Chicago Birth Injury Attorney
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Childbirth is an emotional moment for expectant parents. This moment signifies one of the happiest times in a lot of people’s lives. One of the worst fears is that the baby will not be healthy or will be born with complications.
This fear is not without basis. While most births in Chicago take place without complications, there are still some that result in injury to the baby or the mother.
In fact, birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies (about 3% of all babies) born in the United States each year. Unsurprisingly, birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for 20% of all infant deaths.
Also known as birth trauma, birth injury is not something that only affects the baby. A mother can also suffer a birth injury. These kinds of injury can cause damage to a baby or the mother before, during, or shortly after delivery.
Birth injuries can take several different forms and affect almost any part of the body. Oxygen deprivation at birth, putting excessive pressure on the baby’s head or body, infection and other complications, are all events that may lead to birth injuries.
Ranging from mild to severe, the seriousness of the injuries will determine the damage caused to the baby or mother. Mild injuries may not leave any lasting impact. The severe ones however may result in permanent disabilities. This may affect the child or mother cognitively, emotionally, and/or physically.
To a large extent, however, birth injuries are preventable. When health personnel and physicians follow recommended standards of care, they can monitor the health of the mother and child, and quickly correct y any suspected issue that may arise during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Where health personnel fail in these duties, and the baby or mother suffers an injury as a result, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be commenced against such personnel or the hospital itself.
If the injury sustained by you or your child was caused by a negligent medical personnel, it is advisable to talk to a birth injury attorney at Uche PC as soon as you can.
You may be able to recover financial compensation against the negligent medical personnel or facility. The legal team at Uche PC has been providing quality and successful legal representation for birth injury victims in Chicago.
Get in touch with us here or call our experienced Chicago birth injury attorney at 888-251-4428 as soon as possible.
The Difference between Birth Injuries and Birth Defects
“Birth defects” is the term generally used to refer to birth injuries. There are however clear differences between a birth defect and a birth injury.
As stated, a birth injury occurs while the mother is in labor or in the process of delivery. A birth defect on the other hand is a health condition or illness that forms while the infant is still in the womb.
In most cases, a birth defect occurs during the development of the fetus. Quite often, this is as a result of genetics, medication, the environment, or a combination of both.
The important thing to note, however, is that both birth defects and birth injuries can occur as a result of medical negligence or medical malpractice.
Common causes of birth injuries
Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. What this means is that nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year. The most common kinds of birth injuries and defects are often caused by:
- Improper twisting or pulling of the infant during the delivery period,
- The improper use of birthing devices like forceps or vacuum extraction tools,
- Giving the wrong type of medication or wrong quantity to the mother during pregnancy or labor,
- Failure to carefully monitor the new-born or the mother. For the new-born, not detecting signs of distress or irregular heartbeat may be a cause of child injury,
- Failure to perform a cesarean section as at when necessary.
Common birth injuries to the mother
It has already been mentioned that birth injuries do not only occur to the new-born. The birthing mother can also suffer harm/trauma during pregnancy or child bearing. In practice, injuries to the mother are usually less severe. Common injuries to mothers during pregnancy or child bearing include:
- Cuts, bruises and abrasions
- Damage to the pelvic floors muscles
- Perineal tears
- Fractured pelvis. These kinds of injuries are usually severe and may cause temporary immobility to the mother
Regardless of the severity or otherwise of the injury, a mother can also file a claim if the injury sustained was because a medical personnel became negligent in their duty of care.
Common birth injuries to the child
Most childbirth injuries are usually to the child. This is no doubt due to the delicate nature of new-borns. Exercising ‘due diligence’ and preventing these injuries from happening is a priority to all the parties involved.
One of the ways this can be done is by identifying the most common birth injuries and finding means to avoid them. Some of the birth injuries common to a new-born include:
This is a form of disability that arises as a result of damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth. Oxygen deprivation is the main cause of this kind of injury.
Cerebral palsy usually manifests itself by weak/spastic muscles and diminished motor skills. In some instances, it may also lead to cognitive disabilities.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
This is named after the brachial plexus – nerves that control movement of the shoulder, arm and hand. The child may suffer an injury when these nerves get stretched or torn during birth.
These kinds of injuries occur due to the improper handling of the newly-born. This especially happens when the baby is too large or is roughly positioned in such a way that smooth delivery becomes difficult.
Majority of cases of brachial plexus injuries are temporary. In severe cases however, the child may suffer some form of permanent immobility of the arm.
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the facial nerve. This often occurs during complicated or assisted births. A new-born may suffer Bell’s palsy due to the improper use of forceps or as a result of excess pressure during delivery.
In many instances, this paralysis heals on its own after a while. Where it doesn’t, the child may require surgery to correct the anomaly.
This injury is not as common as the others named above, but it is in fact another potential childbirth injury. A new-born may have bone fractures as a result of the improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction during an assisted birth. Collarbone fractures may also be caused due to slow or difficult labor or delivery.
Bleeding or bruising beneath the scalp or skull
As a neonatal injury, scalp-related bleeding, swelling or bruising is also a common birth injury. Some instances of this include:
- the swelling of the scalp due to excess pressure from the birthing process or through the use of birthing devices, or
- bleeding beneath the protective membrane covering the skull of a new-born.
Swellings or bleeding will usually recede on its own. Bleeding beneath the skull may however trigger seizures or lead to brain damage in a new-born.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the birth traumas a new-born can go through. Often occurring due to the improper use of birthing equipment, the injury may lead to complete paralysis or cause neurological problems including lack of muscle control.
You have a right to file a claim for financial compensation if your new-born has suffered any of these injuries as a result of negligence on the part of your doctor or medical professional. Be assured that at Uche PC, we will not let your injury go without remedy.
Birth injury and ‘duty of care’
A mother and the child are entitled to quality medical treatment. The medical professional has a duty of care that must be rendered within the ‘standard of care’. The standard of care will of course be determined by what is expected of a reasonable health giver under those circumstances.
Any medical personnel that fails such standard of care may be deemed to have committed medical negligence or medical malpractice. That this negligence occurred as a result of error, accident, oversight or omission doesn’t matter.
Once the medical personnel fails in the duty of care during delivery, they can be held liable for any injury to the child or mother.
If you believe your medical professional failed in the duty of care owed to you and that this resulted in an injury to you or your child, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Chicago birth injury attorney. We will examine the situation and advise appropriately on your legal options.
Proving liability in a birth injury case in Chicago
As with medical malpractice, birth injury cases are tough to prove. In filing a birth injury claim, it must be established that:
- A duty of care was owed by the medical professional to the mother or new-born,
- The medical professional breached this duty of care and by doing so, caused injury or harm to the mother or new-born,
- The breach of the duty of care, and the resulting harm could have been avoided by the medical personnel.
To establish the breach of duty of care, the question of whether or not the standard of care received was sufficient must first be answered.
Who can file a claim for birth injury compensation in Chicago?
The parents of the new-born no doubt have prima facie rights to file a claim. The legal guardians of the new-born may however also file for damages, as the circumstance may require.
In Illinois, a victim of birth injury also has the right to file a lawsuit the moment they turn eighteen (18) years-old. For obvious health reasons, waiting for a new-born to turn eighteen before filing a suit is ill-advised.
For one, compensation will be needed as soon as possible to get the best treatment for the injured. Moreover, the preservation of evidence may have already been damaged. Also, years of medical costs and other expenses that could’ve been covered with the financial compensation may have been forfeited.
Financial compensation in Birth injury cases
In a birth injury case, the negligent medical professional or their insurer will be mandated to compensate you financially for their wrongdoing. Some of the compensation you’ll receive may cover all the expenses incurred as a result of/arising from the injury. These include:
- Medical expenses (medications, hospital visits, and any form of medical treatment associated with the injury),
- Physical or occupational therapy,
- Counselling, psychological services, and special education costs.
Depending on the birth injury, you may also be able to recover non-economic damages. This sort of damages will compensate you for your ‘pain and suffering’.
Get in touch with our Chicago Birth Injury attorney today
Seeking the services of an experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer can make all the difference. As common with medical malpractice cases, you’ll need a legal team that can help you gather the required evidence.
This will include collecting and reviewing medical records as well as getting the help of expert witnesses.
Attorney Uche has garnered a national reputation as a fierce deal-closer, litigator, and trial attorney. He is currently recognized as a Top 40 lawyer under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers and has been selected for inclusion as an Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you suspect that you or your new-born has suffered a birth injury.
Get in touch with us here for a free consultation or call us at 888-251-4428 as soon as possible.
Where We Are
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgAddress: 314 N. Loomis St. Ste G2, Chicago, IL 60607 Business Hours: 24/7