Kernicterus Lawyer

Fact-Checked and Medically Reviewed by:
Katie Lavender, RN Registered Nurse
Quick Answer

Kernicterus is a form of brain damage that is often caused by untreated newborn jaundice. Complications from kernicterus can be lifelong, which can create emotional and financial strains for families. If your child developed this condition, a kernicterus birth injury lawyer may be able to help your family seek the financial compensation you need to provide care for your child.

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What Is a Kernicterus Lawyer?

A wooden gavel and stethoscope rest on a sounding block.Kernicterus lawyers are specialized personal injury attorneys who focus on helping families of children who develop the condition due to medical negligence.

Kernicterus is a rare but serious condition in newborns caused by high levels of bilirubin, a yellowish substance the body creates when it breaks down old red blood cells. In severe cases, kernicterus can lead to permanent brain damage.

When kernicterus occurs in newborns, it’s often due to untreated jaundice, a condition easily preventable through proper medical care. Therefore, kernicterus is often the result of negligence by delivery teams who fail to monitor and treat jaundice promptly.

Kernicterus lawyers file birth injury lawsuits for families seeking financial support to cover lifelong medical expenses for their child.

The birth injury lawyers in our network have helped families across the country recover over $862 million, including cases of kernicterus. Find out if a top kernicterus lawyer can help you get the justice and financial compensation your family deserves.

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A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.

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Kernicterus and Medical Malpractice

Excessively high bilirubin levels cause kernicterus. Therefore, timely intervention is crucial to prevent the condition from developing.

When early detection and treatment of bilirubin buildup could have prevented kernicterus, medical professionals may be to blame. In these cases, it could mean medical malpractice occurred.

Ways that kernicterus can be caused by medical malpractice include:
  • Disregarding a family history of jaundice or conditions that could elevate bilirubin levels
  • Failing to provide timely and necessary treatment for newborn jaundice like increased nutrition, phototherapy (light therapy), or an exchange transfusion (when blood is withdrawn and replaced through a blood transfusion)
  • Ignoring or inadequately addressing risk factors in newborns, such as prematurity or signs of bruising from birth
  • Missing signs of jaundice in a newborn baby, like yellowing of the skin and eyes, lethargy, and poor feeding
  • Neglecting symptoms of brain damage, like low muscle tone, muscle spasms, a high-pitched cry, and unusual eye movements
  • Overlooking incompatible blood types between the mother and newborn leading to high bilirubin levels
  • Providing inadequate monitoring and follow-up care after early discharge from the hospital, especially in babies showing signs of jaundice

If you suspect medical negligence caused your child’s condition, connecting with an experienced birth injury attorney can provide clarity. It may also offer a path to financial security for your child’s future.

Find out if we can connect you to an experienced kernicterus birth injury lawyer by calling (800) 914-1562 or Click to Live Chat right now.

How Can a Kernicterus Birth Injury Lawyer Help?

An experienced kernicterus lawyer can simplify your role in the lawsuit process, handling all legal work on your behalf. They will create a tailored legal strategy for you and your family that usually involves several key steps.

Here is how a skilled kernicterus birth injury lawyer can help your family:
  • Provide a free consultation: They offer a free case review to see if you may have a valid kernicterus claim.
  • Investigate the cause: Your kernicterus lawyer carefully evaluates the details of your child’s birth to determine if it was caused by medical negligence.
  • Collect evidence: Kernicterus lawyers gather medical records and bills, expert opinions, and other relevant evidence to build a strong case.
  • File the lawsuit: They handle each step of the filing process, ensuring all necessary documents are filed properly and within your case’s specific deadlines.
  • Negotiate on your behalf: They will work to secure the maximum kernicterus settlement amount without you ever having to go to court.
  • Represent you at trial: If a kernicterus settlement isn’t reached, they will take your case to court to continue fighting for your family.

Hiring an experienced kernicterus lawyer lets you focus on caring for your child while your legal team works hard to get your family financial compensation and justice.

Kernicterus Settlements and Verdicts

Birth injury settlements and verdicts provide the financial aid needed to care for children who were harmed. Many birth injury settlements have awarded millions of dollars to families.

Reported birth injury awards involving kernicterus include:
  • $46.5 million in Arkansas for a child’s brain damage due to negligence in following jaundice treatment guidelines
  • $10 million in California due to a newborn receiving the wrong discharge instructions
  • $8.5 million in New York for untreated jaundice leading to cerebral palsy
  • $5.85 million in Michigan for a premature baby with several improperly managed conditions

For many families, working with an experienced kernicterus lawyer helped increase their birth injury lawsuit compensation.

Get a free case review right now to see if you qualify to work with a kernicterus lawyer near you.

Get a Free Case Review

A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.

Get a Free Case Review

When Should I Hire a Kernicterus Lawyer?

Families should consider hiring kernicterus lawyers as soon as they suspect their child’s condition might be due to a medical mistake.

It’s important to act quickly because there’s a strict deadline for filing lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. Once this window passes, you won’t be able to pursue legal action.

Each state’s laws are different, making it essential to consult a lawyer who understands which deadline applies in your area. A skilled kernicterus lawyer near you can advise you on how much time your family has to file your lawsuit.

Don’t wait to find out what legal options you may have. Call our team at (800) 914-1562 or get a free case review right now.

How to Find the Best Kernicterus Lawyers

Finding the right kernicterus lawyer for your case is essential to increase your chances of a successful outcome. Birth injury cases are complex and challenging to prove, but experienced attorneys can help.

Below are some qualities to look for in kernicterus lawyers.

No Upfront Costs

Choose a kernicterus lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs. You will only pay your lawyer if your case results in compensation. Your kernicterus lawyer will receive a percentage of your payout if they negotiate a birth injury settlement or win a verdict for you.

Registered Nurses on Staff

Top birth injury law firms have registered nurses as part of their legal team to help families understand what could have gone wrong during childbirth. The kernicterus lawyers in our network have labor and delivery nurses on staff with decades of combined expertise. They are available to listen to your story and answer any questions you may have.

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Experience With Kernicterus Cases

Look for attorneys with a history of handling birth injury cases like yours. Top kernicterus lawyers know how to gather the evidence needed to build a strong case linking your child’s condition to medical negligence.

History of Winning Birth Injury Settlements

Experienced kernicterus lawyers have a proven track record of handling birth injury cases. This means they can accurately assess the impact of your child’s condition, calculate the amount of money needed for their care, and fight hard to get the money your family deserves.

Works at a Reputable Birth Injury Law Firm

Generally, attorneys who work at trusted birth injury law firms have access to extensive resources, legal expertise, expert witnesses, and ample support. Choosing a lawyer who works at a reputable medical malpractice firm can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Find a Kernicterus Lawyer Near You

Birth injury cases are complex and require a lawyer who is not only experienced in the law but also dedicated to advocating for your family’s unique needs.

Kernicterus lawyers with the right experience can guide you through the legal process, making it as stress-free as possible. They will work hard to uphold your rights and fight for the compensation your family deserves.

At the Birth Injury Justice Center, we partner with some of the country’s best kernicterus lawyers.

Our team understands that your child’s future is your top priority. Having the right kernicterus lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Contact us right now at (800) 914-1562 or fill out our case review form to find out if we can help you provide a better future for your child.

Kernicterus Lawyer FAQs

Can you sue for kernicterus?

Yes, you may be able to sue for kernicterus if it results from medical malpractice, like failing to diagnose and treat newborn jaundice.

To sue for kernicterus, your legal team will have to prove that medical negligence directly led to the condition or worsened its outcome.

The Birth Injury Justice Center partners with kernicterus lawyers who have helped families across the country secure billions of dollars in compensation. Find out if we can connect you right now with a free case review.

What is the process of filing a kernicterus birth injury lawsuit?

Working with a skilled medical malpractice attorney is often the best first step to filing a kernicterus birth injury lawsuit.

A skilled birth injury attorney can:

  1. Gather evidence to build a strong case
  2. File a medical malpractice lawsuit according to your state’s deadlines
  3. Negotiate with the other side for the largest settlement possible
  4. Fight for your family in court if a fair settlement isn’t reached

A lawyer can handle all of the legal work and advocate for your family while you focus on caring for your child.

How can a lawyer prove my child’s kernicterus was preventable?

To prove the condition could have been avoided, kernicterus lawyers typically investigate the events that took place around the time of birth and collect evidence showing medical malpractice.

This evidence may include:

  • Diagnoses and reports from medical professionals
  • Expert testimony from medical professionals
  • First-hand accounts from eyewitnesses
  • Visual documentation like photos and videos

An experienced lawyer will use solid evidence to build a strong case prior to filing your lawsuit.

How much can you get from a kernicterus settlement?

The average birth injury settlement is around $1 million. However, many families have received multimillion-dollar awards in kernicterus cases.

The birth injury lawyers in our network have helped families recover over $862 million in birth injury compensation, including cases involving kernicterus.

It’s important to understand that the value of a kernicterus case is affected by various factors, such as the severity of the condition and the child’s expected medical needs.

An experienced kernicterus lawyer can assess the specifics of your case and tell you what you may be able to expect. We can connect you right now if you qualify — call our team at (800) 914-1562.

What is the evidence of kernicterus?

Evidence of kernicterus includes high bilirubin levels in blood tests.

Signs and symptoms of kernicterus include:

  • High-pitched crying
  • Sleepiness
  • Trouble feeding
  • Yellowing of the skin

If you see these signs, seek medical help immediately, as early detection and treatment are crucial to prevent severe neurological damage. Brain scans can show specific changes.

Birth Injury Support Team
Reviewed by:Katie Lavender, RN

Registered Nurse

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Katie Lavender has over 8 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in postpartum mother/baby care. With hands-on experience in Labor and Delivery and a role as a Community Educator for newborn care, Katie is a staunch advocate for patient rights and education. As a Medical Reviewer, she is committed to ensuring accurate and trustworthy patient information.

The Birth Injury Justice Center was founded in 2003 by a team of legal professionals to educate and empower victims and families affected by birth injuries. Our team is devoted to providing you with the best resources and legal information for all types of birth injuries.

View Sources
  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2023, May 30). Kernicterus. Retrieved March 8, 2024, from
  2. Reddy, D.K. & Pandey, S. (2023, June 25). Kernicterus. StatPearls. Retrieved March 8, 2024, from