Medical Negligence

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

Medical negligence during childbirth happens when health care providers fail to make good decisions regarding care, resulting in harm. Delivery teams must act quickly to ensure the safety of both mother and baby. Mistakes, delays, or improper use of medical tools can lead to serious birth injuries with lifelong consequences. If your family was impacted, you may have legal options.

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What Is Medical Negligence During Childbirth?

Medical negligence during childbirth happens when health care providers fail to provide the proper care, causing harm to the mother or baby. Mistakes made before, during, or after delivery can cause catastrophic harm, including severe birth injuries.

7OUT OF1000

pregnant women in the U.S. experienced
childbirth and pregnancy complications.

According to Blue Cross Blue Shield

Childbirth medical negligence can lead to serious conditions like cerebral palsy, brain damage, and permanent nerve injuries. When children are harmed during childbirth, it can mean a lifetime of unexpected financial and emotional burdens that most families could not have prepared for.

For many families, taking legal action through a birth injury lawsuit is the best path forward to seeking the money they need to provide proper care for their child.

The Birth Injury Justice Center partners with top birth injury lawyers across the country with experience handling medical negligence cases. Together, they have helped families recover over $917 million for preventable birth injuries.

Get a free consultation right now to find out if we can connect you with a top birth injury law firm near you.

Was Your Child Injured During Birth?

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Labor and Delivery Malpractice Settlements and Verdicts

Medical malpractice lawsuits usually end in settlements out of court, but sometimes they go to trial. Birth injury settlements and trial verdicts provide compensation to families when health care providers cause harm during childbirth due to medical negligence.

Birth injury lawsuit payouts our legal partners have secured include:
  • Over $10.4 million for a Pennsylvania family of a child with cerebral palsy (CP)
  • $8 million on behalf of a New York child with a vacuum extraction injury
  • $7.8 million for a Florida family whose child developed CP
  • $6 million to the family of a child in California with CP
  • $5.1 million for a Texas family whose child developed neonatal asphyxia
  • $5 million on behalf of a Massachusetts child for brain damage during delivery
  • $4.5 million for a family in Illinois whose child developed Erb’s palsy
  • Over $2 million to a North Carolina family of a child with a brachial plexus injury

Compensation in each case varies. However, knowing what other families have received in labor and delivery medical negligence lawsuits can be helpful.

If your child was harmed, your family may also be entitled to compensation.

Call us right now at (800) 914-1562 or Click to Live Chat to see if you qualify.

Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence

Medical negligence during childbirth can take various forms, all resulting from a failure to uphold the standard of care.

This can include errors in judgment, improper use of medical tools, and delays in necessary medical interventions.

Complications and Birth Injuries Caused By Medical Negligence:

Medical Negligence During Pregnancy

Negligence by medical providers during pregnancy often involves a failure to diagnose conditions in the baby or the mother. Obstetricians must properly screen the mother during pregnancy for high-risk conditions.

These conditions include:

  • Gestational diabetes (unstable blood sugars in pregnancy)
  • Maternal infections (like chorioamnionitis and group B strep)
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure with signs of organ damage)

Failure to treat these conditions can cause the mother serious harm, like heart issues, liver failure, and seizures. Additionally, this type of negligence during pregnancy can lead to many types of birth injuries that cause lifelong harm to the child.

Childbirth Medical Negligence

A difficult or complicated delivery can result in different types of medical negligence during childbirth.

Here are several labor and delivery medical negligence examples:
  • Delaying an emergency cesarean section (C-section)
  • Exerting too much force to pull or twist a baby during delivery
  • Failing to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and detect fetal distress
  • Misusing assisted delivery tools, like forceps or vacuum extractors

These examples of medical negligence during childbirth can seriously injure delicate newborns.

Medical Negligence After Delivery

Birth negligence can still occur after the child has been delivered. Brain injury and other birth injury cases also happen shortly after babies are born.

Common types of medical negligence after a baby is born include::
  • Failing to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels
  • Ignoring jaundice (a condition involving yellowing of the skin) in the newborn
  • Neglecting to control blood loss in the mother
  • Not recognizing and treating signs of infant distress after delivery
  • Overlooking blood type incompatibility (risk for brain damage)

Doctors must also immediately diagnose and treat postpartum (after delivery) uterine ruptures and tears in the mother to prevent infection, severe blood loss, and long-term medical issues.

Delivery teams are specially trained to make lightning-fast decisions to keep mothers and newborns safe.

Failure to do so can have long-lasting effects on a child’s health and development, leading to significant challenges. Don’t wait to take action for your family.

Get a free legal case review right now if you suspect medical negligence caused your baby’s injuries.

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Effects of Medical Negligence

There are many short-term and long-term effects stemming from medical negligence and birth trauma for both the mother and baby.

For example, babies can develop brain damage if medical professionals fail to recognize fetal distress during delivery and the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long.

Mothers are also at risk for several long-term health complications. Untreated infections can cause damage to the mother’s organs. Forceps and vacuum delivery complications can cause permanent damage to the pelvic floor, resulting in incontinence and pain.

Did you know

It is not uncommon for mothers to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after medical negligence at birth.

If your family is dealing with the effects of medical negligence during childbirth, it can be helpful to speak with an independent medical professional.

The Birth Injury Justice Center has a team of experienced labor and delivery nurses available to assist you for free. They can listen to your story and help determine if medical negligence may have contributed to your child’s condition.

Connect with a registered nurse right now.

Nurse Beth Carter

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Living With a Birth Injury Caused by Medical Negligence

Birth negligence can have a long-lasting impact on your child. Your child may need specialized medical care or birth injury treatment, depending on the severity of their injury.

Many treatment options are available, including:

  • Assistive devices
  • Medications
  • Mobility aids
  • Surgery

These types of therapies can help your child become more independent and have a better quality of life. However, medical expenses can be very costly for families.

Parents and caregivers may suffer financial strain due to treatment costs and loss of income when providing long-term care for their child.

Thankfully, several financial assistance options are available, like government benefits, grants, and lawsuit compensation.

Get Legal Help for Medical Negligence

Working with an experienced lawyer to file your medical negligence during childbirth case can allow your family to pursue financial compensation. Filing a birth injury lawsuit also holds the doctors who delivered your child responsible for careless medical errors.

Birth injury medical negligence cases can play an essential role in preventing similar cases from happening again. These claims also help maintain the same standard of care across all medical communities, no matter where you live or what insurance you have.

If you believe your child’s birth injury was preventable and caused by medical negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Call (800) 914-1562 right now or get a free case review to find out if you may be able to file a lawsuit for medical negligence during childbirth.

Medical Negligence FAQs

What is pregnancy and birth negligence?

Negligence during childbirth occurs when health care providers fail to meet the standard of care, resulting in harm to the mother or baby.

This can include errors in diagnosis, improper use of medical tools, or delays in necessary medical interventions.

If your child was harmed and you suspect medical negligence during childbirth played a role, you may be able to take legal action.

Get started right now with a free case review to find out if we can connect with a top birth injury attorney near you.

What is considered a traumatic delivery?

A traumatic delivery is when childbirth results in significant physical or emotional harm to the mother or baby.

These complications are examples of traumatic deliveries:

  • Emergency C-sections
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Forceps or vacuum extractor injuries
  • Severe tearing in the mother

Birth trauma can lead to long-term health issues and emotional distress.

How much compensation can I get for birth trauma?

Birth injury payouts average around $1 million. However, many families have received multi-million dollar awards for birth trauma.

The amount of medical negligence settlements varies due to factors like the severity of the injury and long-term impact.

A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you estimate the potential value of your medical negligence claim and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Call (800) 914-1562 right now to find out if you may have legal options.

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. BlueCross BlueShield. (2020, June 17). Trends in pregnancy and childbirth complications in the U.S. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from
  2. Bono, M.J., et al. ( 2022, October 31). Medical malpractice. StatPearls. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from
  3. Rinaldi, R., et al. (2020 May-June). Childbirth injuries: An issue fraught with risks from the health care and medicolegal perspectives. La Clinica terapeutica. Retrieved May 31, 2024, from