What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to all their patients, which requires them to follow the accepted medical practices of their fields at all times. When a doctor, nurse, obstetrician, or other healthcare provider deviates from these practices and one of their patients gets injured, he or she may be considered medically negligent. Establishing negligence is the most important part of any medical malpractice claim.
Some examples of medical negligence in birth injury cases include:
- Failing to order a medically necessary c-section or ordering one too late
- Improper usage of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other delivery tools
- Pulling too hard on a baby’s arm, resulting in should dystocia
- Failing to treat a maternal health condition which harms the fetus
- Failing to identify and treat fetal distress
- Prescribing medication to the mother that harms the baby
You may not be sure how your child’s birth injury occurred, which is okay. In order to determine if negligence was to blame, you’ll need to have the details of your case carefully reviewed by both a medical expert and an experienced Illinois birth injury lawyer.
Illinois Laws For Medical Malpractice Claims
If your child suffered a birth injury because of medical negligence in Illinois, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim against the negligent medical professional or the hospital where the incident took place. There are a few state laws that govern malpractice claims in Illinois:
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Illinois?
Each state has their own time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. This time limit is flexible and varies depending on the circumstances of a malpractice case, including when the malpractice occurred, when it was discovered, and if the victim was under the age of 18.
Because this time limit is strict, it’s important to begin taking legal action as soon as you become aware of your child’s birth injury. An experienced Illinois birth injury lawyer can help you better understand your options in a free consultation.
What Is The Affidavit of Merit Requirement?
Illinois state law requires plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to file an affidavit of merit alongside their lawsuit. This legal document must declare that your lawyer has reviewed the details of your case with a qualified medical professional who has knowledge concerning the medical facts of your case, practices or teaches in the same area of medicine related to your case, and is sufficiently experienced in the field.
This medical professional must provide their opinion that you have a reasonable malpractice claim. Because of this requirement, it’s important to find an Illinois birth injury law firm that has contacts with experienced medical professionals.
Is There A Limit On The Amount I Can Recover?
Illinois used to be one of many states to set a limit on the amount of financial compensation that could be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, in 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that such damages caps are unconstitutional. Currently, there is no limit on the amount of financial compensation you can recover in Illinois medical malpractice claims.
Common Serious Birth Injuries
Birth injuries vary in severity – some are easily treatable, while others can be permanently disabling and require a lifetime of treatment. Many of the more serious birth injuries require financial compensation for expenses related to the injury.
Some of the most common serious birth injuries that result in medical malpractice claims include:
For severe and incurable conditions like cerebral palsy, the lifetime costs of supporting your child can exceed $1 million. For most families in this situation, a medical malpractice claim is the only way to provide the financial support their child needs.
Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice lawsuits are much more complex than other injury claims, such as personal injury or workers’ compensation. In order to file a successful claim, you must meet the strict requirements of your state’s malpractice laws, and also get through a potentially difficult litigation process involving powerful insurance companies and their teams of highly skilled lawyers.
Because of these complexities, it’s important for victims of medical malpractice to seek legal counsel from an experienced Illinois birth injury lawyer. A reliable lawyer will have a track record of success in these cases and access to the resources you need for a successful claim, such as testimony from medical experts.
Many people in this situation worry about lawyer’s fees, but you don’t need to. Our lawyers can help you determine if you have a case in a free consultation, and will only ask for payment if and when we help you secure financial compensation. Contact us today to find out more about your family’s legal options.