Parents typically look forward to the delivery of their child and hope for a smooth and safe delivery. Unfortunately, things can go wrong, and thousands of babies suffer from preventable birth injuries every year.
If shoulder dystocia occurred during your child’s birth, it is possible that a medical professional did not act appropriately during your delivery or pregnancy. Consult a compassionate local attorney as soon as possible to find out whether the injury merits bringing a malpractice claim. A Bloomington shoulder dystocia lawyer understands the implications of a difficult birth and can advise you regarding medical malpractice law and its challenges.
What Injuries are Associated with Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia is a complication during delivery where the baby’s shoulder is too wide to pass between the pubic bones. According to the National Institutes of Health, shoulder dystocia occurs in up to two percent of births in the United States. Many deliveries involving shoulder dystocia result in a healthy child with no significant or long-lasting injuries. However, when the attending medical professionals make poor decisions, the child might suffer permanent damage.
The most common result of shoulder dystocia is brachial plexus injury (BPI). The brachial plexus is a nerve network that connects the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. When the network cannot transmit messages, there could be loss of movement and control of the limb. Erb’s Palsy is a form of BPI that results in limited use of the affected arm. Klumpke’s Syndrome is another type of BPI that causes paralysis of the forearm and hand.
If the baby is in the birth canal too long, they could develop hypoxia or cerebral palsy. These conditions could lead to significant developmental delays and physical disabilities. In severe cases, a child might require lifelong care. A compassionate Bloomington lawyer with experience with birth injury cases could help you pursue a claim for damages to hopefully provide the financial resources to ensure that a child will always have the care they need.
Establishing the Relevant Standard of Care in Bloomington
In medical malpractice cases, the party seeking damages must prove that a medical professional did not meet the applicable standard of care. The standard of care is the degree of skill and judgment that an equally qualified and experienced professional would bring to a particular situation. Sometimes there is a range of responses that could be within the standard of care for a particular medical condition.
Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction 105.00 requires a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit to present a medical expert to testify that the defendant’s treatment did not meet the standard of care. A medical malpractice attorney in Bloomington might have several experts review a shoulder dystocia case before ever filing a lawsuit to ensure that you could meet the burden of proving a deviation from the standard of care.
Impact of Comparative Negligence
The conduct of the plaintiff could be an issue in medical malpractice cases. 735 Illinois Consolidated Statutes §5/2-1116 allows a plaintiff to seek damages from negligent parties even if they were negligent themselves. However, they can only collect the percentage of their damages attributable to the actions of the defendants.
If a mother did not follow pre-natal medical advice to the letter, a defense might assert that maternal non-compliance contributed to the baby’s injury. Depending on the individual circumstances, a capable lawyer could prepare you for any such claims and work to counter any attempts to attribute a significant share of the blame to the mother for the injury medical professionals inflicted on her child.
Schedule a Consultation with a Bloomington Shoulder Dystocia Attorney Today
Handling a medical malpractice claim while caring for an injured child can be overwhelming. However, a compassionate local attorney can help your family by handling the legal process for you so you can focus on caring for your newborn. Call today to schedule a consultation with a Bloomington shoulder dystocia lawyer.