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 Injured newborn baby at the hospital

Understanding Birth Injury Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

Birth Injury describes any suffering or injury sustained by a newborn during pregnancy, childbirth, or the first few weeks after giving birth. Birth injuries can negatively affect a child's quality of life, growth, and general health and can have serious, long-term repercussions. Parents may be unsure of their legal options if their child suffers a birth injury. Parents can file a birth injury lawsuit to obtain financial compensation for the harm and losses suffered by their child. These are some important facts concerning birth injury litigation.

Different forms of Birth injuries that can happen during delivery

Cerebral palsy

cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It's caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.

Brachial plexus injuries (Erb's palsy)

It is one of the most common neurological birth injuries. It is caused by injury to the brachial plexus, which is formed from the ventral rami of cervical nerves 5-8 and thoracic nerve 1. The brachial plexus innervates all muscles of the upper limb except the trapezius. Erb palsy occurs when the upper trunk of the brachial plexus, comprising cervical nerves 5 and 6, is severed.

Brain damage

Brain damage occurs when cells in the brain are damaged or destroyed. Unfortunately, many children can suffer from permanent brain damage during childbirth.

Spinal cord injuries

One of the more severe types of birth trauma is a spinal cord birth injury. This type of injury can leave a baby with severe and permanent physical limitations and can even be fatal.

Shoulder dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of your babys shoulders get stuck inside your pelvis during childbirth. Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency and can cause serious complications for the mother and baby.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is the most common type of brain damage in newborn babies. It happens when the babys brain doesnt get enough oxygen or blood flow for a long period of time. HIE can occur before, during, or after childbirth.

Facial paralysis

Facial nerve palsy due to birth trauma is the loss of controllable (voluntary) muscle movement in an infant's face due to pressure on the facial nerve just before or at the time of birth. Most of the time, the cause is unknown. But a difficult delivery, with or without the use of an instrument called forceps, may lead to this condition.

Bone fractures

Bones may be broken or fractured before or during delivery, even when the delivery is normal. Fractures of the collarbone, upper arm bone, and upper leg bone are relatively common. These fractures may cause pain with movement in the first few days but usually heal well.

Many factors that can lead to birth injuries

Prolonged labor

If a mother has long or difficult labor, there is an increased risk of birth injuries. The baby may experience oxygen deprivation or other trauma during extended labor.

The large size of the baby

If a baby is larger than average, it can be more challenging for the mother to deliver it naturally. In such cases, there is a higher risk of injuries like shoulder dystocia, where the baby's shoulder gets stuck during delivery.

Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction

In some cases, doctors may need to use forceps or vacuum extraction to help deliver the baby. However, if these instruments are not used correctly, they can cause serious birth injuries.

Premature birth

Babies born prematurely may have underdeveloped organs, making them more susceptible to birth injuries like brain damage or respiratory problems.


Infections during pregnancy or delivery can also increase the risk of birth injuries.

Multiple births

Twins, triplets, or other multiples are at a higher risk of birth injuries due to their size and the complexity of the delivery.

How to file a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Judges gavel and a stethoscope

You might be entitled to bring a birth injury case if you believe that medical malpractice caused your child's birth damage. The procedure for bringing a birth injury lawsuit is as follows:

Consultation with an Attorney

The first step in filing a birth injury lawsuit is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Attorneys will need to know how the infant's birth injury may have been avoided, the date, location, and circumstances of the occurrence, and who is to blame for the birth harm. This will enable your attorney to establish the fundamental details needed to evaluate the merits and credibility of your claim according to medical malpractice laws.


Your attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding your child's birth injury. This may involve reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with medical experts.

Filing the Lawsuit

If your attorney determines that you have a viable case, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit will typically name the medical professionals or hospital responsible for your child's injuries as defendants.


During the discovery process, both parties will exchange evidence and information relevant to the case. Information such as depositions, hospital invoices and, spending records for medical care, medical records that mention the child's injuries particularly will be gathered by your attorney.

Settlement Negotiation

Many birth injury lawsuits are settled out of court. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant's legal team to reach a settlement that compensates you for your child's injuries and losses.


If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial. Your attorney will present evidence and arguments to the judge or jury, who will ultimately decide the outcome of the case.

Statute of limitations on birth injury lawsuit

The statute of limitations is one of the most important considerations when bringing a birth injury case. This statute establishes a deadline for submitting your civil lawsuit.

Every state has a different statute of limitations, so it's crucial to speak with an established birth injury law company in your region to figure out when it's best to bring your complaint. Lawyers are familiar with each state's statute of limitations. Without an attorney's assistance, it can be challenging to bring a lawsuit within these restrictions successfully.

Even if your claim is legitimate, if you opt to file a lawsuit after the limitation period has passed, you risk permanently losing your ability to do so.

Compensation for Birth Injury Lawsuits

Compensation for birth injury lawsuits can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, the long-term effects on the child and family, and the specifics of the case.  Compensation for birth injury lawsuits can include both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages may cover medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages of parents who need to care for the injured child, and any expenses associated with the child's care or treatment. Non-economic damages may cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The amount of compensation for a birth injury lawsuit can vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to several million dollars. In some cases, families may receive structured settlements, which provide regular payments over a period of time rather than a lump sum.

It's important to note that compensation for birth injury lawsuits cannot undo the harm that has been done to the child and family. However, it can provide financial support for the child's ongoing care and treatment and may help families move forward with their lives.


Families who have endured the terrible effects of medical malpractice may be able to get much-needed compensation via a birth injury lawsuit. It's crucial to speak with an expert lawyer if you believe your kid may have undergone a birth injury so they can guide you through the legal system and help you pursue the justice and financial recompense your family deserves.

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