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Birth injuries allegedly affect about 60,000 of the 4 million births in the US every year. Having a newborn who suffers from a birth injury can be heartbreaking for the parents. It can also be expensive. A complicated childbirth can cost more than twice that of a normal delivery. Depending on the extent of the child’s injuries and needs, a couple may also incur the costs of ongoing care.
About two-thirds of birth injuries are unavoidable, but the other third are caused by medical negligence or mistakes. The most common reason cited for birth injuries are communication errors among the birthing team, such as misunderstanding a diagnosis, giving the wrong medications or failing to inform a doctor when a fetus shows signs of distress. When you believe an error like this has been made, immediately contacting a medical malpractice attorney can help you decide your next steps.
Hospitals owe a certain standard of care to their patients. If a medical care provider injures or fails to prevent injury to you or your infant, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the injury.
Many birth injuries are the result of oxygen deprivation which occurs when healthcare providers are not able to recognize problems and provide solutions in a timely manner. Some of these problems can include: Preeclampsia, eclampsia, excessive medication to mother and child, shoulder displacement, trauma to the infant and mother, and umbilical cord prolapse.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the most common causes of brain injuries and can manifest itself as a condition like cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy occurs in 1.5 to 4 children per every 1,000 births. Physical trauma to the brain during delivery can lead to this condition and even cause hearing loss in infants.
If your child has suffered a birth injury and you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must follow the required procedure in order for your case to be entertained by the courts. Although every person has the right to represent themselves and complete court processes on their own, the procedure for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is complex and better handled by a competent personal injury lawyer.
When filing a complaint with the court, it must be accompanied by a sworn declaration that a medical professional has reviewed the facts of the case and has determined that the case has legal merit. This written declaration must include the reasons for the health professional’s determination that a reasonable and meritorious cause for filing a lawsuit exists in the case. The health professional giving the declaration must:
Satisfying this requirement of the courts involves an analysis of the medical records by the medical professional. It requires a commitment of time, resources, and professional expertise that you may not have or have access to, which is where an established personal injury law firm like Smith LaCien LLP comes in. At Smith LaCien LLP, we have a team of dedicated medical professionals that we work with to put together a compelling case on your behalf.
A birth injury can have life-long consequences for the victim. Depending on the severity of the case, the victim may require intensive medical care, therapy, and accommodations for the rest of their life. The burden of bearing the costs associated with these needs falls on the legally responsible party whose negligence caused the victim’s injury. A legal claim for a birthing injury will include a demand for damages in a particular amount.
The amount of damages demanded is not an arbitrary number. Damages are based on the actual losses that a victim suffers because of their injury. This includes past and future losses associated with their injury. Getting an accurate valuation of a victim’s actual damages requires skill and expertise to account for both their economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages account for the tangible losses that a victim suffers like medical expenses and loss of capacity to earn an income. Non-economic damages account for intangible losses like disability and loss of society.
At Smith LaCien LLP, we have a track record of impressive outcomes for our clients, with over $2.5 billion recovered in personal injury claims consistently ranking at the top in Illinois for client recoveries. We will dedicate our resources to ensure that your case is properly valued and that you get fair compensation for your birth injury case.
Injury lawsuits involving birth injuries almost always require the help of a lawyer. Therefore, your first step should be to consult with an experienced injury attorney and determine if you want him or her to be your legal representative.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis meaning they only charge fees after they secure a settlement or jury verdict. They finance a case at their own expense and therefore take great care in screening potential clients and evaluating the merits of the case. Once they accept a case, they begin an investigation that includes negotiating with an insurance company, preparing pleadings, sending demand letters, and conducting discovery to help them build the case.
Lawyers at Smith LaCien LLP believe that when an injury to a newborn is caused by the birthing team, the responsible parties should be held accountable for damages, pain, and suffering. If you believe you have a case, contact us now by email or call (312) 509-8900.
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