Birth Injury

Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers

Watching a newborn suffer through injuries from birth is heartbreaking, especially if those injuries are due to medical negligence. If a birth injury is the result of negligence, carelessness, or intentional actions on the part of a doctor or nurse, you may be due compensation.

Seeking this compensation requires skilled legal assistance and representation. Doctors are often backed by insurance companies with plenty of resources at their disposal, so you need to be sure you have an attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to contend with these entities. Hart David Carson provides that experience.

Medical Negligence Can Cause Birth Injuries

Birth injuries and trauma are sometimes the result of negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse, technician, or other member of a medical practice. 

For a birth injury to be considered the result of negligence, the following criteria must be met:

  • The party at fault had a duty to provide care to you (or your baby)
  • They violated a pertinent standard of care
  • That violation resulted in injury

Demonstrating negligence naturally requires a working knowledge of medical standards, as well as legal know-how. Proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a birth injury was due to negligence is a complex process, and you will need an attorney to help obtain the compensation you deserve. Hart David Carson helps you by carefully assessing each case and making thorough plans to aggressively negotiate your claim, either with the insurance company directly or in trial.

Types of Injuries

Negligence can result in a variety of birth injuries that will affect your baby for the rest of their life.

The more serious of these injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and posture. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often before or during birth. Factors such as oxygen deprivation, infections, or head trauma during birth can contribute to cerebral palsy. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include muscle stiffness, involuntary movements, and coordination problems.
  • Brain Damage: Brain damage during birth can occur due to various factors such as oxygen deprivation, trauma from forceps or vacuum extractors, or infections. Brain damage can lead to a range of neurological deficits, including cognitive impairment, developmental delays, seizures, and motor dysfunction.
  • Perinatal Hypoxia and Asphyxia: Perinatal hypoxia and asphyxia refer to a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain before, during, or immediately after birth. This oxygen deprivation can result from complications such as umbilical cord compression, placental abruption, or prolonged labor. Perinatal hypoxia and asphyxia can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy, and other long-term neurological complications.
  • Fetal Distress: Fetal distress occurs when the baby's oxygen supply is compromised during labor and delivery. This can be due to factors such as umbilical cord compression, placental insufficiency, or maternal health issues. Fetal distress is often indicated by abnormal fetal heart rate patterns and may require prompt medical intervention, such as emergency cesarean section, to prevent birth injuries.
  • Bone Fractures: Bone fractures can occur during birth due to excessive force or improper handling of the baby. Common sites of fractures include the collarbone (clavicle) and the long bones of the arms or legs. While many birth-related fractures heal without long-term complications, severe fractures may require medical intervention and can lead to long-term issues if not properly treated.
  • Shoulder Dystocia: Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that occurs when the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pubic bone during delivery. This can lead to prolonged labor, compression of the umbilical cord, and fetal distress. Shoulder dystocia increases the risk of birth injuries such as brachial plexus injuries and fractures, as well as maternal complications such as postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that controls movement and sensation in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries can occur during birth when the nerves are stretched, compressed, or torn, often as a result of shoulder dystocia or excessive traction during delivery. This can lead to weakness, paralysis, and loss of sensation in the affected arm.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries during birth are relatively rare but can occur due to trauma or excessive force during delivery. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and other neurological deficits.

These lead to pain, suffering, and medical expenses, both short term and long term. Other long-term impacts include loss of earning ability for your child later on and a lost chance to live a normal life. Just as difficult as the physical suffering involved in birth injuries is the emotional suffering you and your child will experience. Our attorneys can help ease your burdens by seeking damages for birth injuries.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries resulting from medical malpractice can occur due to a variety of factors. Here are some common causes:

  • Delayed or improper response to fetal distress: Fetal distress can occur during labor due to factors such as oxygen deprivation or umbilical cord compression. Medical professionals are trained to monitor fetal heart rate and respond promptly to signs of distress. Failure to recognize or respond to these signs in a timely manner can lead to birth injuries such as brain damage or cerebral palsy.
  • Failure to perform a timely cesarean section (C-section): In some cases, a C-section may be necessary to safely deliver the baby. Medical professionals must accurately assess the need for a C-section and perform the procedure promptly if indicated. Delays in performing a C-section can result in complications such as birth asphyxia, shoulder dystocia, or brain damage.
  • Improper use of birth-assisting tools: Forceps and vacuum extractors are sometimes used to assist with delivery. Improper use of these tools can cause birth injuries such as skull fractures, nerve damage, or brain hemorrhages.
  • Medication errors during labor and delivery: Administering the wrong medication or incorrect dosage during labor and delivery can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby. For example, administering too much Pitocin (a drug used to induce or augment labor) can lead to uterine hyperstimulation and fetal distress.
  • Failure to diagnose or treat maternal infections: Maternal infections such as group B streptococcus (GBS) or sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth and lead to serious complications if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
  • Inadequate prenatal care: Proper prenatal care is essential for monitoring the health and development of both the mother and the baby. Inadequate prenatal care can lead to undiagnosed medical conditions or birth defects that increase the risk of birth injuries.
  • Inadequate communication and coordination among healthcare providers: Effective communication and coordination among obstetricians, nurses, and other healthcare providers are crucial for ensuring the safety of both the mother and the baby during labor and delivery. Failures in communication can lead to errors in patient care and preventable birth injuries.
  • Negligent handling of high-risk pregnancies: Certain pregnancies are considered high-risk due to factors such as maternal age, pre-existing medical conditions, or complications such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. Medical professionals must provide appropriate care and monitoring for high-risk pregnancies to prevent complications and birth injuries.

Seeking Damages

Hart David Carson can assist you through the process of filing a claim and obtaining monetary compensation for a birth injury. 

This can cover a variety of damages, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Medical expenses, both past and future
  • Loss of normal life

A birth injury can have a dramatic effect on both the child and the parents, not all of which can be fixed with monetary compensation. However, seeking compensation can help ease the burden and get you and your child back on track to a better future.

A case may go to court, but it can also be resolved without a trial. This requires skilled negotiation on the part of your attorney, as well as a meticulously planned case. Our attorneys are highly skilled at assessing a claim and formulating thorough plans that will secure the compensation you deserve. 

To learn more, contact our attorneys at Hart David Carson today.

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