Pregnancies ideally last for 38 to 40 weeks. Unfortunately, if babies are born early, parts of their brains and bodies might not have the opportunity to develop fully. The earlier a child is born, the more likely the baby my face a significant or severe disability.
There are many reasons for premature delivery, and not all of them are preventable. However, medical negligence is a factor in many early births.
If you suspect medical negligence contributed to the preterm birth of your child, consulting a Bloomington premature delivery lawyer is a wise step. A compassionate attorney could help you pursue a claim to recover for your child’s damages, to help you provide for the care your child could require in the future.
Premature Birth Risk Factors
It is not always clear why some women deliver a child prematurely when others do not, but there are a number of risk factors that make premature delivery more likely. Women who fall into the high-risk category require close monitoring, and sometimes medical intervention could be necessary to delay delivery.
A history of preterm births, carrying multiple children in the womb, cervical abnormalities, infections, and pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, increase the likelihood that a woman will give birth prematurely. Mothers under age 17 and over age 35 also are more likely to deliver their babies early.
Failure to identify or closely monitor an expectant mother who is at risk of premature delivery could be used as evidence of negligence by a local attorney. Women at high risk should have more frequent prenatal appointments, regular ultrasounds to monitor the length of the woman’s cervix, and regular counseling about steps the mother can take to promote a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
Establishing Medical Negligence
When a woman who has experienced a premature birth begins working with a Bloomington attorney, the lawyer will review her medical records to assess whether the pregnancy should have been treated as a high-risk pregnancy. If so, they could also evaluate whether the medical monitoring the patient received was appropriate in their particular circumstances.
If it appears that the woman did not receive proper care, her representative might advise filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §5/2-622(a) requires that a physician review a malpractice complaint and sign an affidavit of merit stating that the care did not meet prevailing standards. In most cases a plaintiff files the affidavit with the complaint that initiates the lawsuit.
A successful civil claim based on premature delivery requires you to prove that one or more members of your medical team did not meet the applicable standard of care. If you can show that a failure to provide appropriate care resulted in a premature delivery that injured your child, compensation could be awarded to provide for your child’s damages, which can be essential to provide the resources needed for their care.
Compensation for Premature Birth Injuries
Premature babies often suffer injuries that have a tremendous impact on their and their families’ lives. Long term respiratory and digestive issues, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and neurological challenges often result from premature birth. Sometimes these injuries are so severe they could prevent the child from ever living independently.
Damages from a successful lawsuit stemming from a premature birth could provide for all the care the child will require for the rest of their life. This could include home care, therapeutic interventions, and mental health support. Damages also could include sums for pain, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life.
Under 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes 5/2-117, defendants in malpractice cases are subject to joint and several liability. This means that even if several providers’ negligence contributed to your premature delivery, any one of the liable parties with at least 25 percent of the responsibility could be responsible for paying the entire sum of damages. A local attorney could name multiple involved parties in a premature birth lawsuit, increasing the likelihood that you could collect appropriate damages.
Call a Bloomington Premature Delivery Attorney for Legal Guidance
Delivering a child prematurely comes with many health risks that can quickly become overwhelming. A Bloomington premature delivery lawyer could guide you through the process of gaining financial help to provide the support your child needs and will need in the future. Schedule a consultation today.