Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
There are few things more momentous than celebrating the birth of a new child. However, when a medical professional’s failure to properly care for you or your child resulted in irreversible harm, what should have been a joyous occasion can quickly become devastating. If your family has been harmed by the negligent or wrongful actions of a health care provider, a Chicago birth injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices is here for you.

At our birth injury law firm, we know that acts of medical negligence cannot be allowed to continue. If your child was injured during the labor and delivery process, we have the experience, knowledge, and legal know-how that is necessary to successfully secure compensation on your behalf. Compensation secured through this type of medical malpractice claim will be vital to your child’s ongoing recovery and treatment.

Do not delay—the longer you wait, the more you risk losing out on your right to take legal action. Contact our law office today for a complimentary case evaluation with an experienced birth injury attorney.

Why Work With a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer?

Birth injury litigation can be complex, and the medical provider’s insurer will use that to their advantage. Any gap in knowledge or misunderstanding of the legal process can be weaponized against you and your family to lower your overall settlement or to deny liability altogether.

Working alongside experienced birth injury attorneys shows the big insurance company that you know that your child is entitled to compensation, and you aren’t willing to settle for anything less than your family is owed.

When medical professionals refuse to take responsibility for the harm they’ve caused, an attorney from Thomas Law Offices will make sure they’re held accountable.

What Are Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries may occur to both the child and the mother and are any type of physical injuries that develop during labor, the delivery process, or shortly after birth.

Most notably, birth injuries are preventable.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries?

When a birth injury occurs, we can often trace the cause back to the negligent actions of a medical professional. Do not be fooled by a doctor’s, nurse’s, or technician’s attempts to place the blame back on you—if a serious injury or other complications occurred during the birthing process that compromised the baby’s or mother’s health, your family may be owed compensation.

Knowledge is one of the most powerful resources when pursuing a birth injuries lawsuit, so with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common causes of birth injuries.

Birth Asphyxia

The term “asphyxia” refers to any lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Birth asphyxia is when this occurs during or after the labor and delivery process. Causes of asphyxia include problems with the umbilical cord, placental abruption, prolonged or difficult labor, anemia in both the mother or child, infections, and more.

Lack of oxygen can have a profoundly negative impact on a child’s brain, and may result in severe brain injury.

If a child suffered a permanent birth injury that could have been prevented with proper medical care, it may be appropriate to move forward with an Illinois birth injury lawsuit.

Improper Use of Forceps or Vacuum

The labor and delivery process has three distinct stages: contractions and the opening of the cervix, childbirth (pushing), and placental delivery. When labor stalls in the second phase, obstetricians sometimes use a technique known as operative vaginal delivery. This technique involves the doctor using assistive devices to deliver a baby vaginally, especially if the mother is exhausted or unable to push.

The most common tools used during an operative vaginal delivery are forceps and vacuums. While different, these two tools function in much the same way—they allow a doctor to guide a baby out of the birth canal by attaching or pulling on the head.

When a doctor does not exercise proper care or fails to notice that an operative vaginal delivery is causing distress, birth trauma can occur. Facial nerve injuries such as facial nerve palsy and facial nerve paralysis can occur, as can skull fractures, seizures, cerebral palsy, bleeding in the skull, and more.

Inadequate Prenatal Care

A study published in the National Library of Medicine determined that adequate prenatal care is an effective preventative measure to lower the risk of birth injuries, maternal death, and other poor outcomes.

So what is adequate prenatal care? Receiving care as early as the first trimester and being seen an appropriate number of times at regular intervals throughout the pregnancy is the first step. At these appointments, obstetricians must appropriately evaluate a pregnant mother on a variety of factors and provide care and treatment options as appropriate.

When birth injuries occur, Thomas Law Offices often looks to whether the attending physician provided adequate care not just during labor but also in the preceding months. Any failure to provide adequate prenatal care may necessitate the filing of a Chicago birth injury claim.

Maternal Infections

If not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, a maternal infection may result in fetal distress or oxygen deprivation, or otherwise cause harm that leads to a birth injury.

Birth injury claims involving undiagnosed or untreated infections can be particularly heartbreaking, as all it would have taken is an attentive and competent physician to prevent the unnecessary suffering of a newborn child.

Infections that can cause harm to a baby and that must be diagnosed and treated promptly include:

  • Group B Strep
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Listeriosis

An experienced birth injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will have the knowledge and requisite professional contacts necessary to examine your medical records for proof of an undiagnosed or untreated infection. If you believe your child’s birth injury occurred because your doctor failed to monitor and treat you for an infection, we are the law office that will secure full and fair compensation on your behalf.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of a baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal during delivery. There is a higher risk factor for shoulder dystocia when a mother has a small pelvis, the baby has a large birth weight, or the baby is in the incorrect position.

The attending obstetrician must carefully monitor the mother and baby during the childbirth process to ensure that this condition does not occur, and they must be prepared to take swift action if it does. Shoulder dystocia can lead to serious injuries, including collarbone and humerus fractures, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy), brain injuries, and even death.

Medical Errors

This is a broad category that may refer to any type of medical negligence that occurs before, during, or after the labor and delivery process and results in a birth injury.

As Chicago birth injury attorneys, we are familiar with some of the most commonly cited acts of medical errors and negligence in birth injury lawsuits. These include:

  • Failure to monitor
  • Failure to notice signs of fetal distress
  • Failure to notice that a baby is breech (positioned feet first rather than head first)
  • Failure to order a timely cesarean section (C-section)

Could your child’s devastating birth injuries have been prevented? If so, contact Thomas Law Offices as soon as possible. We’ll schedule you for a free consultation and lay out your legal options, including your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

As experienced medical malpractice lawyers, we are familiar with some of the most common birth injuries that occur in the state of Illinois. These are distinctly different from birth defects, which develop during pregnancy, are not the result of medical negligence, and are not preventable.

Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy)

Brachial plexus palsy (also known as Erb’s palsy) is caused by severe trauma to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that the body uses when sending sensory and movement signals from the spinal cord to the hand, arm, and shoulder.

An injured child living with a brachial plexus injury may experience numbness or stiffness of the shoulder, an inability to flex or move the elbow, or paralysis of the arm, hand, or both. This is a lifelong injury that requires continual care and treatment.

Brain Damage

Any lack of oxygen during childbirth, injury to the head, or other form of birth trauma can cause an innocent child to suffer preventable brain damage. The most common type of brain injury in birth injury cases is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Other types of birth injuries that damage the brain include periventricular leukomalacia, intraventricular hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, and newborn cephalohematoma.

Signs that a newborn might be suffering from brain damage include:

  • Abnormally small head
  • Excessively large forehead
  • Spine with an unusual shape
  • Trouble swallowing or eating
  • Stiff neck
  • Loose muscles
  • Tremors or seizures

Brain injuries can happen at any point during the delivery, including before and after. If a child suffers a brain injury, the window to act to prevent additional harm is relatively small. Never discount your worries or concerns for your child, as you are their biggest advocate. Seek medical attention right away if you believe something is wrong.

Cerebral Palsy

Both birth defects and birth injuries can cause cerebral palsy. This condition causes significant problems with both movement and posture, and those living with cerebral palsy typically require assistive devices to get around, such as crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and lifts. In some people, cerebral palsy may also cause seizures, intellectual disabilities, vision and hearing problems, impaired speech, and more.

Signs of cerebral palsy include:

  • Delayed milestones
  • Floppy or overly stiff muscles
  • Uncontrolled movements or jerking motions
  • Muscle spasms
  • Speaking and communication problems
  • Difficulty swallowing or feeding
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

According to the CDC, there are four types of cerebral palsy: spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, and mixed. The most common type of cerebral palsy is mixed, specifically, spastic-dyskinetic.

Determining whether a child’s birth injury resulted from a defect or medical negligence can be challenging. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for doctors to deny liability by wrongly claiming that a baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by a defect rather than a preventable injury.

Birth injury victims shouldn’t be treated like this. If your child suffered a preventable injury, speak with a birth injury attorney about your legal options for protecting their future.

Collarbone Fractures

Out of all of the most common birth injuries, fractures occur with the most frequency. Of these, collarbone (clavicle) fractures are the most likely to occur.

Although a collarbone fracture is unlikely to cause life-long harm, this injury can cause immense pain at the site of the injury and in the affected arm. A newborn may experience pain when lifting or moving their arm, and serious injuries may leave a baby unable to move their arm at all. Even when healed, there may be a small lump that can be easily felt when touched.

Medical costs for treating a fracture can be steep, but our birth injury lawyers are prepared to fight for the compensation your child is owed.

Facial Nerve Palsy

Any injury that occurs to the seventh cranial nerve (the facial nerve) may result in facial nerve palsy. This condition may be temporary, resolving in a matter of weeks or months, or can be permanent.

Facial nerve palsy often causes facial paralysis and may affect one or both sides of the face. Signs that your child may have suffered birth trauma to the facial nerve include:

  • Lack of facial control
  • Drooping mouth
  • Uncontrollable drooling
  • Feeding problems
  • Speech problems

Fetal Death

Expecting parents spend months picking out the perfect name, preparing the nursery, and buying baby gear like car seats and strollers. When what was supposed to be a joyous day is darkened by the unexpected and preventable loss of a baby, it may feel as if there is no hope left for the future.

Although we cannot undo the harm that has been afflicted on your family, we hope to be part of the solution. The compassionate wrongful death attorneys of Thomas Law Offices are standing by to discuss your legal options for holding a negligent or reckless medical professional responsible for their actions.

Birth Injury Statistics in the U.S.

Despite advances in health care technology, the maternal mortality rate in the United States continues to rise. Provider shortages, lack of comprehensive care, insurance caps, and socioeconomic disparities are just a few reasons why women in America (particularly Black women) have such high fatality rates during the birthing process.

The outlook for infants born in the U.S. is also less than ideal. Let’s consider the following 2022 data from the CDC:

  • Births – 3,613,647
  • Infant deaths – 19,582
  • Number of deaths for every 100,000 live births – 541.9

As birth injury attorneys, any loss of a mother or newborn pains us. This is why we have dedicated our legal and professional careers to advocating for those who have been wrongfully harmed by the health care system. Our knowledge and study of both federal and Illinois law allows us to be strong representatives for families.

What Legal Action Can I Take for a Birth Injury?

A birth injury case is a type of medical malpractice lawsuit. This legal claim allows you to take action against a doctor, nurse, surgeon, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, hospital, or other medical professional or entity that played a role in the cause of your child’s birth injury.

For a more in-depth explanation of your legal rights, contact Thomas Law Offices to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our birth injury lawyers. Our first meeting is always free.

What Compensation Is My Child Entitled to for a Birth Injury?

The compensation that children are entitled to in birth injury cases is highly contingent on a variety of factors. When calculating how much your child is owed, we will consider the type and severity of their injury, how long it is expected to last, and necessary medical care. We also consider less tangible losses, such as how their injury will affect their physical and emotional well-being.

We will further break down compensation into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are the financial losses your family has already suffered and are expected to suffer in the future. This includes:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost income if one parent leaves work to become a full-time caretaker
  • Costs for medical devices, including crutches and wheelchairs

Non-economic damages refer to non-monetary losses, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological trauma, mental anguish, and emotional suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life

Punitive damages are relatively rare in regard to medical malpractice. Your attorney will advise you if these types of damages are warranted in your birth injury claim, as they are intended to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate you for your losses.

Is your family buried under the weight of medical bills? Let our Chicago birth injury lawyers handle your case.
Call us at 502.473.6540 or fill out this form.

How Do I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Illinois?

To file a birth injury lawsuit in the state of Illinois, you must first obtain an affidavit of merit. This document is sometimes referred to as a certificate of merit or a health professional’s report, and the requirements for the affidavit are outlined in 735 ILCS 5/2-622. The purpose of this affidavit is to prevent individuals from filing frivolous lawsuits or those without merit, but they also create a significant barrier to those who have been harmed by medical professionals.

To secure an affidavit of merit, you must first meet with a health care professional who will review your child’s condition and case. This professional must meet a few important criteria, including that they have practiced medicine within the past year and are knowledgeable in matters related to your case.

You do not need to secure this affidavit prior to meeting with an attorney. At Thomas Law Offices, one of the most important steps we help families take is the very first one—making the decision to file a lawsuit.

How Do Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys Help?

At Thomas Law Offices, we treat every birth injury case with the care and respect it deserves. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers know that you and your family are not only navigating the new waters of parenthood, but are also learning how to be parents to a child with a serious or life-long medical condition.

To add filing a medical malpractice claim on top of this is to ask too much of any family. When you work with our law firm, it’s not your job to handle the legal side of things—it’s ours.

A Chicago birth injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will:

  • Investigate your claim
  • Determine all liable parties
  • Value the worth of your case
  • Negotiate a settlement with the doctor’s medical malpractice insurer
  • Take your case to court if a settlement can’t be reached.

How Long Do I Have To File My Birth Injury Lawsuit?

In Illinois, most medical malpractice lawsuits have a statute of limitations of two years. This is just two years to meet with a lawyer, build a case, and file a lawsuit. However, there are exceptions that may extend this time limit.

For example, birth injury lawsuits have a much longer statute of limitations. For these cases, families have up to eight years to file a claim.

We’re the Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers Who Care

Thomas Law Offices has decades of experience representing victims who have been harmed by the health care establishment. We know how important it is to have an attorney-client relationship that is built on trust and respect, so know that when you choose to work with our law firm, you are making the choice to align yourself with attorneys who will work tirelessly to prove that a doctor’s negligence caused your child’s birth injury.

Your child’s life matters. If they were harmed as the result of a doctor’s negligent actions, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case with a Chicago birth injury lawyer in a private, confidential setting.


Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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