When expectant parents go to the hospital, they typically expect to give birth to their child and experience the resulting joy and exhilaration that accompanies a delivery. While parents may feel a bit nervous or excited, no one anticipates that a child may be harmed by a birth injury during a delivery.
Unfortunately, there are about 27,000 children who suffer from birth injuries in the United States every year. These birth injuries can result from undetected disabilities or diseases in the child. They can also result from the negligence and medical malpractice of doctors, nursing staff, surgeons and other workers in a hospital during a delivery.
One of the most severe disabilities that can result in a child due to a doctor’s neglect is cerebral palsy. A child may suffer from cerebral palsy when there is an insufficient amount of oxygen delivered to the fetus during delivery. Currently, it is very difficult to treat cerebral palsy in children. There is no official cure for this disease. The treatments that children must receive for cerebral palsy are often very expensive, and they may entail surgery, high-cost drugs, psychological therapy and constant counseling throughout the child’s entire life.
When a parent learns that his or her child has suffered from a birth injury, he or she may feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn. One first step that a parent may take is to ensure that the child has his or her expenses provided throughout the lifetime of that child. A parent can contact an Illinois birth injury lawyer to receive immediate advice about how to deal with hospitals and doctors to provide for the child throughout his or her entire life.The Potential Lifelong Impact of Birth Injuries on a Child
When a child suffers from cerebral palsy or another devastating birth injury, the costs of caring that child often expand over a lifetime. As soon as a parent recognizes signs of cerebral palsy or other birth injuries within a child, it is important to take action.
The job of an Illinois birth injury lawyer will be to assess the causes that led to a child’s birth injury. The lawyer will consider the facts of your case and may need to interview individuals who were present during the delivery of your child. Here are some of the factors that a lawyer may research to determine the cause of a birth injury:
- Unnecessary use of forceps, vacuum extractors and other delivery tools (see here)
- Forceful or inexperienced use of delivery tools
- Failure to detect issues with a child’s oxygen supply (see page here)
- Delivery of misinformation
- Failure to deliver the needed information
- Improper treatment of seizures after a delivery
- Failure to perform a Caesarian section delivery when needed
- Lack of access to experts and other medical specialists
- Failure to assess and prevent umbilical cord complications (see page here)
Every doctor owes a duty of care to act as a medical professional in performing a delivery. In Illinois, a doctor has a duty to conform his or her actions to a legal standard of reasonable care as another doctor in the same or similar circumstances. In birth injury cases, a jury will often hear expert testimony to determine whether a doctor’s conduct conformed to the required professional standard of care.
If a doctor deviated from this standard of care, then he or she will be liable for the damages that a child has suffered. A hospital may be vicariously liable for the negligence of doctor depending on whether or not the doctor was working as an independent contractor.Assessing Damages in a Case Involving Birth Injuries
When a birth injury lawyer is consulted about a child who has a birth injury, it is up to the lawyer to estimate the damages that a child has suffered. In making this assessment, a lawyer considers the following factors:
- Medical expenses presently incurred by a child
- The future medical expenses that a child will face throughout his or her entire life
- Any additional costs that a child will require for his or her care
- The loss of earning capacity of a child due to birth injuries
- The impact of the total situation on parents and any siblings
- Any other provisions an injured child will require for the rest of his or her life
The goal of a birth injury lawyer will be to protect the interests of the child and ensure that he or she has received compensation to support the child for the duration of his or her life. If you are a parent who has suffered the birth injury of a child, then you can contact an Illinois birth injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to receive the help that you need for your case. Our lawyers are available to answer any questions or concerns that you have about your child’s birth injury.