When a child suffers serious birth injuries during labor or delivery, it can be devastating for parents and family members. Worse, many of these injuries appear to be preventable, and occur only as the result of a medical professional's negligence or malpractice.
In many cases, the parents of an injured child can seek compensation by taking legal action against the negligent practitioner or entity. When considering filing a lawsuit against a medical care provider, it's important to be aware of your state's statute of limitations in order to maintain standing and maximize the options available.
Birth injuries fall into the category of medical malpractice. In Illinois, the statute of limitations -- or the amount of time in which a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit -- is as follows:
- For a medical malpractice claim, two years from the date of injury or from the date that the injured person should have known about the injury.
- Conversely, a separate statute of limitations specifically for birth injuries is much longer, giving victims at least eight years in which to file suit, or until a victim turns 22 years old if he or she was a minor (under age 18) at the time of injury.
- In cases involving a birth injury that leads to a disability, such as cerebral palsy, Illinois law states that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the disability is removed. If the disability cannot be removed, then a victim or his/her family is not required to file a lawsuit within a set period of time.
If your child is suffering from a birth-related injury that resulted from a physician's error or negligence, you have a right to take legal action against the individual or facility responsible. Contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices for guidance.