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birth injuryLearning that your newborn has suffered a birth-related injury can be traumatic, especially if the injury could have been avoided. Sadly, approximately seven of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. suffer a birth injury of one form or another as a result of medical malpractice.

Birth Injuries and Birth Defects – Understanding the Difference

While they often get lumped into one category, there are actually two types of birth-related conditions that can result from medical errors: birth injuries and birth defects.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries result from traumatic events that cause harm to your child. Examples include:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s (brachial) palsy

Birth Defects

By contract, birth defects involve DNA abnormalities that lead to deformities or disabilities. The most common medical error that results causes birth defects is improper prenatal medication.

Why Does it Matter?

One of the primary reasons why it is important to distinguish birth injuries from birth defects is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines how long you have after an accident or injury occurs to file a claim for damages. In Illinois, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim you have.

Lawsuits for curable birth injuries generally need to be filed with eight years of birth. However, for a birth defect or injury that results in your child being physically or mentally disabled, you do not have to file your claim until a pre-determined amount of time after the disability is cured. For permanent disabilities, you may never lose your ability to file a claim.

As you can see, understanding how your baby’s condition is classified is key to understanding your legal rights.

Not All Injuries and Defects Entitle You to Compensation

It is also important to know that, for a birth injury or defect to entitle you to financial compensation, it must result from negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse, or healthcare facility. As noted above, this is referred to as medical malpractice. Some injuries and defects may be unavoidable given the circumstances of your pregnancy. However, if your child’s condition could have been avoided with proper medical care, you may have a claim for financial compensation.

The Sooner You Act, the Better Your Chances of Success

While the law gives you plenty of time to file your claim, it is generally advisable to seek damages as soon as possible after learning of the injury or defect. There are numerous reasons why acting quickly is in your best interests – among them the ability to obtain money to pay for future medical expenses.

Do You Have More Questions? Speak with a Birth Injury Lawyer in Chicago, IL

If your child is suffering as a result of a birth injury or birth defect, we can help you determine whether medical malpractice is to blame. To schedule a free consultation, call Malman Law today at (888) 625-6265 or fill out our online FREE case evaluation.

Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.aiopia.org/selection/.

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.naopia.com/selection-process.

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

  • Top Attorneys Diamond Member

  • Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020

  • The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only professional organization composed of premier trial attorneys from each state. These attorneys exemplify the very best qualities and qualifications of an attorney. Each attorney must meet stringent qualifications as a civil or criminal trial attorney. These attorneys practice in a variety of fields to help and promote the ethical and elite practice of law. Selection is based on a thorough multi phase process which includes peer nominations and third party research. Each member must be in good standing with their local compliance organization. Membership is extended to only a select few in each state and/or region.

  • As the founder of Steven J. Malman and Associates, P.C., Attorney Steven Malman has 21 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Malman is one of Chicago’s leading authorities on personal injury law and has taken a special interest in defending the elderly from neglect and abuse. He has personally handled over 10,000 cases successfully, and collected hundreds of millions dollars for his clients.

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