Birth Injury

Harm Suffered by Your Baby

A birth injury is harm suffered by the baby during the birthing process, usually occurring during travel through the birth canal. Injuries to an infant that result from mechanical forces, such as compression or traction, during the birth process are categorized as birth trauma or birth injury. These are not birth defects, birth trauma occurs during the birthing process while birth defects are structural changes in the body that occur during growth in the uterus.

Significant birth injuries are not common, but an average of 6-8 injuries occurs for every 1000 live births in the U.S. In general, larger infants are more likely to suffer a birth injury. A difficult delivery, with the risk of injury to the baby, may occur if the birth canal is too small or the baby is too large (as sometimes occurs when the mother has diabetes). Injury is also more likely if the baby is lying in an abnormal position before birth. When these conditions are present, medical care providers should take appropriate steps to minimize the danger to the baby and mother. The most common birth injuries result from two very different conditions known as cerebral palsy and Erbs (or brachial) palsy.

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A careful case review will be performed by your lawyer to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  Then the conclusions of this review are presented to you in a thorough, understandable manner.

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Birth Injury Claims

A birth injury claim, or medical malpractice claim, is not limited to the conduct of medical doctors, but applies also to nurses, anesthesiologists, health care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. With most births taking place in a hospital, often a hospital’s employee is responsible for the negligent care. Hospitals are corporations that are either public or private entities. In the context of medical malpractice actions, hospitals can be held directly liable for their own negligence, and can also be held “vicariously” liable for the negligence of their employees.

Most children diagnosed with significant birth injuries require a lifetime of support. Muscle weakness, muscle spasticity and coordination problems are common and can contribute to a number of complications either during childhood or later during adulthood. Accommodations are required for all aspects of daily life, including hygiene, mobility, education and recreation. Extensive resources are needed to adequately provide for the birth injured child. If your child was injured due to the negligence of a care provider during birth, then give consideration to pursuing a medical malpractice claim.