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When does a birth injury constitute malpractice?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2019 | Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can result in long-term physical and mental disabilities. These injuries may occur during labor, childbirth or post-birth medical care. Hofeld and Schaffner has had unparalleled success in representing families in birth injury cases.  Our firm has recovered in excess of $100,000,000.00 for families damaged by birth and neonatal negligence.

Negligent actions by medical personnel sometimes cause birth injuries. In these cases, the medical system must legally provide compensation for the family’s medical bills and other associated costs.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can occur to both baby and mother.  Serious injuries to the baby include cerebral palsy and nerve injuries to the shoulder, arm, or hand.  Mom’s can suffer severe brain injury or death.  These injuries can result from the following negligent conduct by physicians, nurse midwives and nurse:

  • Failure to appropriately interpret fetal heart monitor tracings;
  • Delay in performing emergent c-sections;
  • Inadequately monitoring mother and baby during labor;
  • Inappropriately administering drugs to induce labor;
  • Using forceps or vacuum assistance with a difficult vaginal delivery

This list is not exhaustive as negligence can take many forms.  The important thing is that if your child or the child’s mother is seriously injured during or around childbirth, you should contact an attorney experienced in handling birth injury cases.

 Negligence in birth injury

 In medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must prove that the health care provider failed to meet what a reasonable person would consider a general standard of care. Usually, the court hears testimony from an expert in labor and delivery medicine to establish this standard of care in a birth injury case. The plaintiff must also prove that this lack of care led to injury to the baby and/or mother.

Statute of limitations

For any medical negligence action, there is a statute of limitations which limits the time in which you can file a lawsuit for damage compensation.  Birth injuries to the baby … or the Mom … can be severe and permanent.  In Illinois, for a mother’s injuries, the statute of limitations can be shorter than a year.  For the baby, the limitations period can be as short as 2 years.  In short, the statute of limitations may be shorter or longer than you believe.  It takes an attorney experienced in medical negligence to determine the appropriate time limits.  If you believe a mother or baby has been injured in childbirth, seek the advice of an experienced attorney immediately.

 Legal damages

 The court may award damages for current and future medical bills, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering and other costs associated with the birth injury. Sometimes, the court establishes a trust for the child so he or she can receive compensation in the future.

If your child suffered a birth injury, the hospital or care provider’s negligence could be the root cause. When you suspect medical malpractice, act quickly to avoid missing the legal deadline for your claim.