If your child or their birth parent has been injured during birth, it can be a very traumatic experience for your family. Not only can it result in physical and emotional distress, but it can also result in significant medical expenses. Knowing what legal options are available to you is essential in such a situation. In this article, we will discuss how to file a Chicago birth injury lawsuit to seek justice for your child and their mother.
Understanding Birth Injuries
A birth injury is any injury to a baby or parent during delivery. It can be caused by various factors, including medical malpractice, negligence, or difficult delivery. Birth injuries can be minor or severe, and they can have long-term effects on a child’s health and well-being.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are several common types of birth injuries that a child can suffer from:
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s movement and coordination. It’s caused by damage to the brain during childbirth and can result from medical malpractice or negligence.
Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects the nerves in the arm, causing weakness and paralysis. It can occur when the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery, resulting in nerve damage.
Brachial Plexus Injury
A brachial plexus injury is another type of nerve damage that can occur during childbirth. It affects the nerves that control the muscles in the arm and can result in weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation.
Klumpke’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury that affects the nerves in the lower arm and hand. It can be caused by a difficult delivery or medical malpractice.
The Effect of Birth Injuries on the Parent
Birth injuries affect not only the newborn but also the person giving birth. A birth injury’s physical and emotional toll on the mother can be significant and long-lasting.
Severe Tear or Laceration During Delivery
This can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty performing routine activities such as walking, sitting, and using the bathroom. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the tear.
This is a condition where the mother experiences excessive bleeding after giving birth. Postpartum hemorrhage can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Seeing your child in pain or suffering from a birth injury can be heartbreaking and traumatic. It can also lead to feelings of guilt, depression, and anxiety.
Parents need to seek medical attention and support if they have experienced a birth injury. This can include physical therapy, counseling, and other resources to help manage pain and emotional distress.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can be caused by several factors, including:
- Improper use of delivery instruments
- Failure to monitor the baby’s vital signs
- Delay in ordering a necessary C-section
- Failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress
- Administering incorrect medication to the mother
- Incorrect use of forceps or vacuum extraction
Signs and Symptoms of Birth Injuries
The signs and symptoms of a birth injury can vary depending on the type of injury and its severity. Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Weakness or paralysis
- Developmental delays
- Cognitive impairment
- Difficulty with fine motor skills
- Abnormal muscle tone
What to Do If Your Child Has a Birth Injury
If you suspect your child has a birth injury, seek medical attention immediately. Your child’s doctor can diagnose the injury and recommend a treatment plan. You should also consult with a birth injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. A birth injury lawsuit can help you seek justice for your child and recover compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.
The Legal Process for Filing a Chicago Birth Injury Lawsuit
1) Finding a Birth Injury Lawyer
Finding a qualified attorney is the first step in starting a birth injury claim. Your attorney can walk you through court procedures and help you understand your legal rights.
2) Filing a Complaint
Your lawyer will file a complaint on your behalf, outlining the details of your case and the damages you seek.
3) Pretrial Discovery
During pretrial discovery, both parties will gather evidence and information to support their case. This can include medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements.
Before going to trial, you and the other party may participate in mediation to try to resolve the case. A mediator will help you negotiate a settlement agreement.
Both sides will submit their arguments and evidence to a judge and jury if the case proceeds to trial. The jury will then decide if the defendant is liable for the birth injury and, if so, how much compensation should be awarded.
Compensation for Birth Injury Lawsuits
If you win your birth injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses that you incurred due to your child’s birth injury.
Compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other non-financial losses are examples of non-economic damages.
Punitive damages may be granted in specific circumstances to hold the defendant accountable for their conduct and discourage them from repeating them.
Statute of Limitations
Do note that a statute of limitations exists in Chicago for bringing a birth injury case. To file a lawsuit, you typically have two years from the date of the injury. If you miss this date, you can lose your ability to request compensation.