Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
Record-Breaking Results for Victims of Medical Negligence
When we take on a case, we give it every ounce of our efforts. With our
full passion and focus behind the cases we handle, our clients benefit
from having an aggressive and skillful advocate in their corner. Birth
injury cases in Illinois are among the most tragic and complex we handle,
but we do it well. These cases deserve attorneys who are experienced not
only in the courtroom, but in the nuances of proper medical procedure.
By choosing our team of skillful litigators, you have that.
Contact Power Rogers & Smith now to learn more.
Table of Contents
Do I have a case?
You may qualify for a birth injury claim if you or your child was injured
during labor or delivery. Consider the following questions, and if you
can answer “yes” to them, then you may have a case. However,
these claims are best investigated by an experienced birth injury attorney,
so be sure to contact us directly if you believe you have a case.
Was there an established doctor-patient relationship? This establishes the doctor’s duty to care for the patient.
Did the doctor breach their duty of care? A “breach of care” is any deviation from the acceptable standard of care.
Did the doctor’s deviation from the standard of care result in damages? Birth injury claims must involve a serious or permanent injury, or wrongful death.
Can the breach in standard of care be linked to the damages? Causation must be shown – that the negligence directly contributed
to the damages.
We Are No Stranger to Birth Injury Litigation
We have the largest medical malpractice verdict in the history of the State
of Illinois and have handled numerous high-value birth injury cases for
$23 Million in a birth injury case involving failure to treat high blood pressure
brain damage to the mother.
$21.175 Million in a birth injury case where the doctors failed to detect abnormal blood
pressure and delayed
cesarean section. The expectant mother dies and her son sustained permanent brain damage.
$18 Million in a birth injury case where the doctor failed to adequately resuscitate
the expectant mother after failure to diagnose
Over $4 Billion
in Verdicts and Settlements
View Our Record of Success
Birth Injury Lawsuits
If there was a breach in duty of care that caused or contributed to a plaintiff’s
injury, the plaintiff may have grounds to file a tort action based on
negligence. “Assumption of risk” is a traditional defense
to personal injury actions, and claims that either express or implied
assumption of risk holds the defendant harmless for any injury that might
result from said conduct. The plaintiff in these cases has the burden
to prove the following:
- That the defendant’s action or omission was negligent
- That the plaintiff was injured
- That the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury
In birth injury cases involving multiple defendants, the plaintiff has
the burden to prove these three factors separately for each defendant.
Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a disorder caused by damage to the developing brain. This brain damage affects muscle control, resulting in difficulty walking
and controlling reflexes, learning disabilities, and speech delays, among
other symptoms. Factors associated with higher risk of cerebral palsy
include low birthweight, premature birth, maternal infections during pregnancy,
and labor complications such as uterine rupture and umbilical cord strangulation
that could cause hypoxic brain injury.
Some early signs of cerebral palsy can include:
- Floppiness resulting from diminished muscle tone
- Inability to lift head
- Spasms or twitching of limbs
- By six months, still can’t sit up or roll over
- Favors one side of the body
- Difficulty with chewing or swallowing
Shoulder dystocia cases are becoming more prominent. They occur when labor
is obstructed, and are characterized by difficulty in delivering the infant’s
shoulder after the head is delivered. This obstruction pulls on the shoulder,
and can result in conditions such as Erb’s palsy, brain damage resulting
from hypoxia, or fetal death. There are many known risk factors for shoulder
dystocia that doctors should be aware of and prepared for. These risk
factors include maternal obesity, fetal macrosomia, and diabetes.
Childbearing is the sixth most common cause of death among women age 20
to 34 in the United States. About 15 women die during childbirth out of every 100,000 births in the
United States. Some causes of maternal death during childbirth include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Obstructed labor
- Postpartum infections
- Hypertensive diseases such as preeclampsia and eclampsia
Maternal death may be grounds to bring a birth injury/wrongful death lawsuit,
so speak with an attorney at our firm experienced in this type of litigation
for more information on your options.
Birth Injury Compensation: Verdicts & Settlements
Compensation for birth injuries can come in many forms. If your child sustained
brain damage during delivery, for example, and suffered cerebral palsy
as a result, you could seek compensation to cover the costs of ongoing
medical care, in-home care providers, loss of future earning capacity,
and more. Babies born with defects or who sustain serious injuries during
delivery suffer physical damage that often requires a larger financial
commitment than what is required for a healthy baby.
In Illinois, “Damage Instructions” can be found in section
30.00. Factors that can influence the amount of damages a plaintiff receives
include the following:
- Each element of the negligence-caused damages as proven by evidence should
be taken into consideration;
- The nature and extent of the injury;
- Preexisting ailments or conditions;
- Disability and loss of a normal life (i.e. diminished ability to enjoy life);
- Increased risk of future harm because of the injury;
Birth injury verdicts can be calculated by adding the value of: medical
expenses, disfigurement, disability, loss of normal life, pain and suffering,
time/earnings/profits/salaries/benefits lost, and risk of future harm.
The sum is called the “total damages,” which is then multiplied
by the percentage of likelihood that a future condition or harm will occur
to arrive at the finalized total damages. When calculating damages in
a birth injury claim, the value can be diminished by shortened life expectancy.
Birth Injury Definition
Birth injury is defined as an injury sustained during birth. The injury
that occurs during labor or delivery can be an adverse event, or it can
be the result of negligence. Some people include mothers in the definition
of birth injury, and include injuries sustained by the mother during labor
and delivery as a birth injury as well.
Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect
A birth injury refers to an injury that occurs during labor or delivery.
A birth defect, on the other hand, describes a malformation or disability
that is the result of genetics or some environmental influence. For example, some prescription drugs have been known to cause birth defects
when taken by pregnant mothers. Doctors and other healthcare professionals
should be able to use imaging technology and other tests to determine
the health of the baby (i.e. whether or not there are any birth defects
or abnormalities) before delivery.
Birth Injury Statistics
Approximately seven out of every 1,000 children born in the United States
suffer a birth injury. While not all of them are severe, this means that 28,000 babies every
year suffer an injury at birth in the United States. The most common birth
injuries are usually the least severe, such as minor sprains and forceps
bruising, but some can be permanently debilitating and even life-threatening.
Call our Chicago birth injury attorneys today!
Birth injury and birth trauma cases carry a lasting impact. Many mothers
give birth to children who have permanent disabilities and are left without
the financial resources to accommodate the level of care that necessitates.
Many husbands lose their wives because of tragic medical missteps during
labor. Whatever happened in your case, the Chicago birth injury attorneys
at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. are available to assess your case
and determine the necessary legal recourse.
Call Power Rogers & Smith today at (312) 313-0202 for a free case review.