Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

Is your family struggling after a traumatic birth injury? Call a birth injury lawyer in Chicago for help.

Even when it goes well, childbirth can be a traumatic experience. But when a doctor or other medical professional is negligent, the experience can be painful forever.

Birth injury and trauma cases are some of the most devastating we encounter. We’ll do everything we can to get you the compensation you need both now and in the future.

Get help from a Chicago birth injury lawyer. We have experience dealing with the medical world. Not to mention the connections to the right medical experts to weigh in on your experiences. Your Chicago birth injury attorney at Lane Brown, LLC will have the knowledge and compassion you need to get through this trying time.

What Are Birth Injuries?

Trauma and birth injuries occur to the mother or the baby before, during, or after birth. To recover compensation, the birth injury must be due to negligence, carelessness, or willful actions. This could be by the doctors, nurses, hospitals, or any other medical staff or facilities involved.

The following are some examples of birth injuries seen in Chicago:

  • Erb’s palsy or neonatal brachial plexus palsy
  • Vacuum or clamp extraction damage
  • Breech birth problems
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Klumpke’s palsy
  • Hypoxia
  • Brain damage
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • HELLP syndrome
  • Uterine ruptures
  • Fetal distress
  • Brain swelling
  • Skull or bone fractures
  • C-section mistakes
  • Vaginal tears
  • Fissures
  • Inadequate suturing after an episiotomy or a C-section
  • Death or trauma related to an incorrect dosage of medicine
  • Wrongful death of the infant or mother

Here Are Some Common Causes of Birth Injuries:

  1. Prolonged labor or delivery: When the labor and delivery process take too long, it can put the baby at risk for injury. The baby may become distressed, leading to a lack of oxygen to the brain and other complications.
  2. Difficult delivery due to the baby’s position or size: If the baby is in a difficult position or is too large for the mother’s pelvis, it can make delivery more challenging and increase the risk of injury.
  3. The use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery: When forceps or a vacuum are used to assist with delivery, there is a risk of injury to the baby’s head, neck, or spine.
  4. Delayed C-section or failure to perform a C-section when medically necessary: If a C-section is necessary to deliver the baby safely, but it is delayed or not performed, it can put the baby at risk for injury.
  5. Improper use of Pitocin or other labor-inducing drugs: If labor-inducing medications are misused, it can lead to too strong contractions and can cause distress for the baby.
  6. Fetal distress or lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery: If the baby is not getting enough oxygen during delivery, it can cause brain damage or other injuries.
  7. Umbilical cord complications: If the umbilical cord becomes compressed or twisted during delivery, it can cut off oxygen to the baby and cause injury.
  8. Shoulder dystocia or brachial plexus injuries during delivery: If the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during delivery, it can cause injury to the brachial plexus nerves in the shoulder and arm.
  9. Premature delivery or low birth weight: Babies born prematurely or with a low birth weight are at an increased risk for injury because their organs and systems may not fully develop.
  10. Infections in the mother or baby during pregnancy or delivery: If the mother or baby develops an infection during pregnancy or delivery, it can cause complications that lead to injury.
  11. Maternal medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure: Women with certain medical conditions are at an increased risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery, which can lead to injury to the baby.
  12. Medical negligence or malpractice by the healthcare provider during prenatal care, labor, or delivery: If a healthcare provider fails to provide proper care during pregnancy or delivery, it can put the baby at risk for injury.
  13. Anesthesia errors during delivery: If anesthesia is used during delivery, errors in administering the medication can cause injury to the baby.
  14. Trauma or accidents during delivery: If there is trauma or an accident during delivery, it can cause injury to the baby.
  15. Genetic disorders or congenital disabilities that increase the risk of injury during delivery: Babies with certain genetic disorders or congenital disabilities may be at an increased risk for damage during delivery.
  16. Multiple births, such as twins or triplets, can increase the risk of injury during delivery.
  17. Large babies or macrosomia: If the baby is larger than average, it can increase the risk of injury during delivery.
  18. Placental problems, such as placenta previa or abruption: If the placenta is not functioning properly during pregnancy or delivery, it can cause complications that lead to injury for the baby.
  19. Bleeding or hemorrhage during delivery: If there is excessive bleeding during delivery, it can put the baby at risk for injury.
  20. Neonatal jaundice or other complications after birth: Some babies develop complications after birth, such as neonatal jaundice or breathing problems, which can lead to injury if not treated promptly.

The Following Are Some Examples of Birth Injuries Seen in Chicago:

  • Vacuum or clamp extraction damage
    Vacuum or clamp extraction is a common procedure used in childbirth to help deliver the baby. However, if not performed correctly, it can cause serious injuries to both the mother and the baby. Vacuum extraction involves attaching a vacuum pump to the baby’s head and using suction to pull the baby out of the birth canal. On the other hand, a forceps delivery is when a doctor uses metal tongs to grip the baby’s head and guide it through the birth canal.
  • Breech birth problems
    A breech birth occurs when a baby is positioned feet-first in the uterus instead of headfirst. This can cause complications during delivery, such as cord prolapse, when the umbilical cord slips through before or after delivery. Breech births also increase the risk of oxygen deprivation.
  • Shoulder dystocia
    Shoulder dystocia happens when one or both shoulders get stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. This condition can cause nerve damage to an infant’s arm or shoulder and may lead to permanent disability.
  • Cerebral palsy
    Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and coordination caused by brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth. It can be caused by medical negligence during childbirth, such as oxygen deprivation.
  • Erb’s palsy or neonatal brachial plexus palsy
    Erb’s Palsy refers to an injury that affects nerves in an infant’s upper arm, causing weakness or paralysis in their arm muscles. It results from stretching nerves between the neck and shoulder during labor.
  • Klumpke palsy
    Klumpke Palsy is another type of brachial plexus injury that affects nerves in an infant’s lower arm, causing weakness or paralysis in the hand muscles.
  • Hypoxia
    Hypoxia is a condition without enough oxygen getting to the baby’s brain. It can occur during the labor and delivery process and is a medical emergency.
  • Brain damage
    Brain damage can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery or other complications that arise during childbirth.
  • Pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and other infections
    Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects pregnant women characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system like the liver or kidneys. If left untreated, it can lead to eclampsia, which is life-threatening for both mother and child. HELLP syndrome refers to hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count in pregnant women with severe pre-eclampsia.
  • Uterine ruptures
    A uterine rupture occurs when the uterus tears open during pregnancy or childbirth. This can cause severe bleeding in the mother and deprive the baby of oxygen.
  • Fetal distress
    Fetal distress occurs when there are signs that the fetus isn’t getting enough oxygen or nutrients through the placenta. It can be caused by factors such as umbilical cord prolapse or compression.
  • Brain swelling
    Brain swelling is a condition where there is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the brain tissues leading to increased pressure inside the skull. It may happen due to birth injury causing bleeding inside the head or lack of oxygen supply to brain cells.
  • Skull or bone fractures
    During delivery, infants’ bones are soft and pliable compared with adult bones; however, they are still susceptible to fractures if excessive force is applied during the delivery process.
  • C-section mistakes
    C-sections are surgical procedures performed when vaginal delivery poses risks for either mother or infant. However, it can cause serious injuries such as bowel perforation or bladder injury if not performed correctly.
  • Vaginal tears
    Vaginal tears occur when the tissue between the vagina opening and the rectum gets damaged during delivery. It can be caused by medical negligence or the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
  • Fissures
    Fissures are small tears in the skin around the anus that can occur during childbirth due to stretching and pressure.
  • Inadequate suturing after an episiotomy or a C-section
    An episiotomy is a surgical cut made in the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) to enlarge the vaginal opening for easier delivery. Not sutured correctly can cause severe pain, infection, and other complications.
  • Death or trauma related to an incorrect dosage of medicine
    Medication errors can happen during labor and delivery, leading to serious injuries such as brain damage, hypoxia, cerebral palsy, or even death.
  • Wrongful death of the infant or mother
    Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to another party’s negligence. In childbirth cases, it may happen when healthcare providers fail to provide adequate care resulting in maternal or fetal deaths.

Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Cases

Parents who suspect their child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice must act quickly to protect their legal rights. This is because there is a statute of limitations for birth injury cases, which limits the time parents have to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. As soon as you believe your child has suffered a birth injury, contact birth injury lawyers immediately.

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. This deadline varies depending on the type of case and the state where the claim will be filed. The statute of limitations aims to ensure that cases are brought within a reasonable amount of time so that evidence can be preserved and witnesses can be located.

The statute of limitations for birth injury cases varies from state to state. In some states, parents have as little as one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. In other states, parents may have up to six years or more from the date of injury to file suit.

It is important for parents who suspect their child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine the statute of limitations in their state and how much time they have left to take legal action.

Exceptions and Extensions

There are some exceptions and extensions that may apply in certain circumstances. For example, if the injured child was under 18 years old at the time of injury, then the statute of limitations may not begin until he or she turns 18 years old.

In addition, some states allow for tolling (pausing) or extending (lengthening) the statute of limitations in certain situations. For example, if there was fraud or concealment involved in causing the birth injury, then this may toll or extend the statute of limitations.

Why Time is of the Essence

Time is of the essence in birth injury cases for several reasons. First, as mentioned earlier, a statute of limitations limits the amount of time parents have to file a lawsuit. If parents miss this deadline, they may be barred from pursuing legal action altogether.

Second, evidence can deteriorate over time. Witnesses may forget important details or become unavailable. Medical records and other documents may be lost or destroyed. The longer parents wait to take legal action, the more difficult it may be to build a strong case.

Third, medical expenses can quickly add up in birth injury cases. Parents who suspect that their child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice should seek medical attention for their child immediately and keep detailed records of all medical expenses incurred as a result of the damage.

How Much Can You Receive in an Illinois Birth Injury Lawsuit?

If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation through a birth injury lawsuit. The amount of payment you can receive will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the long-term effects on your child’s health and well-being, and the economic and non-economic damages incurred by your family.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the financial losses incurred due to your child’s birth injury. These may include medical expenses, lost income, and other out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for your child. Illinois has no cap on economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Medical Expenses

The cost of medical care for a child with a birth injury can be substantial. Depending on the severity of the injury, your child may require ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation services, assistive devices, or equipment such as wheelchairs or braces. All these expenses are recoverable in an Illinois birth injury lawsuit.

Lost Income

If one parent needs to stay home to care for their injured child full-time, they may lose income from their job or business. This lost income is recoverable in an Illinois birth injury lawsuit.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that cannot be quantified easily. These include pain and suffering experienced by parents and children due to the injuries sustained during childbirth.

Pain and Suffering

Parents who have witnessed their children suffer from a severe birth injury experience emotional trauma that can last for years after the incident. They are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering under Illinois law.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

A severe birth injury can significantly impact a child’s quality of life. Children with disabilities caused by medical malpractice may miss out on many experiences other children take for granted, such as playing sports or attending school. Parents can seek compensation for their child’s loss of enjoyment of life.

Statute of Limitations

It is essential to note that Illinois has a statute of limitations limiting the time you have to file a birth injury lawsuit. In Illinois, you have two years from the injury’s date or discovery to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file your claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your child’s injuries.

Expert Witness Testimony

Expert witness testimony is often crucial in proving medical malpractice in an Illinois birth injury lawsuit. Expert witnesses are typically medical professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in the area related to your case. They can provide insight into whether the medical professional involved in your child’s delivery acted negligently or failed to meet the standard of care required by law.

Settlements vs. Trials

Most birth injury lawsuits settle out-of-court before going to trial. Settlements allow both parties to avoid the cost and uncertainty associated with litigation while still providing compensation for damages incurred by families affected by birth injuries.

However, if a settlement cannot be reached, a trial will ensue where a judge or jury will determine whether medical malpractice occurred and how much compensation should be awarded.

Birth Injury Compensation

Compensation for birth injuries can be hard to determine. Whether it happens to the mother or the baby is one major factor. But we must also determine the emotional toll on the family. And we cannot forget to estimate the future losses to the newborn.

Your birth injury attorney in Chicago will work to determine what is wrong. But also, how it will affect your child or you in the future. Many of these injuries, such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy, are lifelong conditions.

The details of your Chicago birth injury case will determine what damages you may seek to recover. A few possibilities are listed below:

  • Current and ongoing medical expenses
  • Costs of therapy and rehab
  • Lost income for the mother 
  • Potential lost income-earning potential over the child’s lifetime
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death

Proving Negligence

It’s hard to prove negligence in many of these cases. You don’t have your own personal advocate with you to observe and record the proceedings. That’s where a qualified lawyer can step in.

On top of that, the liable parties will do everything they can to avoid compensating you fairly. Your Chicago birth injury lawyers have the experience to combat even the best tactics they’ll try to use. 

Consult an Illinois Birth Injury Attorney

Your family has been through enough and deserves compensation for the injuries you and your child have suffered.

At Lane Brown, LLC, we have the experience you need to win your case in settlement negotiations or court. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Chicago birth injury attorneys. Call our office at (312) 332-1400, or fill out our contact form to get started on your case. 

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