Your suspicion might just be the first crucial step toward securing justice for your child.
In the bustling city of Chicago, thousands of expectant mothers put their trust in our renowned local hospitals every year.
From the state-of-the-art labor and delivery suites at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to the renowned Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) at Rush University Medical Center to the all-encompassing maternity services at the University of Chicago Medical Center, these institutions promise the highest standard of care during one of life’s most precious events—the birth of a child.
After enduring a traumatic birth, my child was left with brain damage. Now, he needs around-the-clock care, and I’m consumed by fear. Without the necessary medical resources, who will look after my child if I’m no longer around? I can’t escape the gut feeling that something went awry during delivery, possibly a mistake by the doctor or the delivery nurses. But where do I turn for answers? What steps can I take to seek justice for my child?
Not every birth story unfolds as it should. Tragically, traumatic births and resulting birth injuries can and do occur, sometimes as a result of negligence or a breach in the standard of care we rightly expect from these esteemed establishments.
The aftermath of such an event is often daunting, thrusting families into an unfamiliar world of medical jargon, lifelong care plans, and escalating expenses.
That’s where Laura Brown steps in. With her sterling reputation as one of the nation’s foremost birth injury attorneys, she will hold these medical powerhouses accountable when their delivery of care falls short.
When a traumatic birth casts a shadow over your family’s future, let Laura Brown be your champion. Trust her to fight for your child, standing up against formidable medical institutions in pursuit of the rightful compensation that your family deserves.
Our consultations are free.
However, not every case is the right fit.
When we do decide to accept your case, rest assured you won’t have to deal with out-of-pocket costs.
Does your child suffer from these conditions following traumatic labor and delivery?
Delayed C-Section leading to cerebral palsy
Was your labor prolonged, with your child showing signs of fetal distress? If a necessary C-section was not performed promptly, it could have resulted in oxygen deprivation and subsequent cerebral palsy in your child.
Negligence during high-risk pregnancy resulting in Erb’s palsy
If your pregnancy was high-risk due to your age or pre-existing conditions and was not managed appropriately, any resulting nerve damage from delivery could have led to Erb’s palsy in your child.
Negligence in neonatal care with a delay in brain cooling therapy
If your newborn experienced difficulties and was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), delayed or inadequate brain cooling therapy could have worsened their condition.
Improper use of delivery tools causing brain damage
If forceps or other delivery tools were used inappropriately or aggressively during your child’s birth, it could have resulted in significant head trauma and subsequent brain damage.
Missed warning signs: Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Unaddressed labor distress may lead to your newborn inhaling meconium-stained fluid, causing Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS). This condition, without prompt treatment, can result in brain and lung damage, or cerebral palsy.
Delayed response to umbilical cord injuries
When the medical team is slow to act or overlooks umbilical cord injuries, it can lead to oxygen deprivation and result in severe birth injuries. Delayed brain cooling therapy can further exacerbate the damage.
You may have a case.
If your child has experienced any of these complications, and you suspect it was due to negligence or errors during labor and delivery, reach out to Laura Brown.
For a baby, labor and delivery are a traumatic journey down the birth canal, with many hazards along the way. While babies are remarkably resilient, they can also suffer injuries during the birth process.
Birth injuries can be devastating and life-altering, affecting both the child and their family. When faced with the physical, emotional and financial challenges of a birth injury, seeking help from a birth injury attorney is essential.
If your baby suffered a birth injury as a result of a doctor’s or other health care provider’s negligence, experienced Chicago birth injury attorney Laura Brown is ready to answer your questions and advocate on your behalf to get your family the support and financial help they need.
Infant mortality rate in Illinois
Meanwhile, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infant mortality rate in Illinois in 2020 was 5.5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, or 733 fatalities.
The leading causes of infant death include the following:
Unfortunately, some of these causes were avoidable but for caregiver negligence during childbirth.
Birth rate statistics in Illinois
With only 133,097 births in 2021, Illinois was below the national average. The Illinois birth rate was 10.4 births per 1,000 people, compared to the national average of 10.8 births per 1,000 people. This makes the birth rate in Illinois the 17th lowest among all the states.
Learn the differences between birth injuries and defects, including common causes and treatment options.
What is a birth injury?
Every birth is traumatic for the fetus to some extent, even in a normal birth. Although a fetus is prepared for the process, some births can lead to injury to the baby. By definition, a birth injury is a physical injury sustained during the birthing process, often when the baby is delivered.
These injuries can result from:
What are the most common birth injuries?
Head injuries are among the most common birth injuries. Other serious injuries take several forms, including:
- Depressed skull fractures. These often result from the use of forceps. They can lead to subdural bleeding or contusions of the brain. Neurosurgery might be required.
- Facial nerve injuries. Facial nerve injuries are among the most common nerve injuries. Forceps use is often the cause, but these injuries can also result from other sources of pressure. The condition usually heals within 2 or 3 months.
- Brachial plexus injuries. These injuries often result from the stretching of the neck during delivery. They can include fractures of the clavicle, shoulder or cervical spine.
- Spinal cord injury. These birth injuries are rare. They usually occur in breech deliveries. Most often, they affect the lower cervical region. If in the higher region, breathing can be impeded, which is fatal.
- Intracranial hemorrhage. Hemorrhage around the brain can result from abnormal pressure on the head during labor. It is more often found in premature births.
- Midclavicular fracture. This is the most common fracture during birth and can occur with normal deliveries. Most clavicular fractures heal rapidly without complications.
- Cerebral palsy (CP). This is a disability caused by brain damage, usually experienced during childbirth from a lack of oxygen. People with CP may have difficulty controlling their bodies and muscle movements. It is perhaps the most severe birth injury, and there is no cure.
Family awarded $53 million in cerebral palsy lawsuit against University of Chicago Medical Center
In June of 2016, the University of Chicago Medical Center was ordered to pay Lisa Ewing $53 million in damages for failing to recognize her baby was being deprived of oxygen. She reportedly waited 12 hours to be seen by a physician before finally receiving a C-section. Her son, who was born in 2004, developed cerebral palsy as a result of the incident and is currently confined to a wheelchair.
What causes cerebral palsy during birth?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone and coordination. While the exact cause of cerebral palsy is not always known, there are several factors that can contribute to its development during pregnancy and birth.
Some common causes include the following:
- Birth asphyxia. Insufficient oxygen supply to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery, known as birth asphyxia, can lead to cerebral palsy. This can occur due to issues such as umbilical cord problems, placental complications or prolonged labor.
- Birth trauma. Traumatic events during labor and delivery, such as a difficult or prolonged delivery, improper use of delivery instruments, or excessive force applied during delivery, can cause brain damage and lead to cerebral palsy.
- Premature birth. Babies born prematurely, especially those with very low birth weights, are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy. This is because the underdeveloped brains of premature infants may be more susceptible to injury or damage.
- Infections during pregnancy. Infections such as rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), or toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can increase the risk of cerebral palsy in babies.
- Maternal health issues. Certain health conditions in the mother, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid disorders, have been shown to contribute to an increased risk of cerebral palsy in the baby.
My baby has brain damage from labor; what does that mean for their future?
The severity of cerebral palsy symptoms varies depending on the extent of the brain damage. Mild or moderate cases might result in a minor limp or awkward movements. Severe cases can result in disability or confinement to a wheelchair.
Although there is no cure for CP, treatment, especially when started early, can have a huge impact on a child’s quality of life.
Learn about the top 10 myths related to cerebral palsy and the truth behind this condition.
What are birth injuries due to negligence?
Birth injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Some are congenital conditions for which nobody is at fault. Unfortunately, some would not occur except for the negligence of the doctors or the hospital.
Forms of a caregiver’s negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose potential hazards or threatening conditions
- Pulling or twisting too forcibly during delivery
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum devices
- Failure to inform the mother about the risks of forceps use
- Failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and other functions
- Failure to perform an emergency cesarean section (C-section) when necessary
- Negligent application of anesthesia
- Failure to screen the mother for high-risk conditions and failure to treat them before they affect the fetus
Negligence can occur after the delivery through failure to control the baby’s oxygen levels or observe jaundice. These conditions can cause the same brain damage that causes birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, before delivery.
Proving negligence in Chicago birth injury lawsuits
Some, but not all, birth injuries are caused by the negligence of the doctors or the hospital. Mistakes are made at various stages during the pregnancy, leading up to and including the delivery. Some mistakes result in serious injury to the mother, while others result in injury to the fetus that can burden the baby after birth and sometimes last for its entire life.
If my baby was injured at birth, how do I know if I can file a lawsuit?
A birth injury lawsuit is a legal action filed by parents or guardians on behalf of a child who has suffered an injury during the process of labor and delivery. These lawsuits are typically based on the claim that the healthcare professionals involved in the birth, such as doctors, nurses, or hospitals, were negligent in providing appropriate medical care, leading to the injury.
In a Chicago birth injury lawsuit, the attorney for the plaintiff (injured party or their family) will need to show that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant failed to meet that duty of care; and
- The defendant’s failure to satisfy their duty was the proximate cause of harm to the plaintiff.
If all of these aspects can be proven, the family may be able to recover compensation for their child’s past and future medical needs, as well as for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Learn about the most common medical errors that lead to birth injuries and how they can be prevented.
What is a wrongful birth lawsuit in Chicago?
A wrongful birth lawsuit is a type of legal action brought by parents against healthcare providers, typically alleging that they were not properly informed or were provided with inaccurate information regarding the potential birth defects or genetic conditions of their child. The basis of the lawsuit is that if the parents had been fully informed, they would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy or take preventive measures.
Wrongful birth lawsuits generally arise when medical professionals fail to provide accurate prenatal testing, genetic counseling or diagnostic information to parents, resulting in the birth of a child with a congenital disability or genetic disorder.
Parents in wrongful birth lawsuits seek compensation for the financial, emotional and psychological burdens associated with raising a child with special needs, including medical expenses, therapy costs, and reduced quality of life.
The laws surrounding wrongful birth lawsuits vary by jurisdiction, and not all jurisdictions recognize or allow such claims. However, in Chicago, parents are allowed to sue for wrongful birth. To do this, they must show that a doctor or health care provider failed to diagnose a birth defect and that their negligence resulted in harm.
If you’re considering filing a wrongful birth lawsuit, it’s important to consult a qualified birth injury attorney to understand the specific laws and regulations applicable to wrongful birth cases in your area and determine the viability of pursuing such a claim.
What is the statute of limitations for birth injury lawsuits in Chicago?
Tort claims, such as medical malpractice, must be filed within a limited time after a birth injury occurs. In Illinois, most birth injury claims must be filed within 8 years of the child’s injury.
The statute of limitations usually starts to run when the injury occurs. However, some injuries don’t manifest for a period of time after the injury occurs. A discovery rule in most states provides that the statute does not begin to run until the harm from the injury is discovered or should have been discovered.
In Illinois, if the child is disabled as a result of a birth injury, the statute might be tolled (delayed) until the child turns 22, regardless of when it was discovered.
Contact an experienced Chicago birth injury attorney
Seeking compensation through a birth injury lawsuit is an important step for parents to secure the financial resources necessary to support their child’s medical needs and provide a better quality of life. Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences, and holding responsible parties accountable for their negligence is crucial.
By partnering with a skilled birth injury lawyer, parents can navigate the legal complexities, gather evidence, and build a strong case to pursue the compensation their child deserves.
If your child suffered a birth injury in Chicago, contact the experienced birth injury attorney Laura Brown at Brown Trial Firm. Laura has years of experience in birth injury law, helping families like yours all across the U.S. get the compensation they deserve.
Contact her today for a free consultation of your case.