Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers | Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Attorney Illinois

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Untitled---2023-09-20T101002.447.jpgBringing a new life into the world is an incredible moment filled with joy and anticipation. But sometimes, the process of childbirth can lead to unexpected challenges, like a birth injury. One of the most common birth injuries is Erb's Palsy, which can be distressing for both parents and newborns. About 12,000 babies are born with this birth injury and if your child is one of them, you need an Illinois birth injury attorney who can help you get the financial compensation you need.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb's Palsy, also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, is nerve injury to a baby’s shoulder and arm, often because of excessive force during delivery. Medications such as oxytocin or an epidural during labor are also contributing factors.

What Legal Options Do I Have as a Result of My Child’s Birth Injury?

Having to put your newborn through invasive surgeries to repair damaged nerves and muscles because of someone’s negligence, is unacceptable. Erb’s palsy is a common example of a birth injury that may result from medical malpractice. We know this can be an emotionally and financially challenging time for families. Fortunately, there are legal avenues under Illinois law, available to pursue compensation for medical malpractice if it played a role in your child's birth injury. This compensation can help cover the cost of medical bills, therapies, and other necessary treatments to ensure your child's well-being. 


Untitled---2023-09-11T095842.161.jpgThe arrival of a newborn brings immense happiness and optimism. It is difficult to fathom that one of the primary reasons for sickness and mortality in newborns is their initial struggle to breathe upon entering the world. This health issue arises when the baby's first stool, known as meconium, enters the amniotic fluid during labor and delivery. Regrettably, meconium aspiration birth injuries affect about five to ten percent of all births. You need an Illinois birth injury attorney who can help you and your family seek the compensation that you deserve.

How Could My Newborn Have Been Injured During Delivery?

Meconium is the initial fecal matter discharged by a newborn shortly after birth before they start feeding. Occasionally, a baby expels meconium while still in the womb. When the baby inhales this fluid into their lungs, it can be very difficult to breathe and lead to a condition called meconium aspiration syndrome or MAS. This meconium can obstruct the infant's air passages due to inflammation and swelling of the baby's lungs.

What Are Doctors and Staff Supposed to Do?

 Healthcare professionals should have the proper training to detect the presence of meconium aspiration and they should know how to react quickly. Medical professionals need to closely monitor a baby's vital signs during labor and delivery and take appropriate steps to prevent or address any signs of fetal distress. Failing to do so could be seen as medical negligence.


Untitled---2023-09-05T103654.459.jpgIn some cases involving childbirth, there may be a medical need to induce labor to ensure the safe delivery of the baby. In cases where labor is not progressing as expected, doctors may resort to using a medication called Pitocin. Unfortunately, the wrong dosage of Pitocin could potentially be harmful to the mother or the baby. If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury linked to the use of Pitocin, you need the help of an Illinois birth injury attorney who can help you make sure that those responsible for your baby’s injuries are held accountable.

What is Pitocin?

Pitocin is a drug that is given to some women to induce labor. Because it is given through an IV continuously, contractions are closer together and stronger. Doctors should give the medication correctly and then monitor the mother’s and the baby’s heart rate. If there are any signs of distress the medication should be adjusted or a C-section may be needed to prevent injury to the baby.

Can Pitocin Be Deadly?

Pitocin does not allow the uterus to relax properly and it might mean that the baby does not get enough oxygen, which can lead to asphyxia. Also, if these strong contractions make the placenta separate from the wall of the uterus, the baby could still miss out on oxygen. When a baby does not get enough oxygen, it can lead to different kinds of brain injuries that can cause developmental problems like cerebral palsy and in really serious cases the baby will die. 


Chicago, IL birth injuries lawyerGiving birth is an event that usually brings joy and happiness to parents. However, when a birth injury occurs, it can not only have long-lasting effects on a child’s physical health, but it can also affect the mental well-being of both parents and children. The emotional toll that birth injuries take on families cannot be ignored. Understanding the impact these injuries can have is crucial to ensure that family members have proper support.

The Emotional Toll of Birth Injuries on Parents

When parents find out that their child has been injured during childbirth, they may experience a wide range of emotions, including shock, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety, and even depression. They may blame themselves for what happened, or they may feel helpless. 

Parents may also grieve over the loss of their expectations for a healthy baby and the future plans they had made before their child's injury took place. This grieving process can be challenging as they come to terms with the reality of caring for a child with special needs. 


Chicago birth injury lawyerCerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects movement, posture, and overall motor function. It is typically caused by brain damage that occurred before or during birth, and it can lead to difficulties in the activities of daily living. Even though cerebral palsy has no cure, various interventions can help manage the condition and improve a child’s quality of life. One such intervention is occupational therapy. 

Occupational therapy focuses on helping children develop skills that are necessary for daily activities. For children with cerebral palsy, this form of therapy aims to promote independence and enhance their ability to participate in meaningful activities. Benefits of occupational therapy include:

Enhancing Motor Skills

Children with cerebral palsy often experience challenges related to bodily movement, including muscle weakness, poor coordination, and impaired balance. Occupational therapists work closely with these children to identify specific deficits in motor skills and create treatment plans tailored to the child’s needs. Through various therapeutic techniques and exercises, occupational therapists assist children in developing strength and improving coordination. They focus on enhancing both fine motor skills (such as handwriting or buttoning clothing) and gross motor skills (such as walking or jumping). By addressing these areas of difficulty early on in a child's development, they can make significant progress over time.


 Illinois Birth Injury LawyersBirth injuries can have a profound impact on a child's life. Depending on the types of injuries suffered, children may experience developmental issues, or they may suffer from disabilities that can affect their physical and cognitive abilities. Cerebral palsy is a developmental disorder that can affect children who suffer brain injuries during childbirth, and it can impact multiple aspects of a child’s life. Other types of injuries can also place limitations on a child, resulting in long-term disabilities that may require special educational support as the child grows and develops. Parents will want to understand the resources available to them in these situations, and they can take steps to ensure that their children will be able to pursue opportunities for learning and development.

Educational Rights for Children With Birth Injuries

Children who suffer from disabilities related to birth injuries are entitled to receive appropriate educational services, and they have rights under federal law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that children who suffer from disabilities will have access to public education.

Under IDEA, eligible children are entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which is a written document detailing the specific educational goals and support services necessary for the child's success in school. The IEP is developed collaboratively by parents, educators, and relevant professionals based on the individual needs of each student.


Chicago Birth Injury LawyersThere are a variety of complications that can arise during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and children may experience multiple types of birth injuries. These injuries can result in medical conditions that can impact a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and a child may require ongoing medical treatment and support. It is crucial for parents to understand the potential long-term effects of birth injuries so they can seek appropriate care for their child's needs.

Types of Birth Injuries

There are numerous types of birth injuries that can occur due to complications during labor or delivery. Some of the most common conditions that can result from birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy

    This neurological disorder may be caused by damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth. It can affect muscle coordination, reflexes, posture, balance, and overall motor skills.


Illinois Labor Induction Injury LawyerChildbirth is a natural process that usually progresses on its own. However, there are instances when medical intervention becomes necessary to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby. One common intervention is labor induction, which involves the use of medications or other methods to stimulate contractions and initiate labor. Labor induction can be a lifesaving procedure in certain situations, or it may be used to speed delivery and avoid complications that may occur during extended labor. However, it is important to understand that labor induction also carries some risks, including an increased likelihood of certain types of birth injuries.

What Is Labor Induction?

In some cases, doctors or other medical professionals may take steps to artificially initiate labor before it begins spontaneously. This type of intervention is typically recommended when there are concerns about the health of the mother or the baby or when the pregnancy has gone past the due date. The most common method of labor induction involves the administration of synthetic hormones, such as Pitocin, to stimulate uterine contractions. Other methods, such as breaking the amniotic sac or using prostaglandin medications to “ripen” the cervix, may also be used.

When Is Labor Induction Necessary?

Doctors may determine that labor should be induced in a variety of situations, including:


Illinois Maternal Birth Injury LawyersThe healthcare system in the United States is often considered to be among the best in the world. However, despite the quality of medical treatment provided to many patients, there are some areas where the system fails to prevent serious injuries or deaths. One of the most concerning issues involves the rate of maternal mortality. Women in the U.S. die during childbirth or within the first year after a child is born at a much higher rate than in other similar countries. Despite continuing advancements in medical science, the rate of maternal deaths has increased from year to year.

Between 2018 and 2021, the rate of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births increased from 17.4 to 32.9. However, Black women are much more likely to die during childbirth than women of other races. In fact, the maternal mortality rate for Black women is around 2.6 times higher than that of white women, and in 2021, 69.9 Black mothers died for every 100,000 live births.

Why Are Maternal Mortality Rates So High for Black Mothers?

There are numerous reasons why Black women are more likely to die during pregnancy, delivery, or within the first year after the birth of a child. These include:


Chicago Vaginal Laceration Injury LawyersChildbirth is a natural and beautiful process, but it can also be physically demanding, and it can potentially result in injuries that may affect a mother or child. Vaginal lacerations are one common type of maternal injury that can occur during childbirth. These injuries, which are also referred to as vaginal tearing or perineal lacerations, may involve tears or cuts that can occur in the vaginal tissue, labia, perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus), or cervix. By understanding the types of vaginal lacerations that can occur, the treatments that may be provided for these injuries, and the steps that can be taken to minimize the risks of serious tearing, mothers can address concerns about birth injuries and ensure that they are receiving the proper medical care.

Types of Vaginal Lacerations

Vaginal lacerations are classified into four categories, ranging from mild to severe:

  1. First-degree tears: These are small tears that affect the vaginal tissue or the skin of the perineum.


Illinois Birth Injury Lawyers for PreeclampsiaThere are a variety of issues that may arise during pregnancy that could threaten the health of both the child and the mother. Preeclampsia is one serious pregnancy complication that can lead to devastating consequences, including seizures, organ damage, or even death in some cases. It is characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy, and it may occur even if a mother did not have any previous heart conditions or health issues related to blood pressure. Pregnant women with preeclampsia are at an increased risk of stroke, preterm birth, stillbirth, or infant death after birth. Fortunately, a new blood test may be able to help doctors detect this condition earlier so they can provide better care for their patients.

Blood Tests Provide Warnings About the Severity of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia occurs in approximately one out of every 25 pregnancies. It usually occurs around halfway through a pregnancy, and it is characterized by blood pressure that is higher than normal, as well as symptoms such as headaches and swelling in different parts of the body. Black women are more likely to experience preeclampsia than white women, and they are also more likely to experience severe and life-threatening health issues in these situations. Unfortunately, determining whether preeclampsia is severe and likely to threaten the health of the mother or child can sometimes be difficult.

In some cases, preeclampsia may be a concern that is monitored by doctors, but it may not cause serious health issues, and a mother may deliver her child after the pregnancy reaches full term. However, in others, it may rapidly develop into serious complications that may include the failure of organs such as the liver and kidneys, swelling in the brain, and seizures. In many of these cases, the only treatment option is to deliver the child immediately. An emergency Cesarean section may need to be performed, and depending on the stage of pregnancy, this can lead to its own complications.


Chicago HIE Injury LawyersParents will want to make sure their children are safe and healthy at all times, but unfortunately, birth injuries can have a significant impact on a child's health and well-being. In some cases, these injuries may lead to permanent disabilities or health issues that may affect a child for the rest of their life. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is one of the most serious birth injuries that can occur, and it can lead to cerebral palsy or other serious conditions. Parents will need to understand how HIE can affect a child's brain, the treatments that may be used to address this condition, and the ways they can ensure that their child receives the proper care in the years to come.

Understanding Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Neonatal HIE is a condition that can occur during childbirth if the child experiences a lack of oxygen to the brain. Complications during pregnancy or birth may affect a child's ability to receive sufficient oxygen, and these may include high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia), infections, or issues that affect the flow of blood and oxygen in the placenta or umbilical cord.

The severity of the condition can vary depending on how long the baby experiences oxygen deprivation and how quickly medical intervention is provided. HIE can lead to a wide range of developmental and neurological problems.


Illinois Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyers
Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy, but a child's health and well-being may be affected by injuries that occur during childbirth. These may include brachial plexus injuries, which can affect the nerves in the neck and shoulders. Damage to these nerves during labor and delivery can result in conditions such as Erb's palsy, which may affect a child's ability to move their shoulder or upper arm. Parents will need to understand how to recognize the symptoms of brachial plexus injuries while also being aware of the steps they can take to ensure that a child receives the proper care and treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Damage in the Neck and Shoulders

There are a variety of reasons why the nerves in a child's neck and shoulders may be damaged during birth. Shoulder dystocia, which occurs when pressure is placed on the child's arms or shoulders as they move through the birth canal, can result in multiple forms of nerve damage. Nerves may become stretched (neurapraxia), affecting their ability to send signals to and from different parts of the arm. In other cases, nerves may be torn or become separated from the spinal cord (avulsion), resulting in loss of sensation, mobility, or paralysis.

Since children cannot fully communicate what they are feeling, it is not always easy to determine whether nerve damage has occurred. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate that a child has experienced a brachial plexus injury, including:


Chicago Maternal Injury LawyersEven though the process of pregnancy and childbirth is experienced by women all over the world, it can still be risky for mothers. Various maternal injuries can occur during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and in the months following a child's birth. While medical professionals are often focused on addressing complications that occur during pregnancy and responding to issues that affect mothers during and immediately after delivery, recent research has found that many mothers continue to be affected by health concerns within the first year after a child is born. In fact, only around one-third of maternal deaths occur during pregnancy or delivery. One-third of deaths take place within six weeks after delivery, and another 30 percent of deaths occur between six weeks and one year. For every death that occurs, between 50 and 100 mothers suffer from serious complications that lead to long-term health issues.

Causes of Maternal Injuries

There are numerous health concerns that can affect new mothers. The strain placed on the body by pregnancy, labor, and delivery can affect multiple bodily systems, and the symptoms of injuries may not make themselves known until several weeks or months after a child is born. Some common health issues that new mothers often face include:

  • Heart conditions - Cardiovascular issues can present serious risks to new mothers due to the strain placed on the heart during pregnancy. High blood pressure is a common issue that can occur, and it can lead to damage to multiple organs throughout the body. In the most serious cases, mothers may experience heart failure, which can be life-threatening.


Illinois Birth Injury Hearing Loss Lawyers
Originally published: September 11, 2020 -- Updated: June 5, 2023

Update: In addition to considering the potential causes of hearing loss for infants, parents will also need to understand the types of treatment that may be needed to address this issue and ensure that their child can grow and develop successfully while living a fulfilling life. The expenses related to hearing loss treatment can be significant, and parents may need to look at what forms of assistance may be available following a birth injury to ensure that they will be able to provide for their child’s needs.

For children with hearing loss, early intervention can be crucial. Ideally, a child can begin receiving services within the first six months after they are born. These services may evaluate the extent of their hearing loss and determine how to support the development of language and communication skills. By beginning treatment as early as possible, parents can provide their child and their family with the tools for ongoing success.


Chicago Infant Injury Lawyers for Premature Birth
There are certain risks associated with pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and complications can occur during childbirth that may lead to birth injuries. These risks can increase when a mother goes into labor before reaching her due date. Preterm labor can have a variety of effects on a child's health, and premature infants often require a high level of care and medical interventions to prevent serious harm. By understanding the risks associated with premature birth, parents can determine whether there were any preventable issues that could have led to injuries to their child, and they can take the correct actions to ensure that a child receives the necessary care going forward.

Complications That Can Affect Premature Babies

Babies who are born before the 37th week of pregnancy may have a higher risk of complications during delivery. Premature infants are typically smaller than those who are born at full term, and their organs and bodily systems may not have fully developed. This can make them more vulnerable to trauma during labor and delivery, and they may experience injuries such as bruises, broken bones, or nerve damage.

Other health issues that can affect children born prematurely include:


Illinois Cerebral Palsy LawyersCertain types of developmental disorders may affect children, leading to issues with the control of their bodies, as well as neurological problems and other health concerns. Cerebral palsy (CP) is one such disorder, and it may be caused by birth injuries that led to damage to a child's brain. However, a cerebral palsy diagnosis may not be made immediately after an injury, and in some cases, parents and medical professionals may not fully understand how a child was affected until they are several years old. Early diagnosis of CP can be crucial since it can ensure that a child will be able to receive treatments to minimize the effects of a condition and help improve their physical and cognitive abilities. By understanding how CP may be diagnosed for infants and children, parents can be prepared to provide the care needed to help their child succeed.

Methods Used to Diagnose CP

Signs of cerebral palsy may be initially recognized by parents or by a pediatrician who performs a routine examination, and further tests may be performed to obtain a complete diagnosis, determine how a child has been affected, and create a treatment plan. Methods of diagnosing cerebral palsy include:

  • Developmental milestones: One of the first ways that cerebral palsy may be recognized is by assessing whether a child has met certain milestones in their development within the expected time. If a child experiences significant delays in physical milestones such as rolling over, sitting up without support, crawling, standing up, or walking, or if they have delays in cognitive milestones such as speaking and interacting with others, this may be an indication of CP or another developmental disorder. These observations and concerns about development may prompt a doctor to perform further evaluations.


Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer for Prolonged LaborChildbirth can be challenging, and the process of labor and delivery can be long and difficult. Mothers may experience significant pain and exhaustion over multiple hours of labor. However, there are some situations where labor can last for an extended period, and complications may occur that may make it more difficult to deliver a child. Prolonged labor can increase the risks of birth injuries, and dangerous complications may put the health of the child and the mother at risk. In situations involving long and difficult labor, parents should be aware of the risk factors and the signs of potential birth injuries that may have occurred, which can help them ensure that the proper treatment can be provided for the mother and child.

What Is Prolonged Labor?

Labor will often last for several hours, with an average of 12 to 24 hours for a first birth and eight to 10 hours for a second or subsequent birth. However, there are some situations where labor may stall. The cervix may not fully dilate, or the baby may stop moving through the birth canal. In general, if labor lasts for more than 25 hours for a first-time mother or more than 20 hours for a mother who has previously had a child, it is considered prolonged labor.

Prolonged labor may occur because of a slow effacement or thinning of the cervix. This may be caused by weakened contractions, which can sometimes be attributed to the use of certain medications, such as painkillers. During later stages of labor, issues such as a large baby, a small pelvis, or weak contractions may cause labor to stall. Psychological factors such as stress or anxiety can also sometimes lead to prolonged labor.


Cook County Maternal Birth Injury LawyersThe birth of a child is a beautiful and joyous occasion, but it is also one of the most physically demanding experiences that a woman can go through. After childbirth, it is common for women to experience some level of bleeding. However, when bleeding is excessive, this is known as post-partum hemorrhaging, and it can be a serious and potentially life-threatening issue. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the world. It is important for new parents to understand the potential causes of post-partum hemorrhage to ensure that this issue will be addressed correctly.

Reasons Why Post-Partum Hemorrhaging May Occur

During pregnancy, a woman's body produces excess blood, and some of this blood will be lost during the child's delivery. However, blood flow may not stop naturally, and excessive bleeding could result in the loss of too much blood. Some common reasons for significant blood loss following childbirth include:

  • Uterine atony - This condition involves the uterus becoming softened and weakened, causing it to fail to fully contract after birth. If the uterus does not contract correctly, the blood vessels that connected the placenta to the uterus may continue to bleed, leading to excessive blood loss. Uterine atony can be caused by various factors, including a stretched or distended uterus due to a large baby, multiple pregnancies, prolonged labor, excessive amniotic fluid, or the use of certain medications.


Illinois Birth Injury Lawyers for Cystic Encephalomalacia
There are multiple types of birth injuries that can affect newborn infants, and some of the most serious of these injuries may result in damage to the brain. Cystic encephalomalacia is one type of brain condition that may result in permanent disabilities and health issues. Parents of children who have been diagnosed with this type of brain injury will need to understand the options for treatment and the resources that may be available to ensure that they can meet their child's needs.

Understanding Cystic Encephalomalacia

Cystic encephalomalacia is a condition characterized by the occurrence of cysts in the brain that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. These cysts can occur for a variety of reasons, including trauma during birth, infections contracted by a child during pregnancy or delivery, maternal diabetes, or the use of certain types of medications during pregnancy, such as blood thinners. Brain injuries can also occur if a child experiences a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, and if an infant experiences hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cysts may develop in the brain. In rare cases, cystic encephalomalacia may occur because of genetic disorders.

Structural abnormalities in the brain are usually irreversible, and depending on the size and location of cysts, children may be affected in multiple ways. They may be diagnosed with cerebral palsy or similar developmental disorders, and they may experience delays in speech and language development, limited mobility, cognitive and intellectual disabilities, or seizures. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available for infants with cystic encephalomalacia and related disorders.

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