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Was your baby injured during labor or delivery? Do you know or suspect that the healthcare provider or facility acted negligently? Our Wheaton birth injury lawyers can help you pursue a settlement. This compensation can pay for any medical expenses and care that your child needs.
The law obligates doctors and healthcare facilities to provide competent care. When preventable errors happen, we hold negligent parties responsible. We’ve represented Chicago-area families since 2009. In that time, we’ve secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
If your baby sustained a birth injury, call Zayed Law Offices’ Wheaton location today.
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Birth Injury versus Birth Defects: What is the difference?
Most parents are not medical experts. You may not know whether your child has a birth defect—also known as a congenital disability—or a preventable injury during the birthing process. The hospital’s refusal to take accountability for what happened may only compound your doubts.
Birth injuries and congenital disabilities are two different circumstances. As a parent, you may need an overview of each condition.
An overview of birth injuries
A birth injury—or birth trauma—is a physical injury that the infant incurred during the birth process. During labor and delivery, actions such as the negligent use of forceps, a lack of fetal or maternal monitoring, and the failure to conduct a timely c-section can injure the newborn.
An overview of birth defects
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines birth defects as “structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body.”
The medical community cannot always pinpoint the exact cause of a birth defect. Often, genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors play a role. Some birth defects include a cleft lip, fetal alcohol syndrome, spina bifida, and limb defects.
What are common types of birth injury?
Birth injuries happen when a doctor, nurse, healthcare provider, or facility is careless. Below are some of the more common birth injuries in the US.
This condition occurs when one or both of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck during vaginal delivery.
Shoulder dystocia can result in:
- Brachial plexus nerve damage, which results in paralysis or weakness (Erb’s palsy)
- Broken bones
- Lack of oxygen and blood flow due to a compressed umbilical cord
Your healthcare provider might be responsible if they failed to timely recognize that your baby was at risk for shoulder dystocia.
Cerebral palsy affects a child’s ability to move and maintain balance. A lack of oxygen during the birthing process causes some cerebral palsy cases. Signs of the condition may not be readily apparent right after birth. A hallmark of cerebral palsy is the inability to reach certain milestones.
For babies under six months of age, the CDC recommends watching for:
- Your baby feels “stiff” or “floppy”
- When you pick your baby up, their head lags and/or their legs stiffen or cross
- When you hold your baby, they overextend their back
Your doctor potentially used forceps to aid in the delivery of your baby.
Forcep injuries can include:
- Facial cuts and bruises
- Eye trauma
- Skull fractures
- Subsequent seizures
Sometimes, the use of forceps is necessary. But a doctor may have missed or ignored earlier signs that your baby was in distress.
After a suspected birth injury, call Zayed Law Offices
If you have any doubts about your child’s injury, reach out to an experienced lawyer for guidance on your next steps. As a law firm that handles both medical malpractice and birth injury cases, Zayed Law Offices is familiar with acceptable standards of care. Don’t put off getting answers for you and your child.
5 Reasons to Choose Zayed Law Offices—Wheaton Birth Injury Attorneys
Our attorneys will conduct a thorough case review
Not all birth injuries will meet the definition of medical malpractice. When we look at birth injury cases, we ask, “Would a healthcare provider with the same experience and education make the same decision in that particular situation?”
After carefully reviewing your case, we can tell you if medical malpractice occurred and if the law entitles you to a birth injury settlement.
We can get to the bottom of what happened
You may think that you did something to cause your child’s injury. The lines between a birth injury and a birth defect can blur to those without medical training or expertise. Our birth injury lawyers can review the mother’s and baby’s medical records to find an explanation.
Other attorneys refer their clients to us
We have offices throughout northern Illinois and maintain a strong legal presence in the greater Chicagoland area. Other law firms refer their birth injury clients to us because, as a large firm, we have the financial resources and extensive staffing to take on these cases effectively.
We offer a contingency fee agreement
Our law firm believes that injured parties have the right to legal representation, no matter their financial resources. Our birth injury lawyers enter into a contingency fee agreement with you when you hire us. That means we only collect our attorney fees after securing a settlement for you. We will discuss what other expenses may arise with your case during your free consultation.
Our lawyers always prepare for court
Our law firm has many trial attorneys prepared to take your claim to court if needed. Many birth injury cases do settle out of court, and we always strive to do so. However, we prepare to go to trial if that’s the best way to maximize your compensation. From the minute you hire us, we’ll handle your case as if it will go before a judge or jury. If a trial is an option for you, we’re always ready.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
In a clear negligence case, the hospital’s insurance company may make a settlement offer right away. This offer does not mean that the facility is generous or has your best interests in mind. The insurance company only wants to settle your birth injury claim as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.
Once you accept a birth injury settlement, the law typically prevents you from taking any further legal action. If the settlement money only lasts a few years, your family may struggle financially. Part of what our birth injury attorneys do is calculate realistic lifetime expenses for your child. This calculation is a life care plan. When needed, we partner with other professionals—like medical and economic experts—to arrive at an accurate life care plan amount.
When we calculate these expenses, we consider:
- Will your child need speech, occupational, or physical therapy?
- Does your home require modifications to accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility aids?
- Do you have to leave the workforce to care for your child?
- What birth injury-related medical costs will your child incur over their lifetime?
When you hire us, you don’t need all the answers. We’re here to determine the costs and pursue a settlement that reflects them. All you have to do is continue to care for your child. We take over all legal aspects of the case.
How long does it take to receive an Illinois birth injury settlement?
There is no set time length for birth injury lawsuits. We know how quickly costs add up. If your child requires special medical treatment right after birth, you may already have extensive medical bills.
We know the timeline can seem like an eternity, but a fast settlement may not support you in the long run.
The length of your case may depend on:
- How easy it is to establish negligence on the part of the healthcare provider or facility
- High-value cases tend to take longer to negotiate
- The court’s schedule, if your case goes before a judge or jury
- How soon you know your child’s prognosis
We understand that for many families, a birth injury settlement provides closure. However, a fast settlement may not be adequate compensation for a lifetime of care.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Eligibility
Not all families who experience a birth injury will be eligible to file a birth injury claim. There are certain requirements that personal injury lawsuits must meet.
Doctors and other healthcare providers must provide treatment that meets a standard of care. When our attorneys examine the standard of care, we ask, “Did the healthcare provider administer treatment that another provider with the same education and same experience would administer in the same situation?”
We will then look at any damages you and your child sustained from the birth injury. Are there current or future medical expenses? Does the law entitle you to compensation for pain and suffering?
Our birth injury lawyers look at what occurred before, during, and after your child’s birth. If a doctor, nurse, or facility was negligent, we help you hold these parties responsible.
Our Attorneys Can Represent You, No Matter Where You Gave Birth
As a larger Chicago-area law firm, we have the resources and experience to take on some of the largest medical facilities in the area. We’re ready to review your case, no matter where you give birth.
Wheaton-area Labor and Delivery Hospitals
Many women will choose to labor and deliver at a local hospital.
- Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Labor and Delivery, 25 North Winfield Road, Winfield
- John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, 1969 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago
- Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital Labor and Delivery, 250 East Superior Street, Chicago
- Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Labor and Delivery, 300 Randall Road, Geneva
- University of Illinois Hospital, 1740 West Taylor Street, Chicago
We are not intimidated by these facilities or the attorneys that represent them.
Birth Centers near Wheaton, IL
Birth centers Appeal to families who want to have their babies outside a hospital setting. Some birth centers are independent facilities, while others are a part of a hospital network.
Some of the birth centers in the greater Chicago area include:
- Birth Center of Chicago, 3832 North Lincoln, Chicago
- The Birth Center at PCC, PCC South Family Health Center, 6201 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn
- Family Birth Center – Hyde Park, 5721 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago
- Advocate Illinois Masonic Birthing Center, 836 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago
- Burr Ridge Birth Center, 7000 South County Line Road, Burr Ridge
These facilities commit to providing competent and comprehensive care for low-risk women and their babies. Staff at a freestanding birth center must know how to handle emergencies and when it’s appropriate to transfer care to a hospital.
Assisted Home Births, DuPage County
Women who choose to have a planned and assisted home birth represent a small, but growing group. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 1,000 Illinois women gave birth at home in a recent year. This figure has steadily increased over the last several years.
The circumstances surrounding an assisted home birth may be nuanced and complex. We will review the specifics, including the attendant’s credentials, what monitoring the mother received, and if a transfer of care was necessary but didn’t occur.
Do Wheaton birth injury lawsuits settle outside of court?
Our attorneys are skilled at negotiations with medical facilities and their insurance companies. We’ll fight hard to maximize your settlement. Many birth injury cases settle without stepping into a courtroom.
Sometimes, a trial is your best option for a full recovery. If we think that bringing your case before a judge or jury is beneficial, we will discuss that option with you. As the parents of the injured child, you’re the ones who decide if a court trial happens or not. We can advise you of your right, but the final decision is yours to make.
Is there a time limit to file a birth injury lawsuit in Illinois?
All states place a time limit on how long parents have to pursue a birth injury lawsuit. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. According to Illinois law 735 ILCS 5/13-212, you may have as little as two years from the date of your child’s birth to take legal action.
However, it is never too early to contact our office if you have questions or concerns. You may call us from the hospital or as soon as you discharge after your child’s birth.
Compassionate and Knowledgeable Legal Advice From a Wheaton Birth Injury Lawyer
No one can undo your child’s birth injury. But our attorneys can help you pursue justice and secure your child’s future. We offer all parents free consultations. These meetings are confidential, and you are never under any obligation to hire us or take legal action.
You can get the answers you need in a supportive and compassionate environment and then decide how you want to proceed. You’ll leave knowing if you have a legal case and what other options are available to you and your family. Contact our Wheaton birth injury attorneys today at (630) 690-1919.
“My experience with Zayed Law Offices was a wonderful experience. I was treated professionally and I thought they were thoughtful and helpful. His interest was always for the client and the best possible outcome. I would recommend Zayed Law Offices to anyone in need of help.” -Mickey L
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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.