Medical malpractice injuries can take many forms and can occur to patients in any age group. Regrettably, birth injury cases in Illinois account for many of those injuries. The most recent available 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. Though at first glance it may seem like a small percentage, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 180,503 babies were born in Illinois in the year 2006; if the statistics are correct, more than 4,800 babies were seriously harmed, and another almost 1,100 killed in cases of Illinois medical malpractice.
Certainly in some instances, birth injuries occur by no fault of the doctors or nurses, but the truth is that many, if not most of these injuries result from negligence and/or mistakes on the part of health care providers. Parents place their trust in hospitals and doctors, and when babies are harmed the effects of the negligence are devastating.
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 with 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.
Birth injury lawsuits allow the parents to collect damages from the insurers of the negligent health care providers so that the parents can have help with the costs of providing care for the child throughout the duration of the child’s life. Some of these expenses may include:
• Past and future medical expenses for treating the injury,
• The cost of providing care for the child,
• The cost of specialized schooling for the child,
• Emotional and physical pain and suffering experienced by the child,
• The costs of future earnings that the child may have received, had he or she lived a normal life,
• And many others.
In these cases, the life-long effects can be overwhelming, 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. Doctors and hospitals are often insured, which allows parents of an injured child to be able to provide the best possible care for the child – something that wouldn’t likely be feasible on an average family’s salary.
Our Chicago birth injury attorneys have seen hundreds of cases in which children are harmed during labor or delivery, and understand the tremendous struggle that parents with injured children have to endure. If you or a loved one have had a child who has suffered a birth injury, an attorney may be the best person to help you understand your rights.