Birth injuries are a devastating reality for many families, with thousands of babies born each year with a birth injury. In fact, statistics show that approximately 7 in every 1,000 births involves a birth injury, and 28,000 birth injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Although many birth injuries occur through the fault of no one, in some cases, a birth injury may be the result of obstetrical negligence, which is a type of medical malpractice. In some cases, it may be difficult to know whether the birth injury was the cause of obstetrical negligence or not, but there are some types of birth injuries that involve medical malpractice more often than others, such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Stillborn or neonatal death
- Damage to reproductive organs/fertility loss
- Post-partum hemorrhage
If your child was born with a birth injury, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice holds doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers liable for injuries caused by negligence. In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, the parents must show the following:
- the defendant had a duty to provide the appropriate medical care;
- the defendant failed to provide the appropriate medical care; and
- the defendant’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care caused the child to sustain injuries or damages.
If you think suspect obstetrical negligence may have been a factor in your child’s birth injury, there are certain things you should do in order to protect your rights, including:
- Get a second opinion and/or proper medical treatment. In some cases, the extent or cause of a birth injury is not immediately apparent, and additional medical testing may need to be done. You may also want to get a second opinion or switch doctors to obtain additional information regarding the birth injury.
- Retain medical records and bills. It is also important to obtain and retain all pertinent medical records. Not only will this information help you get the necessary medical treatment for your child, but it may also be essential to a medical malpractice lawsuit if obstetrical negligence is found to be the cause of the birth injury. Make sure to save all medical bills and correspondence with insurance companies, as well.
- Consult with a medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice attorney can help you understand whether you have a viable cause of action, get you the medical treatment that you need, and advise you on the next steps. There are strict time limitations during which a medical malpractice claim can be filed. In Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit without death must be filed within two years of the date of that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the birth injury.
Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be confusing and stressful, especially if your family is also dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a birth injury, but a medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to guiding families through the process and fighting for maximum money damages to care for their child. If your child suffered a birth injury, contact our office at (888) 325-7299 schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.