Childbirth can be one of life’s most joyous occasions. However, when something goes wrong during labor and delivery, parents are rightfully angry and look for answers.
The Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Most medical malpractice cases in this area stem either from the performance of so-called "unnecessary" cesarean sections or from the birth of infants with brain damage, neurological disorders, or other serious injuries allegedly incurred during labor and delivery. Whether brain damage is diagnosed soon after delivery or later, when the child fails to achieve developmental milestones during the first years of life, parents usually seek out an explanation as to why and when their child suffered the irreversible brain injury. Generally, parents are told that the birth injury was unavoidable. Understandably, many parents suspect that the facts and circumstances that led to the brain damage are not being fully disclosed.
Therefore, many parents frequently decide to consult with and retain an attorney to conduct an independent evaluation of medical records, with the help of qualified experts, to determine the cause and timing of their child’s birth injury and whether the adverse outcome could have been prevented with proper medical care. When approached to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the birth of a child, we generally consider the following questions:
- What caused the fetal or neonatal brain damage?
- Did treating physicians timely diagnose and properly manage those fetal, maternal, or neonatal, conditions capable of causing irreversible brain damage?
- Were there warning signs of fetal distress during the labor and delivery that should have prompted the obstetrician to intervene and expedite the delivery?
- Would earlier intervention or delivery have prevented the birth injury?
To properly answer these questions, the law office of Harvey L. Walner & Associates retains medical experts with medical specialties in the field of obstetrics.
In medical malpractice cases, a court will generally determine whether the obstetricians acted in compliance with the customary practices of his or her profession. Although application of this standard is not the sole determinant of the outcome of the lawsuit, it is extremely important in evaluating the reasonableness of the obstetrician’s actions. This standard recognizes the great complexity of the medical profession while still allowing obstetricians a good deal of discretion. Further, obstetricians will not be penalized for following a course approved by a respectable segment of the profession. However, the unsafe practice of an accepted procedure will not shield the obstetrician from being found at fault for the injuries. Therefore, the plaintiff (the party initiating the lawsuit) must prove, through the use of expert witnesses that the obstetrician did not act reasonably given the circumstances. If the plaintiff is successful, the obstetrician will be found liable for the injuries.
With the increasing rate of medical malpractice lawsuits involving childbirth, it is important for expectant parents to understand the medical procedures used during the birth of their baby and how those procedures can affect the health of their baby and the health of the mother. In the unfortunate event of an injury to either mother or baby, the parents may want to pursue both answers and compensation through legal action. This type of a case requires an attorney with great knowledge and experience in the field of medical malpractice, especially in childbirth cases, which is essential to building a successful case.
Please read our Medical Malpractice Questions for more information.
If you’ve been a victim of a birth injury due to medical malpractice anywhere in Illinois including Chicago, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation. Please contact us immediately so that we may begin fighting for your rights.
If you or a loved one has been hurt, and you need help, please call or email us today or text "Walnerlaw" to 41513 for a FREE consultation.