Illinois Epidural Injury Attorney
Pain management is part of every labor and delivery experience, and pain management varies significantly in different cases. Some mothers welcome the pain of childbirth, considering it to be part of the PLDR (prenatal, labor, delivery, and recovery) process. Other women opt for more aggressive pain management. That usually means a light epidural injection, which basically dulls childbirth pain, or a full epidural, which numbs the mother below the waist.
Usually, mothers express an epidural preference during prenatal visits, as part of their birth plans. However, these decisions are not set in stone. In fact, mothers often change their minds at the last minute. If that happens, the medical care team should be ready to respond. Unfortunately, these sudden changes catch many medical care teams flat-footed. So, they must suddenly and unexpectedly change gears. When that happens, mistakes often happen as well.
The diligent Illinois epidural injury attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman are never caught flat-footed. That’s because we thoroughly prepare your case and anticipate unexpected events. This preparation includes looking at a case from many different angles. This additional perspective helps us develop the strongest possible arguments. Furthermore, we never arrogantly assume your case will proceed according to plan. Instead, if the situation changes, we are ready to adapt.
Physician Duty of Care
Under Illinois law, doctors have a fiduciary duty. That’s the highest level of legal responsibility under state law. This duty has some unique aspects in the context of epidural injections.
Frequently, anesthesiologists feel like part-time members of the labor and delivery healthcare team. As mentioned, some mothers choose anesthesia-free deliveries. Yet despite that, anesthesiologists have full-time healthcare responsibilities, before, during, and after the mother delivers her baby.
When mothers request anesthesia, anesthesiologists must thoroughly review the patient’s history and meet with the patient if at all possible. The doctor must look for red flags in the patient’s history, such as medicine allergies and pre-existing conditions. Additionally, the anesthesiologist must determine if the requested intervention is in the best interests of mother and baby. That’s often different from the mother’s preference.
After epidural administration, anesthesiologists must remain on standby in a nearby location, usually inside the hospital or other medical facility. If something goes wrong, they must respond immediately. They also cannot ignore or disable alarms.
These doctors’ responsibilities do not end once the mother delivers her baby. After delivery, anesthesiologists must remain on call, to ensure that the mother properly recovers from the anesthesia. Additionally, the anesthesiologist should answer all questions from the mother and other members of the healthcare team, at this point and at all other points in the process.440
Evidence in Medical Negligence Claims
In order to obtain damages, a Chicago epidural injury attorney must prove negligence, which is basically a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are usually available in these cases as well.
The evidence in a birth injury claim usually consists of expert testimony which establishes the standard of care, eyewitness and documentary evidence that shows the care the mother and baby did, or did not, receive, and lay witness statements which show the practical effects of an injury.
A little proof goes a long way in these situations. A preponderance of the evidence means more likely than not. That’s one of the lowest burdens of proof in Illinois law.
Contact a Diligent Chicago Cook County Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced epidural injury attorney in Chicago, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman by going online or calling 410-567-0800. Virtual, after-hours, home, and hospital visits are available.