We are experienced Chicago based injury attorneys for cases throughout Illinois. If you would like a free consultation, please call us at (312) 346-5320.
As an expecting parent, you have so much hope for your unborn son or daughter. It’s a terrible shock when they are injured at birth. If it’s possibly due to negligence from the doctor or hospital, it’s important that you know what to look for. We put together a list of things you should know.
– There are all sorts of birth injuries that we see. The most common is when they keep the baby inside the mother too long. This can result in a brain injury.
– To determine if there is a brain injury, we look at the cord gas (blood taken from the umbilical cord).
– In most brain injury birth cases, the child will have a seizure and abnormal MRI within the first 48 hours after delivery.
– It’s typical, when a brain injury is suspected, for the doctors to apply a cooling process as this can potentially reverse or limit brain damage.
– When a baby shows distress through the fetal monitoring system they should be removed from the mother within 30 minutes.
– Another big warning sign is when the baby’s heartbeat drops after a contraction. Typically being squeezed would raise the heartbeat.
– The other big birth related injury is to the arm and shoulder. Brachial plexus and Erb’s Palsy are the two most common ones, usually from the child being too big for the birth canal or the doctor making an error while pulling the baby out. If the baby has a permanent injury it could be worth filing a lawsuit. Shoulder dystocia happens when a baby’s head gets trapped behind the mother’s pelvis during delivery. It can lead to terrible outcomes including difficulties when breathing, a collarbone fracture, cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus fracture, and in some instances, death.
– The time limit to sue for most birth injury cases is eight years from the delivery. Note if you treated at a Government run hospital, the time limit could be as little as one year. And if your pediatrician is employed by a Federally funded clinic, the time limit to sue is no more than two years from delivery and must be done under the Federal Tort Claims Act. So even if you delivered at a hospital like Rush or Northwestern, if the doctor is actually an employee of the Federally funded clinic, the time limit to sue them is only two years.
– In most cases you have to wait a couple of years to see what the ultimate outcome of the baby is before proceeding with a lawsuit because otherwise you can’t fully assess their damages and the case value. In other words, don’t be stressed if your case is taking many years.
– The most important point you should know is that there are really only a handful of attorneys who have a great track record of success with these cases. In a case with a really serious injury, the right law firm isn’t only the difference between winning and losing, but it can also be the difference of many millions of dollars.
If you want to discuss your case and/or find out who the best law firm is for you, call us for a free consultation. We will give honest, blunt advice and recommend a firm with an incredible track record. This doesn’t guarantee a win, but gives you the best chance at a good result.