Everybody hopes for a healthy baby. Nowadays, pregnant mothers are tested and retested for dangerous genetic conditions that can cause a baby to be born with severe impairments, and multiple ultrasounds of a baby in utero are not uncommon even during healthy pregnancies.
Despite these precautions, sometimes medical errors are made during a mother’s pregnancy or at the time of birth that cause a child to be born with significant impairments or even die during childbirth. In Illinois, these errors may amount to negligence, or what is called medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs in childbirth cases when a doctor or hospital employee fails to provide the same level of care that other obstetric healthcare providers would provide under similar circumstances, and this failure, or breach, causes an injury to a baby.
Birth injuries come in many forms. Sometimes, the injuries are physical, and a baby’s shoulders or arms possess limited function as a result of a doctor’s malpractice. Other times, the injuries are to a baby’s brain. Perhaps a doctor made an improper use of a birthing tool or failed to provide a timely Cesarean section procedure, and the error resulted in a baby having severe brain damage that may last a lifetime or may even result in death.
Unfortunately, these are not the only types of birth injuries, or the only kinds of medical errors that can cause birth injuries. Sometimes, a baby’s injuries are not obvious at the time of childbirth, or even shortly thereafter, but they become evident as the child grows and fails to meet certain developmental milestones. Illinois law extends the statute of limitations, or the time a patient has to sue after he or she is injured, in these cases.
In all types of birth injury cases, Illinois malpractice law is consistent. Doctors must act with reasonable care in providing their services, and a failure to do so may be grounds for a lawsuit. In Illinois, if a doctor commits malpractice, and a baby is injured as a result, the baby may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages. If the baby dies as a result of a doctor’s negligence, the baby’s parents may be able to recover compensation as well.
A recent case in California illustrates these points. According to a news report, a federal judge awarded $9.6 million to a three-year-old girl who was injured during childbirth. During her delivery, the doctor waited too long to perform a C-section, even though her heart rate was getting worse. As a result, she is now blind and must be fed through a feeding tube in her stomach. She is unable to walk, talk, or care for herself in any manner.
The judge also awarded the baby’s mother $250,000 for emotional distress. In Illinois, there is no cap, or limit, on the amount of money an injured party can collect for non-economic damages like emotional distress or pain and suffering.
Is It Possible That Your Child Was Injured During Childbirth?
Determining the extent to which your child was injured during childbirth is never easy. It requires the trained eyes of lawyers and medical experts who have a track record of success handling birth injury cases. The lawyers at Moll Law Group have the knowledge and experience to properly assess your child’s injuries, and the desire to help make you whole again. This is true even in cases in which your child’s injuries may not have been obvious from birth, and possibly in cases in which you think the time has passed for you to sue the doctor who delivered your baby. Our attorneys are committed to you and your family, and we believe that by helping you, we are also helping countless other families avoid the mistakes you have been forced to endure. For a free consultation, call 312.462.1700.
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