Birth Injury Lawsuit

Quick Answer

A birth injury lawsuit helps families take legal action and get financial compensation from health care providers who harmed their babies. Legal compensation from a birth injury lawsuit can help pay for the baby's medical treatment. See if you can work with an experienced lawyer to file a birth injury lawsuit now.

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What Is a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

A birth injury lawsuit is a type of legal action filed against negligent doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other medical professionals that caused a child to develop a preventable birth injury.

Money won from a medical malpractice case can help pay for the medical treatment to give your child the best chance at improving their quality of life.

More specifically, compensation can help pay for:

  • Adaptive equipment
  • Medications
  • Mobility aids
  • Nursing and special care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Special education costs
  • Speech therapy
  • Surgery
  • Other related expenses

$1 Million

the average medical malpractice claim payout for children under one month old

Source: TDC Group study

You may be eligible to file a lawsuit if your child developed an injury caused by preventable mistakes before, during, or shortly after birth. Get a free case review to see if you can work with an experienced birth injury attorney to get the money you deserve.

Free Legal Case Review

Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?

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Why Should I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

There are many benefits to filing a birth injury lawsuit. Lawsuits can ease some of the burdens of caring for a disabled child and protect other families from birth injuries.

Learn more about why you should file a birth injury lawsuit below.

Cover Costs of Care

If your child has suffered a severe birth injury, their care requirements may be more costly than the average costs of raising a child.

40%

of families who have children with special health care needs experience a financial burden from paying for their child’s condition.

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital

Financial compensation from a lawsuit can help you afford treatment to potentially improve your child’s overall quality of life.

Seek Justice

Birth injuries can affect your child for their entire life. They may not be able to move, walk, eat, or speak properly depending on the severity of their brain injury.

By filing a birth injury lawsuit, you can hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their preventable mistakes. Although it cannot undo the errors made, you can find some peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay the medical costs for an injury that could have been avoided.

Help Other Families

mother with children playing guitar

Lawsuits can also help you raise awareness about a particular doctor or hospital. While your child may have been harmed due to an unavoidable problem, it may also mean that the doctor should not be practicing. Through a lawsuit, your story can alert other families who could be at risk.

Further, filing a lawsuit may also encourage other families who suffered a birth injury to also take legal action and get the compensation they deserve.

IS YOUR CHILD MISSING DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES?

Take Our Milestones Quiz

Taking note of your child’s physical, social, and emotional skills can help you determine if they potentially suffered from an injury at birth. An early diagnosis can help your child get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

Q1: How old is your child?

0-2 Months

3-4 Months

5-6 Months

7-9 Months

10-12 Months

13-18 Months

19-23 Months

24+ Months

0-2 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child hold their head steadily on their own?
  • Q3: Can your child push themselves up when they are lying on their stomach?
  • Q4: Has your child started to make smoother movements with their arms and legs?
  • Q5: Does your child smile at other people?
  • Q6: Can your child bring their hands to their mouth?
  • Q7: Does your child turn their head when they hear a noise?
  • Q8: Does your child coo or make gurgling noises?
  • Q9: Does your child follow things with their eyes?
  • Q10: Does your child try to look at their parents or caregivers?
  • Q11: Does your child show boredom, cry, or fuss when engaged in an activity that hasn’t changed in a while?
BACKBACK0-2-years old child

3-4 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child hold their head steadily on their own?
  • Q3: Does your child push down on their legs when their feet are on a flat surface?
  • Q4: Has your child started to roll over from their stomach to their back?
  • Q5: Can your child hold and shake a toy such as a rattle?
  • Q6: Does your child bring their hands to their mouth?
  • Q7: Does your child play with people and start to cry when the playing stops?
  • Q8: Does your child smile spontaneously, especially at people?
  • Q9: Does your child copy some movements and facial expressions of other people?
  • Q10: Does your child babble with expressions and copy sounds they hear?
  • Q11: Does your child cry in different ways to show hunger, pain, or tiredness?
  • Q12: Does your child respond to affection like hugging or kissing?
  • Q13: Does your child follow moving things with their eyes from side to side?
  • Q14: Does your child recognize familiar people at a distance?
BACKBACK3-4-years old child

5-6 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child roll over on both sides (front to back/back to front)?
  • Q3: Has your child begun to sit without support?
  • Q4: Does your child rock back and forth?
  • Q5: Can your child support their weight on their legs (and perhaps bounce) when standing?
  • Q6: Has your child begun to pass things from one hand to the other?
  • Q7: Does your child bring objects such as toys to their mouth?
  • Q8: Does your child know if someone is not familiar to them and is a stranger?
  • Q9: Does your child respond to other people’s emotions, such as a smile or a frown?
  • Q10: Does your child enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror?
  • Q11: Does your child look at things around them?
  • Q12: Does your child respond to sounds they hear by making sounds themselves?
  • Q13: Does your child make sounds to show joy or displeasure?
  • Q14: Does your child respond to their own name?
  • Q15: Has your child started to string vowels together, such as "ah," "eh," or "oh," or started to say consonant sounds such as "m" or "b"?
  • Q16: Has your child begun to laugh?
BACKBACK5-6-years old child

7-9 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child crawl?
  • Q3: Can your child stand while holding on to something to support them?
  • Q4: Can your child sit without support?
  • Q5: Can your child pull themselves up to stand?
  • Q6: Does your child play peekaboo?
  • Q7: Can your child move things from one hand to the other?
  • Q8: Can your child pick small things up, such as a piece of cereal, with their thumb and index finger?
  • Q9: Does your child look for things that they see you hide?
  • Q10: Does your child watch the path of something as it falls?
  • Q11: Does your child show fear when around strangers?
  • Q12: Does your child become clingy with adults who are familiar to them?
  • Q13: Does your child have favorite toys?
  • Q14: Does your child use their fingers to point?
  • Q15: Does your child understand “no”?
  • Q16: Does your child make a lot of repetitive sounds, such as “mamama” or “bababa”?
  • Q17: Does your child copy the sounds and gestures of other people?
BACKBACK7-9 years old child

10-12 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child stand alone with no support?
  • Q3: Does your child walk while holding on to furniture?
  • Q4: Can your child take a few steps without holding on to anything?
  • Q5: Can your child get into a sitting position without any help?
  • Q6: Does your child bang two things together when playing?
  • Q7: Does your child poke with their index finger?
  • Q8: Has your child started to use things like hairbrushes or drinking cups correctly?
  • Q9: Does your child find hidden objects easily?
  • Q10: Does your child play peekaboo or pat-a-cake?
  • Q11: Does your child become shy or nervous around strangers?
  • Q12: Does your child repeat actions or sounds to get attention?
  • Q13: Does your child put out an arm or leg to help when getting dressed?
  • Q14: Does your child cry when a parent leaves the room?
  • Q15: Does your child show that they have favorite things or people?
  • Q16: Does your child show fear?
  • Q17: Does your child say things such as “mama,” “dada,” or “uh-oh”?
  • Q18: Does your child try to say the words you say?
  • Q19: Has your child started to use gestures like waving or shaking their head “no”?
BACKBACK10-12 years old child

13-18 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child walk by themselves?
  • Q3: Does your child walk up stairs and run?
  • Q4: Does your child pull toys while walking?
  • Q5: Can your child drink from a cup on their own?
  • Q6: Can your child eat with a spoon on their own?
  • Q7: Can your child help undress themselves?
  • Q8: Does your child have occasional temper tantrums?
  • Q9: Does your child show affection to familiar people?
  • Q10: Does your child become clingy in new situations?
  • Q11: Does your child explore their environment alone with parents close by?
  • Q12: Can your child say several single words?
  • Q13: Can your child say and shake their head “no”?
  • Q14: Does your child point to show things to other people?
  • Q15: Does your child scribble?
  • Q16: Does your child know what ordinary products such as phones, spoons, and brushes are used for?
  • Q17: Can your child follow one-step commands such as “sit down” or “stand up”?
  • Q18: Does your child play with a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed it?
BACKBACK13-18 years old child

19-23 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Has your child begun to run?
  • Q3: Has your child kicked a ball?
  • Q4: Can your child climb down and onto furniture on their own?
  • Q5: Can your child walk up and down stairs while holding on?
  • Q6: Can your child stand on their tiptoes?
  • Q7: Has your child thrown a ball overhand?
  • Q8: Does your child copy others, especially people older than them?
  • Q9: Does your child get excited around other children?
  • Q10: Has your child shown more independence as they've aged?
  • Q11: Does your child do what they were told not to do and become defiant?
  • Q12: Does your child point to things when they are named?
  • Q13: Does your child know names of familiar people or body parts?
  • Q14: Does your child say 2 to 4-word sentences?
  • Q15: Does your child repeat words they hear?
  • Q16: Does your child complete sentences and rhymes in familiar books?
  • Q17: Does your child name items in books, such as dogs, cats, and birds?
  • Q18: Does your child play simple pretend games?
  • Q19: Has your child started to use one hand more than the other?
  • Q20: Has your child begun to sort shapes and colors?
  • Q21: Does your child follow 2-step instructions, such as “pick up your hat and put it on your head?”
BACKBACK19-23 years old child

24+ MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ

  • Q2: Can your child run easily?
  • Q3: Can your child climb?
  • Q4: Can your child walk up and down stairs with one foot on each step?
  • Q5: Can your child dress and undress themselves?
  • Q6: Does your child show affection for friends without being told?
  • Q7: Does your child take turns when playing games?
  • Q8: Does your child show concern when others are crying?
  • Q9: Does your child understand the idea of “mine" and "theirs"?
  • Q10: Does your child show many different emotions?
  • Q11: Does your child copy adults and friends?
  • Q12: Does your child separate easily from their parents?
  • Q13: Does your child get upset when there is a major change in their routine?
  • Q14: Does your child say words such as “I,” “me,” “we,” “you,” and some plural nouns?
  • Q15: Can your child say their first name, age, and gender?
  • Q16: Can your child carry on a conversation with 2 to 3 sentences?
  • Q17: Can your child work toys with buttons and other moving parts?
  • Q18: Does your child play pretend with dolls, animals, or people?
  • Q19: Can your child finish 3 or 4 piece puzzles?
  • Q20: Can your child copy a circle when drawing?
  • Q21: Can your child turn pages of a book one page at a time?
  • Q22: Can your child turn door handles?
BACKBACK24 months + old child

Types of Birth Injury Lawsuits

There are a couple of different types of birth injury lawsuits that can be filed depending on your specific case. Work with an experienced birth injury lawyer to find out which one you may be eligible to file.

Learn more about the types of birth injury lawsuits below.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Doctors commit medical malpractice when they fail to give quality medical care and keep the mother and baby safe during childbirth.

Medical malpractice claims must prove that your child’s injury was caused by medical negligence during the birthing process.

Some examples of medical negligence include:

  • Failure to detect signs of fetal distress such as low heart rate
  • Failure to perform a medically necessary C-section (cesarean section)
  • Failure to treat maternal infections such as meningitis
  • Failure to treat newborn jaundice or other conditions
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors
  • Use of force when pulling the baby out of the womb

Medical negligence can cause injuries such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and more.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Unfortunately, severe birth injuries can lead to death or intrauterine fetal demise if a doctor does not quickly respond to the trauma.

You may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your child died as a result of preventable mistakes made before, during, or shortly after childbirth.

Birth Injury Lawsuit Process

Although every case is different, most birth injury lawsuits follow a similar process. The first step to filing a lawsuit is to contact a lawyer with experience in birth injury cases. A lawyer can help you file your case, gather evidence, strengthen your claim, and potentially win compensation.

Learn more about the steps in the birth injury lawsuit process below.

1. Free Case Review

A top birth injury law firm will give you a free case consultation. Before you file your claim, you must determine if you are eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit.

If your personal injury lawyer finds that you have a strong case, they will then determine how much compensation is needed to treat your child’s condition throughout their lifetime.

Talk to one of our caring nurse advocates to learn more about the next steps.

Nurse Beth Carter

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Call or chat with a caring, experienced nurse right now — we’re standing by to get you help and answers.

2. Gather Evidence

Your lawyer will need to prove that your child’s injuries or death were caused by medical negligence. They will gather information and evidence related to your case to build a strong and successful claim.

This information may include:

  • A detailed series of events before, during, and after the delivery process
  • Maternal health records outlining any issues during pregnancy
  • Medical records describing the conditions your child suffers from due to the birth injury

3. File Lawsuit

Once your lawyers collect all relevant information, they will formally file your lawsuit. You will become the plaintiff, and the doctor and/or hospital being sued will become the defendant. The court will then issue a schedule for the case, such as mediation and trial dates.

Your lawsuit will ask for money from the defendants and they usually will have around 30 days to respond. If they do not respond, you will automatically win the case. If they do respond and refuse to pay you, they will explain why they are not responsible for the child’s injury.

4. Discovery

After the defendants respond to the complaint, your lawyer will gather more information to strengthen your case.

During this time, your lawyers may request additional medical records and other documents related to your child’s birth to provide more in-depth information. You, your loved ones, and medical experts may also have to give statements or answer questions under oath during this time.

A birth injury lawsuit will be resolved by either a birth injury settlement agreement or a trial verdict. The defendants may agree to a birth injury settlement, which involves paying a lump sum of money to the plaintiff. About 95% of birth injury lawsuits will end in a settlement.

In rare cases where a birth injury settlement is not agreed upon, the case will move on to trial. During a trial, a judge and/or jury will hear both arguments and determine if the plaintiff deserves financial compensation from the defendant.

Most birth injury lawyers will try to negotiate a settlement instead of going to court because trials are time-consuming, costly, and risky. If the court does not rule in your favor, you may receive no financial compensation at all.

Notable Birth Injury Lawsuit Amounts

Your birth injury lawyer will help determine your potential payout by calculating your case value. A case value is how much money your lawsuit is worth. Birth injury lawsuit case values vary by the specifics of your case.

Factors that may affect settlement amounts include:

  • The calculated lifetime cost of care for your child
  • Loss of income to care for a child’s injury
  • Past and present medical expenses
  • The severity of the birth injury
  • State limits on compensation amounts

The best way to determine the value of your claim is to get a free consultation from an experienced birth injury lawyer.

Although each case is different, it can be helpful to know how much compensation has been won from past lawsuits.

Notable birth injury lawsuit compensation amounts include:


  • $10.4 million

    for a Pennsylvania family


  • $9 million

    for an Alaska family


  • $8 million

    for a New York family


  • $7.8 million

    for a Florida family


  • $4.25 million

    for a California family


  • $950,000

    for a New Jersey family

File Your Birth Injury Lawsuit Today

Female lawyer writing in a book while working on a case

If your child has cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, or a similar condition, consider seeking help from a dedicated birth injury law firm. Medical malpractice attorneys at these specialized firms understand the fear and concerns that come with an injury at birth. They will serve as your guide throughout the legal process and make your child’s needs their top priority.

By working with a trusted legal team to pursue birth injury lawsuit compensation, you can rest assured knowing your child can get the treatment they deserve.

Get a free case review today to see if your child’s birth injury may have been preventable and if you qualify to file a lawsuit.

Birth Injury Lawsuit FAQs

Was my child’s birth injury preventable?

The best and only way to know if your child’s birth injury was preventable is to contact a lawyer for a case evaluation.

Doctors have a duty to uphold a high standard of care. An experienced attorney specializing in birth injury cases can help you determine if your child’s injury was caused by negligence and if you can file a birth injury lawsuit.

How much does it cost to file a birth injury lawsuit?

Filing a birth injury lawsuit with a top attorney should come at no cost to you. The best lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not collect any upfront costs.

Your lawyer will only get paid if you win your lawsuit and secure compensation. Your legal team will collect a small percentage of the overall total won in your lawsuit.

How long does a birth injury lawsuit take?

How long a birth injury claim will take depends on your specific case. One of the most influential factors is whether your lawsuit reaches a settlement or goes to trial. Trials can add more time to the case, as they typically occur only if lawyers try to reach a settlement but fail to do so.

Your lawyer can give you a better idea of when you will get money from your birth injury lawsuit as the case progresses.

When should I file a birth injury lawsuit?

You should file your birth injury lawsuit as soon as possible. Each state has a statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. You may lose your right to sue forever if you file after the deadline has expired.

Get a free case review today to see if you can file a birth injury lawsuit today.

Birth Injury Support Team

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 10 Sources
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  3. Data and statistics for cerebral palsy. (2020, December 31). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html
  4. Katz, R. T., & Johnson, C. B. (2013, April 13). Life care planning for the child with cerebral palsy. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23910487/
  5. Kuhlthau, K., Smith Hill, K., Yucel, R., & Perrin, J. M. (2005, June). Financial burden for families of children with special health care needs. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15965627/
  6. Medical malpractice: Who can be sued? (2019, October 02). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from http://injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/medical-malpractice-who-can-be-sued-.html
  7. Questions and answers about your personal injury case. (2018, November 29). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/questions-and-answers-about-your-personal-injury-case.html
  8. Ranum, D. Study of malpractice claims involving children. Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.thedoctors.com/articles/study-of-malpractice-claims-involving-children/
  9. What is malpractice? (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice#:~:text=Medical%20malpractice%20occurs%20when%20a,trea
  10. What to expect - a lawsuit chronology. (2016, June 21). Retrieved September 16, 2021, from https://litigation.findlaw.com/filing-a-lawsuit/what-to-expect-a-lawsuit-chronology.html. Accessed December 21, 2018.
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