Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
When these injuries are as 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 an action or oversight made by a medical professional at any point of a pregnancy, birth, or the infant’s care after a 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.
Your professionalism, persistence and continued support let me and my family get through this very difficult time.
– M.W. a former client
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.
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 Law Offices include:
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.
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 a newborn suffering debilitating injuries.
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. At Willens Law Offices, 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 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.
What to Do If You Encounter Birth Injury Malpractice
If you have reason to believe that your child may have suffered a 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 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.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
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 a 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 an attorney 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.
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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 a 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.
Contact Willens Law Offices
The parents of children suffering from birth injuries are sometimes hesitant to seek legal representation 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 Law Offices without delay.
At Willens Law Offices, we recognize that families face an insurmountable amount of challenges when dealing with a birth injury and its aftereffects. Our legal team 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 (888) 445-1446 today. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.