Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers
Standing Up for Injured Infants & Their Families
If your child suffered a sudden birth injury, or died during delivery, you deserve to know what happened. If this tragedy could have been prevented, your birth doctor or hospital staff should be held liable.
At Walner Law®, your birth injury lawsuit is not just about money, it’s about making sure that your child is taken care of for the rest of his or her life. It’s also about seeking justice, finding closure, and helping prevent such tragedies from happening to other newborns in the future. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers are dedicated to providing you with personal service that goes beyond our office walls, helping put you at ease while your birth injury claim develops.
Please tell us what happened to your child. We want to see if we can help. Call (312) 313-2888 now.
Birth Defects Vs. Birth Injuries
A birth injury occurs when a baby is born, and something does not go according to plan during the delivery process. Birth injuries are the result of a doctor’s medical negligence and should have been prevented with adequate medical care.
Birth injuries are often confused with birth defects. A birth defect is harm to your unborn child that occurs before or during pregnancy. Many birth defects are genetic and cannot be entirely prevented. However, a congenital disability can arise if the mother has been prescribed an unsafe medication during her pregnancy.
Common Birth Injuries
There is a full medical catalog filled with known birth injuries, their causes, and their consequences. Some birth injuries are considerably rare, and others are unfortunately common. We can handle any birth injury claim, regardless of the birth injury’s rarity or complications, though.
To discuss some of the more common birth injuries:
- Caput succedaneum: This occurs when the soft tissues of your newborn’s scalp swell as they are traveling through the birth canal. Vacuum extraction increases the likelihood of this birth injury. However, it does not typically result in serious effects and may heal within just a few days.
- Erb’s/Brachial palsy: If your doctor has difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder and the brachial plexus (the group of nerves connected to the arms and hands) becomes injured, it can cause brachial palsy. Your newborn will temporarily lose their ability to flex and rotate their arm. However, if the nerve was torn, the damage and its consequences can be permanent.
- Cerebral palsy: This birth injury can be caused by harm to the brain that occurs before, during, or after childbirth. It affects your child’s ability to control movement and posture. It may result in short- or long-term difficulties.
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage: This is caused if the tiny vessels in your newborn’s eyes break, making them appear red around the iris. No treatment should be necessary, as the condition most often heals on its own.
- Bruising or forceps marks: Forceps used in the delivery process can leave bruises on the baby’s face, and vacuum extraction can leave bruises and lacerations on their scalp. Lacerations may heal naturally, or they can cause permanent disfigurement.
- Cephalohematoma: This occurs if there is bleeding between your baby’s bone and fibrous covering of the head, and it often appears as a raised lump hours after delivery. There should be no treatment necessary in most cases.
- Facial paralysis: Excessive pressure on your child’s face can damage the facial nerves, causing paralysis. This paralysis may be temporary, long-term, or permanent.
Delivery & Labor Injury Lawsuits
Most delivery and labor injury lawsuits are caused by either the performance of unnecessary cesarean sections or from the birth of infants with brain damage, neurological disorders, or other serious injuries suffered 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. If they are told that their child suffered the irreversible brain injury, they are also usually told that the birth injury was unavoidable. This is rarely the truth, and circumstances that led to the brain damage are not being fully disclosed.
To get to the truth of the matter, come to Walner Law® and speak with our Chicago delivery injury attorneys. We may decide to conduct an independent evaluation of your child’s medical records and call upon the help of qualified experts for further insight. Together, we can determine the cause and timing of your child’s birth injury and whether the adverse outcome could have been prevented with proper medical care.
We ask the following questions and more when trying to get to the root of a delivery or birth injury:
- 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?
What's the Cause of My Child's Birth Injury?
Every medical negligence case is unique, but there are common types of injuries that infants wrongfully suffer because of a hospital error. Sadly, these medical mistakes often cause a profound impact on the life of a child. While these injuries can be the result of unavoidable circumstances, they are often caused by negligence from a medical professional. Preventable injuries, unfortunately, occur more than they should. Depending upon the injury that was suffered, treatment options for families may be temporary or life-long. Conditions such as cerebral palsy affect the victim for a lifetime.
One of the most important things regarding birth injury litigation is finding the cause of the injury.
Some birth injuries occur due to natural circumstances, but some involve complications with the pregnancy, difficulties with the labor, or worse yet, negligence on behalf of the medical provider. In some cases, those practitioners may be liable for the birth injuries that were involved. The most common birth injuries result from the following:
- Improper fetal monitoring
- Improper delivery room techniques
- Delayed C-section births
- Improper use of delivery room tools such as forceps
- Incorrect delivery of drugs to the mother
- Failure to follow delivery room procedures and rules
- Most Common Types of Birth Injuries
When hospital personnel and delivery room doctors fail to follow the proper protocols and procedures during a child’s birth, serious injuries to the child may result. Common birth injuries may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Injuries to the baby’s skull
- Cerebral palsy
- Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain or hypoxia
- Irreversible brain damage
- Wrongful death
- Illinois Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
Proving Negligence to Strengthen Your Birth Injury Claim
In birth injury 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.
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.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim?
When a child suffers a birth injury due to the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare provider, the parents only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. This is called the statute of limitations.
Birth injury claims in Illinois can be filed for up to eight years on behalf of a baby who was injured. If the child was disabled as the result of negligence during the birthing process, the statute of limitations can extend up to 22 years since some birth injuries do not become apparent until later down the road. The statute of limitations is the length of time that someone has to file a legal claim following an event, in this case a birth injury.
Failing to file your lawsuit for a birth injury within the required time frame could result in your loss of ability to do so ever. A Chicago birth injury attorney can be sure that all the deadlines are met so you can receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers
While nearly all birth injuries are irreversible, a successful malpractice lawsuit allows the victim and family to recover damages for all medical expenses related to the injury.
If your child suffered a birth injury, please call Walner Law® at (312) 313-2888. It does not cost you a dime to learn more about your legal options because we offer free consultations. We also will not charge you any attorney fees unless we win your case!
Additional Information & Resources
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Experience on Your Side
Our family-run law firm has more than 75 years of experience standing up for the rights of injured people and families across Chicago.
Thousands of Clients Helped
Our firm has helped over 10,000 clients get the justice they deserve since we opened our doors in 1961.
A Proven Record of Results
Our firm has recovered over $100 millions for our clients and is committed to maximizing your recovery.
We are committed to treating all clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, regardless of their potential case value.
An Extensive Network of Support
Our team of more than 45 legal and medical professionals are dedicated to providing our clients with access to medical experts, treatment, and financial assistance.
“Kristin was so knowledgeable and guided me step by step about my options and kept me in the loop about my case.”- Monica
“I chose Walner Law because they made me feel like a very important client and took consideration of my medical injury at the time.”- Denise
“This law firm was very responsive to my needs and very empathetic about my injury.”- Kyle