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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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When a child is seriously injured during delivery, the emotional toll on the family can be devastating.

Unfortunately, medical errors are common in childbirth, and many of these mistakes could have been prevented if medical professionals had administered proper care, and a Chicago birth injury lawyer can be your biggest ally in these circumstances.

Did your newborn sustain a preventable birth injury due to medical malpractice? If so, it’s crucial to act immediately to protect your legal rights and ensure 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 case 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. Talk with an injury lawyer today.

Chicago birth injury fetal monitoring errors

Defining Birth Injuries

You undoubtedly have many questions and worries if you had significant problems during childbirth or delivered a newborn with birth injuries.

What is the distinction between a birth injury and a birth defect?

Devastating 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 injuries and brain injuries.

More typical birth 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 what is known as shoulder dystocia. In many shoulder dystocia cases, damage to the child’s shoulders results from a mistake made by the nurse or obstetrician.

Brain Injury

Birth trauma could lead to a child’s brain injury during birthing. The 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) [1] 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 spinal cord area.

A childbirth injury occurs when either or both the child and mother are injured due to malpractice.

For example, the child’s injury resulted from a misdiagnosis, mistreatment, or birth complications when an injured child sustained life-threatening injuries by the delivery doctor, medical team, or other medical professionals.

Often, injuries occur when a healthcare 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 a childbirth injury.

You can take legal action to get compensation for the emotional and financial costs of the childbirth injury and future medical expenses after a child suffered birth trauma [2].

However, it is a daunting task to face insurance companies and healthcare providers who are experienced in defending these injury lawsuits, especially while handling the aftereffects of negligence or a medical professional’s mistake.

Call our Chicago law office to speak with a birth injury attorney to learn more about how we can help.

When you call for a free case consultation, we will discuss your legal options.

Our experienced lawyers work with you every step of the way after we begin the attorney-client relationship.

Lawyers Holding Medical Professionals Accountable

Our team of attorneys in Chicago is 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 needed 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 birth 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? [3]

We can help you today because our Chicago birth injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning we are not paid unless you are.

If your child’s birth injury suit is unsuccessful, 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 our experienced birth injury attorneys today to discuss your legal options.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney about Your Medical Malpractice Claim

The medical injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are experienced in birth injury litigation 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 childbirth 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
  • Birthing defects
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial nerve injuries [4]
  • 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 childbirth injury civil suits, 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
  • Reports regarding their long-term care needs
  • Reports from economists regarding the present cash value of care required

Our experienced childbirth injury law office works with medical experts to establish that the doctor committed malpractice that caused severe injury to your child.

How Attorneys Can Help You With Your Case

You might be thinking that the stress or complexity of pursuing a legal case against the at-fault parties may not be worth the trouble. You have been through a traumatic event, and the last thing you may want is to be involved in a drawn-out legal process.

That is why personal injury lawyers can be on your side. While you focus on either physical recovery or the emotional aftereffects of this event, we can ensure that the people responsible are held accountable so that your financial future is secure.

Compiling Evidence

Proving that the medical professionals responsible for the care of the mother and baby were responsible for the damage caused is difficult. The behaviors of these caretakers must be compared to what a reasonable doctor would do under similar circumstances to uphold a standard of care. Our team knows what evidence can support your claim and give you a chance of earning compensation.

Negotiating Compensation

Insurance companies and healthcare entities will attempt to avoid large payouts to the victims of these incidents. They may employ underhanded tactics to get you to agree to a lower settlement, such as placing some of the blame on you. A strong-minded attorney will not back down from these entities nor accept anything less than the amount you deserve to cover your economic and non-economic losses, of which there may be many.

Representation in Court

Most personal injury cases are settled outside of courts. However, if the at-fault party is particularly stubborn, there is a chance that your claim could end up going to trial. If that is the case, you can be comforted by the fact that our team will represent you during the legal proceeding to ensure that you have the best chance of success with your lawsuit.

Injuries during birth, to both the child and the mother, can be devastating and life-altering. If this kind of situation happens to you, a partner that understands Illinois law and how it protects malpractice victims will be crucial to preserving your financial future, especially when the consequences of the incident are traumatizing.

Birth Injury Statistics

Unfortunately, childbirth injuries [5] are far 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 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.

Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer: Emergency c-sections

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, your Chicago birth injury attorney will gather information about the birth delivery process to determine why the injury occurred.

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 childbirth injury case requires an experienced attorney with experience in a medical malpractice claim.[6]

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.

labor and delivery Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

Damages That an Experienced Lawyer May Pursue

There are two primary tasks that your experienced personal injury attorney must accomplish in birth injury cases. First, 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. Medical expenses alone can break a family, even without 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 negligence damages that you can recover if your child’s birth injury resulted in losses 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 [7] if the doctor’s negligence was especially glaring
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers

Why Childbirth Injuries Happen

Most common birth injuries happen because the child suffers 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. [8]

The umbilical cord is sometimes wrapped around the child’s neck, cutting off oxygen.

A baby losing oxygen even briefly suffers severe and lifelong brain damage or other types of common injuries and permanent disability.

There are other circumstances that often cause these types of birth injuries as well. A baby being too large for the mother’s pelvis can lead to many complications. The positioning of the infant, if the feet are down, will also have a significant impact on a smooth delivery. Even proper use of equipment like forceps or vacuum extractors can still result in devastating side effects. The administration of certain drugs to induce labor can also lead to severe injury for the mother and/or child.

Typical Injuries That Our Birth Injury Attorneys See

Some more common childbirth injuries our national law firms see that may be associated with birth trauma during the delivery or through negligence, 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:

Injuries caused when a doctor puts pressure on a baby’s face before or during delivery can lead to facial nerve palsy.

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 retrieving a child stuck in the birth canal.

Some of these childbirth injuries may heal independently, while more serious 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. Physical symptoms include lifeless limbs. Injury location dictates how the doctor will treat the spinal cord injury. [9]

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 or excessive 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.

Chicago Birth Injury Law Firm

Proving Your Birth Injury Malpractice Case

To recover total 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 allege about the childbirth 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 [10] and the mother.
  • OB-GYN had a duty of care to both the mother and her child
  • OB-GYN or medical staff breached their duty of care owed to the mother and newborn child
  • 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 mistakes by the healthcare provider

FAQs on Birth Injury Cases

Our Chicago, IL, negligence 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 birthing 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 options or to file a birth injury claim.

What are the common causes of these 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 birth injury attorneys have handled clients whose children suffered preventable severe birth injuries caused during pregnancy and birth.

Common injury causes frequently involved in childbirth injury litigation include:

  • Conditions that cut off oxygen to the child’s brain can result in trauma to the head, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, breathing problems, and death.
  • The improper use of forceps and vacuums causes bone fractures. These medical negligence accidents can cause permanent deformities, severe brain injury, and Erb’s palsy.
  • A doctor’s failure to notice fetal distress to provide proper medical care is usually the result of improper monitoring of the fetal heart rate and vital signs, causing a birth injury leading to lifelong complications.
  • Strangulation by the umbilical cord leads to brachial plexus injuries like 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, healthcare 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 indicates 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 compensation can I recover with a child’s birth injury lawsuit?

Under Illinois law, birth injury victims can file a compensation claim, citing medical malpractice for economic and non-economic damages.

Birth injury claims cover your financial losses, future financial needs (economic), and emotional trauma, pain, and suffering (non-economic) experienced due to the avoidable birth injury.

How do I choose the right injury lawyer for a birth injury lawsuit?

Choosing the most knowledgeable 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 personal 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 these types of cases vary by state and other circumstances.

In Illinois, the law allows victims harmed by cerebral palsy[11], 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.

What serious injuries can happen to mothers that may be open to a lawsuit?

Children are not the only ones in danger when something goes wrong during the birthing process. Although the mother’s body is vulnerable to natural damage and lasting effects from a perfectly healthy process, it is possible that a mistake or negligence could cause serious damage to the mother’s body as well putting the baby at risk.

Some injuries that could be the result of malpractice or negligence include:

  • Ruptured uterus
  • Prolapsed uterus
  • Post-Natal Depression or Post-Natal Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post-partum hemorrhaging
  • Vaginal or anal tears

If you suspect that your injuries as the mother of the child were the result of negligence, then contact a lawyer to discuss your case and see if there is a way forward to compensation.

What are the common types of birth injuries resulting from medical errors during the birthing process?

Common birth injuries include hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and injuries from improper use of force in the birth canal, potentially causing permanent disabilities or even wrongful death.

Many birth injuries result from a delay in recognizing the signs of fetal trauma or an incorrect response to them. Diagnostic errors, medication errors, and other medical decisions can also impact a baby’s long-term health.

How can these injuries be prevented?

While you cannot control the actions of others and mistakes still happen all the time, there are a few ways to minimize risks during the process of giving birth.

For example, prenatal care is a critical ingredient for bringing a healthy baby into the world. Mothers should undergo prenatal care and testing leading up to the birth and undergo regular checkups in the months between conception and birth. This prenatal care is crucial to track the baby’s progress and monitor the health of the mother as well.

Additionally, steps should be taken to monitor the stress levels of the baby leading up to the birth. If anything is amiss, the doctors should be able to determine the best path forward.

Premature babies are at a higher risk of defects and injuries during the h, so trying to carry the baby to full-term is another strategy to minimize risks.

How can a legal team assist if a child suffers a birth injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence?

Has your child suffered a birth injury causing a temporary or permanent disability?

A skilled legal team can help in medical malpractice cases, holding the healthcare provider accountable and pursuing compensation for the injured child to ensure adequate medical care and support throughout his or her life.

Experienced Birth Injury Law Office: Has Your Baby Sustained Birth Injuries

Contact our Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

We work tirelessly to help prove your medical malpractice suit and secure financial compensation so families can return to what matters most; taking care of their injured babies. Our personal injury attorneys have handled many 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 law office works 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.

Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for a free case review to discuss your options legally and take the first step to getting the compensation you deserve for the birth trauma.

Begin Your Childbirth Injury Case Today

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.

Resources: [1] NIH, [2] NIH, [3] NIH, [4] PubMed, [5] PubMed, [6] PubMed, [7], [8] CDC, [9] NIH, [10] NIH, [11] CDC

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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