Birth Defect Lawyers in Chicago
We trust that medical professionals will properly treat our conditions and respond appropriately to medical emergencies. Yet, since doctors and other medical providers are human, this may mean potentially serious mistakes. When people think of these medical errors, they often think of surgical errors. Although it’s true that most medical malpractice does fall into the surgical category, medical mistakes may happen in many different ways. This includes mistakes that occur before birth and during pregnancy. An experienced birth defect attorney in Chicago can investigate whether a birth defect or injury is the result of a medical error.
Medical malpractice relating to birth defects takes a number of forms. A mother may have negligently been prescribed a specific medication during pregnancy, unaware that it could harm her baby. A doctor may have failed to perform an ultrasound or other diagnostic test properly. Whenever a physician, specialist, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional fails to act in what is considered to be the "accepted medical standard of care" and harm results, a birth injury lawsuit or claim may be the best course of action.
Contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC now at (312) 644-0444 for a free case evaluation.
Why You Should File a Birth Defect Claim
The existence of a birth defect is a heartbreaking event for all involved. It’s frightening and overwhelming for even the most steadfast family. In addition to the emotional toll, the treatment of most birth defects involves a lifetime of care and sometimes many surgeries. Yet receiving excellent medical assistance is never free and may cost many millions of dollars over your child’s lifetime. Who should bear these costs? Should it be the family, or the medical professionals whose negligence may have contributed to the birth defect?
The answer is obvious. If it can be established that a doctor or hospital was in some way legally responsible, this financial weight should not be the family’s burden. To determine if the medical providers can be held accountable, an investigation needs to be untaken by knowledgeable birth defect lawyers in Chicago.
Experienced attorneys, such as the team at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, will generally offer this service for free and carefully examine the available birth records to make a determination. Then, if a lawsuit seems like the right choice, no fees will ever be charged to the family unless we are successful in recovering financial compensation.
How Do Birth Defect Claims Work in Illinois?
Illinois has statutes of limitation (time limits) that applies to birth defect cases. If you’re filing a case of medical malpractice for a birth defect, it has to be filed within a certain period of time from when the injury occurred or from the date that the injury was discovered, if the diagnosis wasn’t made right away. If you’re filing a birth injury claim, you have a longer statute of limitation period, but any lawsuits must still be filed before the child attains a certain age. A wrongful death case must generally be filed within two years from the date of death.
So time is a very important factor when filing such a case. Once a medical diagnosis has been made, you should contact an experienced lawyer immediately, as a proper investigation by the lawyer will take some to time to complete properly. To file a birth defect injury case, your lawyer will need to establish:
- That the baby or mother were being medically treated or under a "duty of care" of the defendant(s).
- That the defendant(s) breached the standard duty of care or made a mistake while the baby or mother were under their care.
- That the breach of duty of care caused, contributed, or made worse the birth defect.
Due to the great amount of detail and technical knowledge required in a birth defect claim, an experienced lawyer is almost always necessary for success. There are many different types of claims, ranging from wrongful pregnancy to birth injury to medical malpractice. Every state has different deadlines, rules, and variations on the laws governing such claims. But most of all, it takes time to investigate these serious matters, so quick action is critical.
Common Birth Defects
Ultimately, if your attorney can negotiate a monetary settlement or obtain a successful verdict on your family’s behalf, it can help provide a lifetime of care for your child. Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has recovered many millions of dollars for our client families already. We urge you to contact our team of Chicago birth defect lawyers if your child has been diagnosed with any of the following:
- Cleft palate and lips
- Congenital heart defects
- Down syndrome
- Encephalocele (Neural Tube Defect)
- Microphthalmia and Anophthalmia
- Microtia and Anotia
- Phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Spina bifida
Phenylketonuria, also called PKU for short, is an inherited disorder that leads to a buildup of phenylalanine in the body. Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is important for our bodies in small quantities but can be quite dangerous in larger quantities. While PKU is an inherited genetic disorder and, as such, doesn’t fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice, it is still a smart idea to consult a birth defect attorney in Chicago if your child has been diagnosed with it.
Neural Tube Defects
Neural tube defects are a type of birth defect that affect the brain or spinal cord. It’s an umbrella term for a number of defects, the two most common of which are spina bifida and anencephaly. Although there is no cure for neural tube defects, pregnant women should take folic acid as soon as they know they’re pregnant to decrease the likelihood of their child developing a neural tube defect. In fact, not taking the proper amount of folic acid may be a genetic disorder risk factor. These types of birth defects can be found through prenatal tests.
Several pharmaceutical medications, including Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac and Zofran, have been linked to heart conditions in infants. Being on these drugs while pregnant is one of a series of heart condition risk factors. If you suspect a drug is responsible for your baby’s heart condition, you need to contact a lawyer to learn your options. Most heart conditions can be found during pregnancy through prenatal tests.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most commonly seen birth defects. These defects affect the flow of blood in the heart and, as a consequence, throughout the body. CHDs range in severity and can cause many lifelong problems. Surgery is usually needed to correct a congenital heart defect. During pregnancy, medical providers should perform an echocardiogram to identify heart defects before birth. If the test is not performed or the defect is misdiagnosed as a "heart murmur" by mistake, the medical providers may be found liable for medical malpractice.
If you suspect that your child’s birth defect was the result of medical negligence or the side effect of a particular drug, the best first step is a full legal evaluation of the case. At Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, our personal injury lawyers take our clients’ cases very seriously. We will review and evaluate your individual case at no cost to you, and then advise you of the steps that we suggest moving forward. Each case is unique; so we take all the time necessary to seek answers regarding exactly how and why your child was born with a serious birth defect.
Was your baby born with a birth defect? Connect with us for a free case evaluation. All such cases are taken on a contingency basis - which means that there are no legal fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for your family. Millions have already been collected. Call (800) 996-4842 now for more information.