Birth Injury Malpractice Lawyers in Chicago, IL
Willens & Baez is a top-rated law firm with an award-winning team of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers and Birth Injury Attorneys who can help you when you have a birth injury case. Since we charge no legal fees, unless and until we succeed in obtaining a monetary recovery for you, you can count on us fighting hard to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
We know that an injury case has the potential to take over a person’s life, making it difficult to move forward. People turn to us for the dedicated, caring help they require, regardless of the type of accident they were in or the type of injury sustained. We want to help them take control of their situation so they can focus on what matters most — getting back on track. This is also why many of our firm’s cases are referred to us from other lawyers and law firms who trust us to handle their friends, family members and clients’ personal injury cases.
Why Let Willens & Baez handle your Chicago Birth Injury Malpractice Case?
The parents of children suffering from birth injuries are sometimes hesitant to seek the help of a Chicago birth injury malpractice attorney because they are under the impression that their child’s injury was their fault. If your child suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, the chances are high that your child may require lifelong care. Contact Willens & Baez without delay.
As a Chicago lawyer handling medical malpractice lawyers for 25 plus years now, I have seen many types of birth injury cases. Birth injury cases fall under medical malpractice. Some lawyers may claim to be birth injury lawyers, but the truth probably is that the lawyer is a medical malpractice lawyer or even a personal injury lawyer who happens to have experience with handling birth injury matters.
At Willens & Baez, we recognize that families face an insurmountable amount of challenges when dealing with a birth injury and its aftereffects. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers will work with you to prepare a case that aims to obtain full and fair compensation for the harm your child suffered.
To schedule an initial consultation at no cost, call (312) 957-4166 today. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.
Call (312) 957-4166 For a Free Consultation
Need an Experienced Birth Injury Malpractice Attorney?
When these injuries are a result of incompetent medical professionals or sheer negligence, it just makes sense to speak with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers.
One of the happiest and most rewarding days of a parent’s life is the birth of their child. If the birth results in injuries or even the loss of life, however, this picture-perfect day can quickly turn into a nightmare. Studies show that for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, approximately six to eight of them will be injured at birth.
While being surrounded by a medical team of obstetricians, neonatologists, and nurse practitioners may put expecting parents at ease, it does not change the fact that countless issues could occur right up to the moment that a baby is born. Unfortunately, even the most knowledgeable and experienced medical professionals can make mistakes. When a baby is harmed or suffers injuries due to any action or oversight made by a medical professional at any point of a pregnancy, birth, or the infant’s care after birth, this harm may be classified as a birth injury.
The process of pregnancy and giving birth can be extremely challenging, particularly since there are numerous things that can go wrong. Sometimes, a baby is born with a life-altering condition that health providers had nothing to do with. Other times, however, a birth injury may result from a poor decision made by a health care provider during delivery. Often, birth injuries cause mental or physical life-long disabilities, and can greatly affect the families who must care for the child. This is why families should consult with an experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer to get the help they need.
Diagnosing Birth Injuries
In almost all cases, families are not aware of birth injuries until after the baby’s birth. This is because birth injuries typically occur slightly before, during, or after delivery.
A number of birth injuries show instant physical symptoms. Hypoxia, for instance, causes a newborn to appear slightly blue because he or she is not receiving enough oxygen. Medical staff should act immediately to prevent brain damage or death.
Other birth injuries do not present themselves until the child grows older, and is more intellectually developed and mobile.
Types of Birth Injuries
Injuries sustained by a baby during labor and delivery can involve parts of the body such as the brain. The severity and consequences of such injuries may vary from mild to severe and may be either temporary or permanent in nature. Some birth injuries may even result in wrongful death.
New parents may find it difficult to identify when a birth injury stems from the negligence of hospital staff. As such, it is important that new parents educate themselves of the more common birth injuries caused by negligence.
Common examples of birth injuries that we handle at Willens & Baez include:
Birth injury cases are often catastrophic in nature. They often result in serious problems for the child’s entire life and sometimes result in a shortened life span for the child. Not surprisingly, the damaged child will need a great deal of care and treatment throughout his or her life.
However, not every case involving a birth injury means there was a medical error. However, when medical professionals, including, but not limited to, doctors and nurses, “drop the ball”, the results can be disastrous. In my firm’s experience, medical errors can cause several types of injuries to the child. The most common type of serious injuries that we have seen over the years include:
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is generally caused by brain damage from lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process. A child diagnosed with cerebral palsy will most likely have a significant delay in development and have permanent difficulty in movement throughout life.
- Asphyxia – Sometimes, if the delivery is delayed, the child will not be able to breathe for a long period. This can cause brain damage which can lead to severe disabilities.
- Brachial Plexus Injury – Sometimes, during the birthing process, the child’s shoulders might get stuck behind the mom’s pelvic bone. While doctors should know how to handle these situations, sometimes they act carelessly or negligently. This can cause tearing of the nerves connected to the spinal cord which impairs the complete use of an arm or sometimes both arms.
- Erbs Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Kernicterus due to untreated jaundice
- Meconium aspiration
- Facial paralysis
- Forceps injuries
- Cranial nerve trauma
- Clavicle fractures
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Gestational diabetes
- Excessive bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries
- Placenta previa
- Wrongful death of baby
- Wrongful death of the mother
The majority of these situations arise when a doctor fails to properly respond to or assess complications and conditions during a woman’s pregnancy or delivery, or when a woman takes a prescription drug during her pregnancy that harms the baby.
Compensation for Birth Injuries
Coping with the expenses of a birth-related injury can be devastating. After all, almost all birth injuries are irreversible in nature and can affect the victim for a lifetime. Birth injuries may mean increased medical expenses for special equipment, special care, and rehabilitation for your child. Of course, caring for a child with specialized needs may also be physically and emotionally draining on the child’s family members as well. This tremendous burden is not one that you should have to carry alone.
All too often, parents of children who sustained birth injuries are uninformed and unaware that they and their child may potentially be entitled to substantial financial compensation. These families can benefit greatly from an experienced birth injury attorney in Chicago. At Willens & Baez, our legal team can educate these families on their legal options and rights.
A successful medical malpractice lawsuit entitles the victim and the victim’s loved ones to recover damages for past, present, and future expenses. These include the potential lifetime expenses associated with caring for a child with special needs, such as therapy, physical rehabilitation, counseling, medical equipment, home and transportation modifications, and round-the-clock care. Receiving compensation for disability, pain, and suffering, emotional stress, loss of income, and loss of companionship are some of the other damages you are entitled to restitution for.
Physicians and other medical professionals are expected to have the training, knowledge, and experience to handle any birth complications that arise. You and your loved ones should not have to bear the cost of injuries due to the mistake of your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider causes damage, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Chicago Illinois Birth Injury Malpractice FAQs
What Can I Do If I Encounter a Birth Injury Malpractice in Chicago, Illinois?
If you have reason to believe that your child may have suffered birth trauma or birth injury, it is important that you seek medical attention for your child as soon as possible. Obtaining proper treatment in a timely manner will increase the chances of your child surviving with as little damage as possible given the circumstances. Be sure to obtain a copy of all your child’s medical records and keep a detailed account of all birth injury-related expenses.
It is also vital to speak with a knowledgeable Chicago, Illinois birth injury attorney as soon as possible—especially if your child’s injuries are extensive. Apart from meeting the statute of limitations in your state, filing a claim in a timely manner is crucial to your case as evidence may disappear with the passage of time. Witnesses may relocate, records could be altered, and any memories surrounding the case facts may fade. By acting quickly, you maximize your chances of obtaining the financial compensation you rightfully deserve to support your child with special needs.
How can a personal lawyer help if my child was injured at birth?
For starters, a lawyer with experience in birth injury cases can determine, usually with the help of medical experts, if there is a viable legal case at all. Many times, injuries at birth are not due to medical malpractice, but instead due to unpreventable circumstances.
Unfortunately, some cases involving birth injuries are the result of medical negligence. In those particular cases, the right lawyer can make a huge difference, given that these types of cases are often quite complicated.
Prosecuting a medical malpractice case involving birth injuries takes not only skill and experience but a lot of money. Since medical malpractice lawyers who handle birth injury cases generally work on a contingency basis and also fund the litigation, they are very selective about the birth injury cases they choose to handle. It’s not uncommon to spend in the range of $50,000 to $400,000 while litigating a medical malpractice case involving birth injury cases. Without a skilled and experienced birth injury lawyer who is willing to invest the appropriate amount of time and the appropriate amount of money, the case may be doomed from the start.
While there is no “best birth injury lawyer” though some lawyers may claim to be, it is crucial to find someone with a solid record of successfully handling birth injury cases. Given that the amount of the potential settlement or verdict will depend, in part, on how your legal team prepares the case, the decision on which law firm to hire is critical to you and your child. The right lawyer will likely make a significant difference in the life of the injured child and his parents.
How Much Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Birth Injury Case?
Many of the birth injury cases that we see in the Chicagoland area involve very serious permanent injuries to a child. Most of the children have developmental issues, serious, permanent disabilities, and sometimes chronic pain. To provide a very seriously injured child with the medical care necessary to give that child the best life possible under the circumstances will often cost many millions of dollars over the course of the child’s life.
We often engage the services of a professional to formulate a Life Care Plan. The professional calculates what the future medical expenses will be over the child’s life which usually includes home equipment and professional homecare. Sometimes the costs involve making modifications to the child’s home and the vehicle that the child will be transported to and from various activities. Additionally, available damages include pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement.
If a medical professional or medical professionals are responsible for the child’s injuries, the parents should not hesitate to consult with a lawyer who handled medical malpractice cases, specifically birth injury cases. Medical professionals carry insurance for medical malpractice They should be held accountable to prevent future negligence and so that the injured child can afford to have the best possible life under the circumstances.
How Parents Can Prevent Birth Injuries?
As parents, you cannot control any misdiagnosis or errors on the part of your physician. You may, however, take proactive steps in preventing birth injuries from happening to your child. One of the most important steps you can take is to choose a doctor carefully. Thoroughly look into a potential doctor’s experience, philosophies, and any other issues that may concern you. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. It may help to ask for references from previous patients.
Also, ensure that another person is with you in the labor or delivery room, as you are most likely going to be nervous and stressed out. Having your spouse, friend, or any other trusted loved one present can ensure that someone will advocate on your behalf and on behalf of the baby if you are unable to communicate properly with the medical staff.
Having a baby can be both an exciting and stressful time for parents. By following these simple steps, you can feel more confident knowing that you did your homework and that you are making the right decisions for your baby.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries in Illinois?
A statute of limitations refers to the total length of time that an individual is given to file a claim. if the statute of limitations expires, then the individual loses the right to file a lawsuit.
Generally, medical malpractice lawsuits in Illinois must commence within two years from the date of the alleged incident or the date that the injured individual reasonably should have discovered the injury. The maximum amount of time allowed to file is four years from the occurrence of the negligent act, regardless of when a patient discovers the injury.
For birth injuries, the state of Illinois has numerous exceptions. For situations involving a child who was harmed during labor and delivery yet did not suffer permanent disability, the statute of limitations is eight years from the date of the alleged incident. The victim, however, must file the lawsuit before he or she turns 22 years old.
If a child suffers a birth injury-related disability, then the statute of limitations is paused until two years from the time the disability has ended. If a child has a brain injury or suffers from cerebral palsy stemming from their birth, then they may opt to pursue a case at any point in their lifetime.
If a medical care provider is found purposely withholding information in order to conceal an error, then the statute of limitations extends five years from the date the patient’s injury is discovered.
According to Illinois law, the statute of limitations for wrongful infant death is two years from the date of the child’s death.
Developing a medical malpractice claim such as a birth injury can be time-consuming, as a birth injury lawyer in Chicago must first obtain and review all medical records associated with the case, including prenatal care records. An attorney may also require independent examinations of the injured child. As such, it is best to begin work on the case with sufficient time before the statute of limitations expires.
What is the difference between Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects?
Birth injuries are injuries that cause harm to either the mother or the child before, during, or after delivery. The severity and consequences of such injuries may vary from mild to severe and may be either temporary or permanent in nature. Some birth injuries may even result in wrongful death. A number of birth injuries result from the carelessness or negligence of a healthcare provider.
Birth injuries often arise out of difficult circumstances, such as the improper use of forceps or any other extraction device, or an umbilical cord strangling the baby and cutting off its oxygen supply.
Birth defects, on the other hand, may be defined as abnormalities in the function, structure, or metabolism that are present at birth. Such abnormalities may result in physical or mental disabilities, and may sometimes be fatal. Birth defects are generally caused by environmental or genetic factors, or sometimes a combination of both. Most birth defects are not caused by negligence and cannot be prevented. Common birth defects include cleft lips, spina bifida, congenital heart problems, and Down syndrome.
What are the Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries
A medical professional’s failure to diagnose a condition, respond correctly to a condition, or pay attention leading up to and all through the birthing process can result in newborns suffering debilitating injuries. Negligence is typically at the heart of preventable birth injuries. Here are the most common causes of birth trauma and birth injury:
- Pre- or post-mature delivery resulting from improper dating
- Miscalculating the size of the fetus
- Medical problems and infections in the fetus
- Medical problems and infections in the mother
- Improperly administering medications during pregnancy or delivery
- Failing to perform a timely C-section
- Failing to give newborns oxygen when needed
- Rh incompatibility
- Abnormal presentation, including shoulder dystocia
- Using delivery instruments improperly