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What is the Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury Lawsuits in Illinois?

Parents expect that their baby will be born healthy. While that happens in most situations, unfortunately, some babies are injured during birth. When this happens, parents, and other family members, are probably devastated. Sadly, many of these injuries could have been prevented had the medical team had not been negligent. When the injuries are serious, they may require quite a bit of ongoing medical treatment, and, in some cases, lifelong care. Parents may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages caused by the doctor.

Birth Injury Cases

If the doctor, nurse, or other member of the medical profession was negligent, they should be held responsible for the injuries. Medical negligence usually falls under the general category of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor does something, or fails to do something, that he knows could be harmful to the patient. Birth injuries are often caused by a mistake the doctor makes during labor or delivery of the infant.  

Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims must be filed within a period of two years from the date of the injury, or from the date that the person should have been aware of the injury. Birth injury claims are specifically covered by a different statute of limitations. Birth injury claims can be made within 8 years of the occurrence. The suit must be filed no later than the age of 21.

Birth injuries that result in a disability are handled differently. If a birth injury led to a disability, such as cerebral palsy, the statute of limitations does not take effect until the disability is removed. When the disability cannot be removed, no time restrictions to file a lawsuit apply. This means that the victims, and his parents, are able to file a lawsuit at any time.

The Importance of Filing a Timely Lawsuit

The law generally limits the time allowed to file a lawsuit because the details, information, and data regarding the incident may be lost or degraded over time. Witnesses may not accurately remember events that happened or may no longer be available. Documents could be unavailable. Therefore the law requires such lawsuits to be filed within a two-year period after the injury happened.

Birth Injury Lawsuits

Birth injury cases are handled slightly differently than standard personal injury cases. That is because in many instances, birth injuries are not immediately known. If they are known, the extent of harm is not usually realized until the child is older, and his physical or mental capacity can be more thoroughly evaluated. Doctors must wait until the child begins to miss important milestones to learn full extent of the injuries. However, it is important to file a claim as soon as it is possible to do so.

If your child suffered an injury at birth, you should seek legal assistance immediately. Your attorney will begin gathering essential information needed for a claim, even if you wait to file a lawsuit. Contact the experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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Birth Injuries Due to Forceps Assisted Deliveries