Perhaps you are wondering if you should seek a birth injury lawyer. If you live in Chicago or the surrounding area and believe your child was injured at birth, you should consider it. The following is a true story based upon one couple’s struggle to get help for themselves and their daughter so that they could get proper care for a birth injury that happened to their daughter. Names have been changed in order to protect the people who were actually involved in the case.
Kathleen and John wanted to have a child of their own very badly. So, as one could imagine, they were absolutely overjoyed when Kathleen told John that they were going to be parents. It was their first child, and they had been trying very hard so that Kathleen could finally get pregnant. Little did they know that the birth of their first and only child would later prove to be a nightmare of legal entanglements.
Everything had been going right in terms of the pregnancy. Kathleen and John could not be happier. About nine months later, it was around the time that Kathleen was supposed to deliver the baby. Sure enough, on her due date, Kathleen began to experience contractions. By the time she got to the hospital, she was fully dilated and ready to deliver her bundle of joy. Everything seemed to be occurring naturally. Kathleen was breathing just the way she had practiced in her Lamaze class, and John was right beside her holding her hand every step of the way. The obstetrician kept telling her to push as hard as she could.
Kathleen was doing her best to push as hard as she could. Finally, the doctor could see the head of the baby. But, instead of a crying baby, there was no sound. The reason was because, unbeknownst to Kathleen and John, the umbilical cord had wrapped itself around the little baby girl’s neck. In desperation, the obstetrician unwrapped the umbilical cord from the child’s neck. However, by this point some damage had been done. The baby girl had been deprived of oxygen for just a few minutes. Unfortunately, this would lead to the child having cerebral palsy, a type of paralysis that she would have to live with for the rest of her life.
Kathleen and John were beside themselves with grief. They named their little daughter Laura. Laura was a beautiful little girl. It really upset her parents, however, that the obstetrician had not done a full work-up of tests on Kathleen before delivery to ensure that there would be no complications, in which case Laura could have possibly been delivered via Caesarean section in order to minimize the risk or chances that she would have developed brain damage as a result of these complications at the time of her birth.
Although Kathleen disliked the idea, John decided to file a civil suit against the hospital and against the obstetrician for medical malpractice, malfeasance, and negligence for punitive damages incurred as a result of Laura having been born with complications which could have possibly been prevented. The suit sought to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future. Also, John wanted Laura to have the best life possible even in lieu of her parents’ absence should something happen to himself and Kathleen.
Kathleen and John were able to receive monetary damages for their trouble, considering that their daughter would now have to receive specialized care for the rest of her natural life. Of course, her parents were worried about who would take care of Laura if something should happen to both of them. However, with the money they received from the court–which had rewarded them handsomely for the birth injury Laura had suffered–they were able to purchase life insurance for themselves and for Laura. They were also able to get assistive devices for Laura when she became older. Some of these assistive devices included a special motorized wheelchair, not to mention a DynaVox, which was a communication device Laura would later use to be able to speak.
Much of the money received in the lawsuit also paid for numerous medications which Laura would have to take over the course of her lifetime. Since many children and adults with cerebral palsy have seizures–like Laura–she would have to take antispasmodic medications for the rest of her life. These types of medications would include types such as Valium, Lioresal, and Dantrium. Anticonvulsant medications might also be ones that Laura would take, including Neurontin, Lamictal, and Topamax. People with cerebral palsy would also have to take medication to suppress uncontrollable body movements–taking medications such as Cogentin, Sinemet, and Robinul. At any rate, it is doubtless that, in addition to having partial paralysis, basically Laura would have to take some combination of these medications daily for the rest of her life. Reaping the monetary benefits from the lawsuit would also help Kathleen and John provide care for Laura for the rest of her natural life in the event that one or both of them became incapacitated or unable to care for their daughter due to illness, injury, or disability.
As a result, the funds awarded them by the court helped with the ongoing cares. Kathleen and John would not have had much financial recourse considering that the amount of care, medication, and overall expenses of caring for Laura on a 24/7 basis far outweighed any amount of money that they could ever have made just by combining their two salaries alone, plus savings. They made the right choice in consulting a lawyer who dealt with birth injuries first, before proceeding.