While having a baby can be one of the happiest days of any parent’s life, births are sometimes not the joyful experience they should be. Errors made during the labor and delivery process could result in birth injuries to the child, the consequences for which may last a lifetime—and be incredibly expensive to boot.
When doctors and other healthcare workers make mistakes that result in a birth injury, they should be held accountable, and a dedicated Chicago birth injury lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer could help you do just that. With a local personal injury attorney’s assistance, you may be able to receive compensation that could greatly relieve some of the financial burden associated with these types of injuries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Definition of Birth Injuries
- Most Common Birth Injuries
- Birth Injury Risk Factors
- Proving Birth Injury Cases in Chicago
- Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer Today
DEFINITION OF BIRTH INJURIES
Sometimes babies are born with abnormalities in their appearance or bodily functions—for example, cleft lips, spina bifida, or congenital heart problems. These injuries are birth defects and are typically a result of environmental or genetic factors, which means they are not considered to be birth injuries for which doctors may be held civilly liable.
Birth injuries, on the other hand, are injuries caused to a newborn child—and sometimes their mother—at some point during the labor and delivery process, typically due to mistakes made by the healthcare workers involved in the birth. These types of injuries may result from a delayed C-section, improper use of forceps, not properly monitoring the baby during the birthing process, or other such negligent behavior.
Unfortunately, little can often be done in the context of civil law about birth defects. However, a birth injury lawyer in Chicago may be able to help parents hold healthcare workers responsible if their negligent behavior causes a birth injury.
MOST COMMON BIRTH INJURIES
Birth injuries can have long-lasting effects on both the child and their family as a Chicago, IL birth injury lawyer knows all too well. In cases where a birth injury is caused by medical negligence or malpractice, seeking legal representation is crucial to protect the rights and interests of the affected parties. Here are five of the most common birth injuries that often require the assistance of a lawyer; learn more about these and then contact Disparti Law Group for help.
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and coordination. It can occur due to oxygen deprivation or trauma during the birthing process. When medical negligence, such as failure to monitor fetal distress or delay in performing a necessary cesarean section, leads to cerebral palsy, a birth lawyer can investigate the case, gather medical evidence, and pursue a claim for compensation to cover medical expenses, ongoing care, and support for the child’s future needs.
Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus injury, occurs when the nerves in the upper arm are damaged during delivery. This injury can result from excessive force or improper handling of the baby during a difficult delivery. A lawyer specializing in birth injuries can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the injury, determine if medical negligence occurred, and pursue a claim against the responsible healthcare providers to obtain compensation for medical treatment, therapy, and any long-term effects.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. This condition can lead to various injuries, including nerve damage, fractures, and lack of oxygen. If medical negligence, such as improper techniques or failure to recognize and respond to the condition promptly, contributes to shoulder dystocia, a Chicago birth injury lawyer can help gather medical records, consult with experts, and pursue a legal claim to seek damages for the child’s injuries.
HYPOXIC-ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (HIE)
HIE occurs when a baby’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood supply during or shortly after birth. It can result in long-term brain damage, developmental delays, and disabilities. Medical negligence, such as failure to monitor the baby’s vital signs or respond appropriately to signs of distress, can contribute to HIE. A birth injury lawyer can investigate the case, collaborate with medical experts, and pursue a claim for compensation to cover the child’s medical needs, therapies, and future care.
FORCEPS OR VACUUM EXTRACTOR INJURIES
Forceps or vacuum extractors are sometimes used during difficult deliveries to assist in the baby’s delivery. However, improper use or excessive force can result in injuries such as skull fractures, nerve damage, or brain hemorrhages. A birth injury lawyer can evaluate the medical records, consult with experts, and determine whether medical negligence occurred during the use of forceps or vacuum extractors. They can then pursue a legal claim to seek compensation for the child’s injuries and related expenses.
In all of these cases, a birth lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support. They can help determine if medical negligence or malpractice contributed to the birth injury, navigate complex medical records and legal processes, consult with medical experts, and advocate for fair compensation on behalf of the child and their family.
Birth Injury Risk Factors
As mentioned, some birth injuries cannot be avoided. This may be due to maternal risk factors and/or infant risk factors. When contacting a birth injury lawyer, they will likely review your case and consult with an expert medical witness who can determine if you or your baby’s risk factors contributed to the birth injury. They may also want to determine if the medical professionals involved with your case tested for and considered any risk factors when determining the safest course of action during your delivery. If your doctor did not consider or test for your risk factors, this may show that they did not meet the standard of care and their negligence may be responsible for your child’s birth injury.
Infant Risk Factors
- Macrosomia (Babies weighing over 8 pounds and 13 ounces)
- Prematurity (Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy)
- Macrocephaly (large head circumference)
- Abnormal fetal position
- Very low birth weight and extreme prematurity
- Fetal congenital anomalies
- breech presentation and other abnormal presentations (such as the face, brow, or transverse)
Maternal Risk Factors
- Certain pelvis shapes or sizes
- Maternal obesity,
- Difficult labor or delivery
- Prolonged labor
- Small maternal stature
- Prolonged or rapid labor
- Dephalopelvic disproportion
- Maternal diabetes
PROVING BIRTH INJURY CASES IN CHICAGO
In order to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for a birth injury, the parents of the injured child must be able to prove certain elements of their case. First, they need to prove that there was a patient-doctor relationship between the mother and a doctor, OB-GYN, or other healthcare provider. This relationship signifies that the healthcare worker owed a duty of care to both the mother and the child, which is the second element of proving negligence in a birth injury case.
The third element of proof, though, requires that the healthcare worker breached the duty of care owed to the mother and the baby. This can be difficult for a parent to prove on their own since parents are often unfamiliar with the medical process of birth, the instruments used, and how healthcare workers should be acting.
This is often where a Chicago birth injury attorney could be most helpful. An attorney could gather the documents needed, speak to other healthcare professionals, and draw upon their own research and expertise to prove that healthcare workers were negligent. They could then use this evidence to demonstrate that the negligence directly caused the birth injury and that the baby and family will suffer due to that injury.
CONTACT A CHICAGO BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEY TODAY
Birth injuries can be both financially and emotionally draining on a family. injuries often last a lifetime and may necessitate expensive equipment, special care, and ongoing rehabilitation for the child. In many cases, though, parents may be able to seek compensation to help with these costs. If you recently had a child and believe they suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of the hospital staff or other healthcare worker, speak to a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer or birth injury lawyer today. Your family is likely dealing with a lot right now, and you should not have to cope with the various burdens these injuries can bring alone.
At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we advocate for mothers and families who have experienced a birth injury due to a medical professional’s error. Attorney Larry Disparti and his team have the skills, expertise, and empathy to fight these cases and win the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a FREE consultation. Call us at (312) 600-6000.