If you or your partner underwent in vitro fertilization [IVF], or prenatal genetic counseling, and your baby was born with a genetic disorder or birth defects, you may have experienced a wrongful birth due to negligence. If you have questions about how it could have happened. and are considering your legal options, a wrongful birth lawyer can help you take legal action against the negligent facilities and/or medical professionals responsible.
Finding a wrongful birth lawyer with decades of experience is the first step in this process, as the attorney should be a trusted partner for your family. The following is a look into what you can expect when you hire a wrongful birth lawyer.
What is Wrongful Birth?
A wrongful birth occurs when a child is born with a genetic disorder that was not made known to the parents prior to birth. It’s usually due to negligence by a medical professional during prenatal testing, genetic prognosticating, or counseling experiences. Examples of scenarios in which negligence may occur include, but are not limited to:
- Pre-Conception Genetic Counseling
- Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
- Post-Conception Genetic Counseling
- Post-Conception Ultrasound and Counseling
Learn about these scenarios and more in our Wrongful Birth Lawsuit: What Is It, Exactly? blog post.
What is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?
A wrongful birth lawsuit is brought against a medical professional by the parents of a child born with a genetic or congenital disorder. In this type of legal action, parents allege that if the medical provider was not negligent in testing or counseling services and they had known about the disorder, the parents would have terminated the pregnancy or avoided conception.
The purpose of filing a wrongful birth lawsuit is for the parents to receive compensation that will help them to care for the disabled child. Examples of compensation structures and more details on wrongful birth lawsuits can be found here.
A Consultation for a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit
The first step in hiring a wrongful birth lawyer is scheduling a consultation. A good question to ask any law firm is, “Do you offer free consultations?” At Hurley McKenna & Mertz (HMM), we offer free consultations to anyone who may have a case. In advance of the meeting, an attorney may ask you to answer a few questions. Our office will collect information about the birth, as well as any medical documentation you can share about the wrongful birth.
As you prepare for your consultation, please gather any pertinent medical information that will help your attorney understand your situation and how the wrongful birth occurred. At HMM you are welcome to bring a family member or other support person to your consultation—we want you to feel comfortable when meeting with us as we understand this can be a sensitive topic.
If you are wondering whether Hurley McKenna & Mertz is a good fit for you, visit our online library that offers video resources, frequently asked questions, and testimonials from past clients. If after your initial consultation you are prepared to retain our services, we will formalize the agreement with a contingency fee agreement.
Your Wrongful Birth Lawsuit
Once you have retained an attorney’s services, they will begin to work for you. Attorneys will meet with leading experts who can testify on your behalf, helping to build the case against negligent medical professionals.
At HMM, we want to help every client achieve the best outcome; therefore, we prepare each case as if it were to go to trial. While some cases may settle outside of court, our preparation ensures we still obtain the highest settlements for our clients. In our experience, defendants and their insurance companies will pay the best settlements to clients whose lawyers have gone the extra mile to prepare a case for trial.
Our attorneys will thoroughly review medical records, meet with subject matter experts, and collect evidence to support your case. As we prepare for trial, we will demonstrate our intentions by submitting expert testimony. In some cases, a settlement outside of trial may occur. However, we will be fully prepared to see the case through to trial if necessary.
Hurley McKenna & Mertz: Top Chicago Wrongful Birth Lawyers
Hurley McKenna & Mertz is the leading law firm in the Chicago area for wrongful births, we encourage prospective clients to review our success page to see how we have helped families like yours. Our wide range of legal experience spans decades, as the trusted attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz have represented families with various legal issues surrounding medical malpractice as it relates to genetic testing and counseling.
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, we are particularly proud of our success in the case of Clark v. Children’s Memorial Hospital. In that case, Attorney Chris Hurley argued before the Illinois Supreme Court that the law should recognize, for the first time, an important avenue of recovery for wrongful birth plaintiffs: Parents of a disabled child born as a result of negligent genetic testing or genetic counseling can now recover damages for both the costs of caring for their child’s disabilities, as well as for their own emotional distress.
If you are ready to discuss your family’s experience with wrongful birth, we welcome you to contact us today for a free consultation.