Though they are some of the most common forms of personal injury lawsuits in Illinois,birth injury cases are some of the fewest talked about, but also many of the most devastating. Statistics from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that in the years 2006-2008, approximately 27 out of every 1000 births in Illinois involved some form of birth-related injury, and another approximately 6 out of every 1000 births resulted in death as a result of health-care provider injury.
Although in some instances, birth injuries may occur by no fault of the doctors or nurses, the disturbing fact remains that many of these injuries result from negligence and/or mistakes. In a hospital full of trained health care professionals, this is simply unacceptable.
I. How they Happen
Injuries to the baby can happen at almost any stage of the delivery or labor process. When errors are made and doctors or nurses are careless, birth injuries may result. Although some babies who suffer from birth injuries may ultimately recover quickly, unfortunately many more end up suffering from permanent debilitating mental or physical conditions, treatment for which may be life-long. Some factors contributing to these injuries may include:
A. Improper monitoring or testing of the fetus prior to birth.
B. Labor difficulties resulting from the baby taking an unusual or awkward position before entering the birth canal.
C. Oxygen deprivation to the baby, often as a result of constriction of the umbilical cord.
D. And other mistakes made by doctors and nurses during the labor and delivery process, such as excessive force, or other mistakes that put the baby at risk.
Although none of those factors will concretely determine that the child will suffer a birth injury, when any of these factors are present, the risk of injuries significantly increases.
II. How they Affect Families
If a baby is unfortunately stricken with any form of birth injury, the results can be overwhelming, and may even involve permanent life-long care. Birth injury lawsuits in Illinois allow the parents to collect damages from the negligent health care providers to assist in providing care for the child throughout the duration of the child’s life. Some of these damages may include:
A. Past and future medical expenses
B. The cost of providing care for the child
C. The cost of specialized schooling for the child
D. Emotional and physical pain and suffering experienced by the child
E. The costs of future earnings that the child may have received, had he or she lived a normal life
F. And many others
As our Chicago birth injury attorneys know, in these cases, the life-long effects can be devastating, and sometimes the only way to get retribution is to have those who caused the injury help pay for the cost of future remedies. When you add up the expenses for the effects of a birth injury, it’s easy to see that future care for a birth injury is both emotionally and monetarily costly.