
- Cerebral Palsy (CP): Cerebral palsy is frequently manifested when a child loses their ability to control their muscles.
- 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 injury is a group of nerves that controls movement in the arm, shoulder, elbow, and hand. The doctor may exert intense pressure when attempting to retrieve a child stuck in the birth canal.
Some of these childbirth injuries may heal independently, while more severe injuries involving severed nerves may be permanent, affecting the child's ability to speak, think or move.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: In difficult deliveries, babies may be at risk for spinal cord injuries when healthcare professionals apply force or use aggressive maneuvers. Symptoms include lifeless limbs. Injury location dictates how the doctor will treat the injury.
- 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: These childbirth injuries are more common when the doctor attempts to maneuver the child for delivery, occurring in approximately 1 out of 1,000 births.
- 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, like strangulation from an umbilical cord around the neck, can have drastic consequences such as permanent brain damage or cerebral palsy.
Proving Your Birth Injury Malpractice Case
To recover full and fair compensation in an Illinois malpractice negligence case, families must establish the truth of some aspects concerning the birth injury claim.
As the plaintiff in the malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof would be on you to establish that healthcare negligence occurred. The legal standard is to prove your medical malpractice lawsuit by a 'preponderance of the evidence.'
It 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 birth injury lawsuit:
- A healthcare provider-patient relationship existed between the OB-GYN and the mother
- The OB-GYN had a duty of care to both the mother and her child
- The OB-GYN or medical staff breached their duty of care owed to the mother and newborn child
- The OB-GYN's or medical staff's breach of care was the proximate cause of injury to the child or mother
- The newborn baby or mother will likely incur physical or emotional harm due to the doctor's conduct.
FAQs on Birth Injury Cases
Our Chicago, IL, medical malpractice claim support team understands that many families have unanswered questions about childbirth injuries and how to deal directly with an insurance company for medical malpractice lawsuits or birth injury claims.
An attorney from our law office has answered some of those questions below. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to discuss your legal options or to file a birth injury claim.
What are the common causes of birth injuries?
Doctors and attending staff must take reasonable measures to ensure patient safety. You may hold the negligent party accountable for healthcare negligence when they fail to do so.
Our top Chicago birth injury attorneys have handled clients whose children suffered preventable severe birth injuries caused during pregnancy and birth.
Common birth injury causes frequently involved in birth injury litigation include:
- Conditions that cut off oxygen to the child's brain can result in trauma to the head, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, breathing problems, and death.
- Bone fractures are caused by improper use of equipment such as forceps and vacuums. These medical negligence accidents can cause permanent deformities, severe brain injury, and Erb's palsy.
- Failure to notice fetal distress to provide proper medical care, which is usually the result of improper monitoring of the fetal heart rate and vital signs, leading to the child's injuries
- Strangulated by the umbilical cord leading to brachial plexus palsy or other potential birth injuries, which are 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 the birth trauma or other severe injuries.
What is the difference between birth injuries and birth defects?
In the United States, health care professionals 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 leading to birth injuries that could have been prevented could be considered medical negligence.
Additionally, the baby's color, health, and status at delivery generally indicate whether or not a birth injury occurred, though some birth-related injuries don't present until later.
What type of compensation can I recover with a child's birth injury lawsuit?
Under Illinois law, victims can file a birth injury claim, citing medical malpractice for economic and non-economic damages. Birth injury claims cover 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 injury lawyer for a birth injury lawsuit?
Choosing the right birth injury lawyer is about finding the right combination of experience and personal comfort. You need an experienced attorney who can make your case to the jury.
You should look at the attorney's previous track record, which we have at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.
In addition, you are also looking at the type of working relationship you could develop with the lawyer, considering that you would be working closely with your birth injury attorney for several years.
How long is the statute of limitations on birth injury lawsuits?
The time limits based on the statute of limitations on birth injury cases vary by state and other circumstances. In Illinois, the law allows victims harmed by cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, or involved in other severe birth injury cases for at least two years to file a compensation claim.
These cases will hold the hospital, doctors, and other medical experts financially accountable for their negligence.
Sometimes, an inaccurate childbirth injury diagnosis could extend the statute of limitations longer if the child's birth injury resulted in difficulties during their developmental years.
Contact our Chicago Law Offices for a Free Consultation with Our Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers
Our Chicago birth injury attorneys work tirelessly to help prove medical malpractice and secure financial compensation so families can return to what matters most; taking care of their injured baby. Our birth injury attorneys have handled birth injury cases similar to yours.
We will investigate all details, including a review of medical records surrounding your child's devastating injury, to establish how they occurred and the medical professionals responsible.
Our Chicago birth injury lawyers work with nationally recognized medicine, counseling, and economics experts. We will take legal action and seek compensation that will aid in the comprehensive care of your child and family.
Looking to find a Chicago birth injury lawyer? Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for a free case review to discuss your legal options and take the first step to get the compensation you deserve for the birth trauma.
Given Illinois's time limits and the scientific complexity of these birth injury claims, it is best to start working with a birth injury lawyer sooner than later.
We accept all birth-related medical malpractice lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your birth injury lawyer resolves your case through a jury award or negotiated settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.
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