Having a baby is an exciting and stressful time. Unfortunately, some mistakes made during delivery can be life changing and devastating. Imagine the nightmare of learning that a medical mistake during labor or delivery will permanently affect the health and well-being of your new son or daughter. Birth injuries can cause lifelong disabilities requiring years of medical care, expenses, and emotional stress. In some instances, a child may die because of an act of medical negligence.
Common Birth Injuries
Although complications and conditions from labor and delivery problems are varied and complex, there are some common injuries:
- Brain damage: Problems during birth can cause a variety of injuries to the brain and neurological system, often severe and permanent.
- Oxygen deprivation: When birth trauma causes oxygen deprivation, the resulting injury to the child’s brain can cause disability or death.
- Cerebral palsy: This is condition impacting muscles and motor skills because of brain damage. Disability can range from slight impairments such as limited fine motor skills to severe conditions like quadriplegia. Although Cerebral palsy is not always the result of medical error, a doctor’s mistakes resulting in birth trauma can cause a child to develop Cerebral Palsy.
- Erb’s palsy: Erb’s palsy involves damage to the nerves of a child’s arms during birth, which causes weakness in the baby’s affected arm.
Many birth injuries require a lifetime of expensive medical treatment and care.
Typical medical malpractice scenarios during labor and delivery include:
- Failure to adequately monitor progression of labor
- Failure to carefully monitor fetus
- Failure to properly treat fetal distress
- Failure to initiate a Caesarean section (C-section) on time or at all
- Performance of unnecessary or faulty C-section
- Improper use of medical equipment, medication or medical technique
Illinois Medical Malpractice
Typically, a lawsuit brought against a doctor or other medical professional who negligently or incompetently harms a patient during treatment is medical malpractice. To prevail in a medical malpractice case in Illinois the plaintiff must prove three things by means of expert testimony:
- The standard of care to which the medical professional was required to conform
- Negligent failure by the medical professional to comply with the required standard of care
- The medical professional’s breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries
A medical malpractice attorney can help determine who may be sued in your case. Possible defendants may include doctors, hospitals, surgeons, nurses or anesthesiologists.
Labor and Delivery Malpractice
In Illinois, recovery of money damages may be possible in a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit for several different types of harm, present and future, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
If your child was negligently injured during labor or delivery, you should consult with a personal injury attorney with specific experience and knowledge in medical malpractice. A lawyer can help you investigate the circumstances and determine what legal options you may have to help alleviate the difficulties you and your child are facing. Some law firms have former nurses on staff to help you evaluate your case. At most law firms, there is no charge for this type of initial consultation to determine if your case has merits. You owe it to yourself and to your child to explore possible legal remedies that might begin to compensate you both.
Originally posted: COGAN & MCNABOLA PC ATTORNEYS AT LAW