The birth of a child is one of the most joyous events in a parent’s life. Most child deliveries go smoothly and without any serious complications, but unfortunately, some babies are born with a defect or sustain an injury, which is sometimes caused due to a healthcare provider’s negligence. Birth-related medical malpractice refers to the negligent acts of a hospital, doctor, or other medical professionals that caused injury to either the child or the mother during the course of the pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
In situations like these where harm was avoidable and a doctor’s negligence caused the birth injury, it is essential that the legal rights of the parents and the baby are fully safeguarded. That is why you need a reliable and experienced medical malpractice attorney to handle your case and guide you through the entire process of filing a claim.
Distinguishing Between Birth Defect or Birth Injury
When a complication arises during the delivery or labor process, it may result in a birth injury to the baby or the mother. It can be caused due to the improper use of a medical device, like a vacuum or forceps, or wrong medical method during delivery.
Birth defects refer to the damage inflicted to a baby before birth, which may be caused by something before or during the mother’s pregnancy. The most common cause of birth defects is the use of medications or substances with teratogen that is sometimes administered to women to prevent miscarriages or aid them in conceiving.
Common Birth Injuries and Defects
A birth injury can range from being very mild to severe. Some common mild injuries include swelling, bloodshot eyes, bruising, and a broken collarbone or arm, which tend to heal quickly in healthy babies. Some injuries may appear severe at birth, such as temporary paralysis of the arm or face, but often fully heal in a few days or weeks. You may not be able to establish a claim of medical malpractice if there is no lasting damage.
Some serious forms of birth injury that have long-term implications include bleeding in the brain, cerebral palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, Erb’s palsy, injury to brain cells due to lack of oxygen, and seizure disorders. However, it is important to remember that just because your child has some serious health issues doesn’t necessarily mean the doctor didn’t fulfill their duty of care towards the mother or child. They may have done everything right, but still couldn’t prevent the injury or defect. The healthcare provider can only be held liable if they have acted negligently and made an error that resulted in lasting harm.
Medical Malpractice Claims
Injuries suffered at the time of birth can be life-altering for both the parents and the child. By filing a claim or lawsuit against the healthcare provider, you can recover damages including the loss of a normal life, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, loss of future earnings, and disability.
Different states have varying laws governing medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for birth-related medical malpractice is eight years from the day of birth. It is essential that you act quickly and get legal help to ensure your case is represented aggressively. Contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers and evaluate your legal options.