What Should I Know About Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?
The arrival of a child into a family is usually a time of joy and happiness to the parents and relatives. However, it can quickly turn into a traumatic event if your child is injured due to a doctor or medical staff’s negligence.
A child who suffers injuries during birth due to medical or nursing negligence can sustain serious and permanent disabilities. If your kid has been diagnosed with a condition suspected of birth trauma, take immediate steps to find out whether medical malpractice is the cause. The skilled Mt Vernon, IL, birth injury attorneys at Olson & Reeves will help you through the steps.
The truth is, doctors, midwives, nurses, and other medical staff make preventable mistakes during child delivery, thus leading to birth injuries. These injuries are often heartbreaking because they may lead to permanent physical, psychological, cognitive, and social consequences. Such injuries may need extensive medical care and lifelong supervision.
What’s The Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?
You are only likely to file a medical malpractice claim in Illinois if your baby suffered a birth injury. This is important when you’re reviewing your options.
A congenital disability often occurs during pregnancy. These birth defects are commonly genetic and unpreventable—for example, clubfoot, cleft lip, congenital heart defects, and sickle cell disease.
Birth injuries generally happen during labor and delivery due to medical mistakes. And if you believe your baby was wrongfully injured, you have a right to file a lawsuit against the part that caused the injury.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Several factors may lead to birth injuries. Some injuries may be caused by natural complications, but others are caused by the mistakes of medical professionals. If this medical negligence resulted in harm, you should immediately speak to an experienced birth injury lawyer near you.
Birth injuries due to medical malpractice can involve mistakes such as:
- Delayed cesarean section delivery
- Hypoxia, which is oxygen deprivation due to umbilical cord issues, excessive medication, etc., may lead to cerebral palsy, seizures, and ADHD
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum (these are tools used to aid child delivery)
- Failure to respond promptly to the changes in the fetus’s condition
- Failure to refer a high-risk pregnant patient
Once our compassionate Southern Illinois personal injury attorneys have figured out the cause of the birth injury, they will work closely with you to ensure you receive justice.
What Are Common Examples of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence?
It’s imperative to understand your child’s injury, its consequences, and how it will affect your child’s future. The common ones our legal team in Illinois has encountered include:
Head and Brain Injuries
These are the most common injuries because of the nature of child delivery. While swelling and bruising can heal, other injuries can have serious complications. Cephalohematoma, and subgaleal hemorrhage are examples of head injuries that cause bleeding on or around the brain. Cerebral palsy is also a common brain injury, and you may need a cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer for help.
Facial nerve paralysis is possible if too much pressure is placed on the baby’s facial nerves. Facial nerve paralysis can go away in 3 months, but it’s also possible to become a permanent injury. Erb’s palsy is also likely if the nerves in the shoulder and elbow are affected.
A fractured collarbone is a common injury. Fortunately, most of these broken bones in babies heal without further complications.
What Damages Can I Recover in an Illinois Birth Injury Lawsuit?
An Illinois birth injury lawsuit can be brought on behalf of the parent or child. A personal representative can file on behalf of a minor. Your personal injury lawyer in Mt Vernon will pursue both economic and non-economic damages, which include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Caretaker costs and accommodations to your home
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages if your child dies – through a wrongful death claim in Illinois
- Shortened life expectancy
These damages can never offer you the full justice you deserve but can provide you the reprieve for some of the things you and your family have endured. Rest assured that our experienced birth injury attorney in Mt Vernon, IL, will calculate for you the full and fair amount and help you pursue it.
What’s the Claims Process Like?
The claims process may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re still caring for your child. Because of the complexity of the filing process, it’s best to seek the help of Illinois birth injury lawyers. When you meet us, we’ll likely explain the process, which involves:
Interview: During your initial consultation, we’ll interview you and collect information concerning the claim.
Collection of medical records: This step can take up to three months. The documents are a vital part of the evidence.
Investigation: Once we have obtained all the relevant records, we’ll investigate to determine whether standard care was violated. We’ll get the help of medical experts to give opinions.
Service of Notice: We’ll issue a letter indicating intent to sue if we find violations during our investigations. The doctor or hospital may convene a meeting to discuss a resolution instead of filing a court suit. The case can end at this stage and receive a settlement.
Sometimes you may have to go to court if negotiations fail. Your lawyer will file a case in court, and it may end up in mediation or trial. No matter how your birth injury case develops, it’s crucial to have a legal representative at your side at every step.
How Long Do I Have to File an Illinois Birth Injury?
A birth injury suit is a type of medical malpractice claim. In Illinois, you generally have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit from the date of the negligent act or two years from the date the injury was discovered. This amount of time a victim has to file is called a Statute of Limitations.
For birth injuries in Illinois, you have eight years from the date of the injury to file. If it ended up with a disability, the deadline could be extended until the child turns 22. Sometimes this statute of limitations can be confusing because of the many exceptions. If you suspect your child suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, talk to a skilled Mt Vernon birth injury attorney immediately and beat these deadlines.
Compassionate Legal Guidance from a Mt Vernon Birth Injury Attorney
Sometimes despite the best efforts of medical professionals, an injury still occurs. But if medical negligence or mistake was the cause of the injury, you and your child deserve compensation for the losses you have suffered.
An attorney will fight to get you the maximum compensation. A dedicated attorney at Olson & Reeves will walk you through your claim and guide you through the complex legal process. We offer dependable representation and aggressively battle to ensure your child receives the compensation needed to lead as normal a life as possible.
Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (618) 316-7322.