Birth Injury Malpractice

Quick Answer

When preventable errors during childbirth harm your child, it may be considered medical malpractice. You may be eligible for financial compensation if your child was affected by birth injury medical malpractice. The average medical malpractice claim payout for children under one month old was nearly $1 million.

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What Is Medical Malpractice?

Doctor Burnout, Hospital Oversight, and the Damage to Mother and Baby

According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other health care professional causes harm to a patient through an act of negligence.

Health care professionals are expected to give quality medical care during childbirth. It may be considered medical malpractice if your child experienced a brain injury due to a careless mistake during childbirth. Medical malpractice can result in several types of birth injuries.

Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Can Cause...

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus injuries)
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Kernicterus
  • Newborn cephalohematoma
  • Newborn jaundice
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Wrongful death

How Do I Know If I Have A Case?

If you believe your child was the victim of birth injury medical malpractice, try to record any birth injury symptoms and recall any details from your child’s birth. Our caring nurse case managers can provide a free consultation to determine if you have a case and are eligible for financial compensation.

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Symptoms Of A Birth Injury Caused by Medical Malpractice

There are certain physical and neurological symptoms to look for if you suspect your child has a birth injury caused by medical malpractice but do not have a diagnosis yet.

Some common symptoms of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice include:

  • Arching of neck and body
  • Blindness or deafness
  • Communication issues
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Failure to meet developmental milestones such as crawling, sitting, or standing
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Floppy or stiff muscles
  • Inability to move on side of body
  • Sharp, loud crying
  • Seizures
  • Swelling or soft spots on head

Birth Injuries Caused by Malpractice

erbs palsy baby on blanket

The primary cause of birth injury malpractice is careless medical mistakes made by health care professionals before, during, or shortly after childbirth.

Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers should know how to properly handle a difficult or complicated childbirth. However, some professionals do not uphold the expected standard of care and instead make careless mistakes that may result in serious injury or death.

Situations that may be considered birth injury medical malpractice include:

  • Excessively pulling on the baby’s head, shoulders, and/or arms
  • Failure to diagnose maternal infection
  • Failure to identify risk factors during pregnancy
  • Failure to order necessary tests for mother before delivery
  • Failure to perform cesarean section (C-section)
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress and lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum delivery
  • Lack of aftercare for mother and/or child
  • Misdiagnosing a life-threatening birth trauma as a less serious condition
  • Prescribing medications that can harm the unborn baby

The mother can also suffer from permanent injuries sustained during childbirth from medical malpractice.

Maternal health issues caused by birth injury malpractice include:

  • Blood clots
  • Diabetes
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infections
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Severe vaginal tears
  • Uterine rupture
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Proving Hospital and Doctor Negligence

In order to win compensation, your legal team will need to prove that the medical professionals did something wrong that resulted in harm to your child.

A birth injury malpractice case must show:

  • Damages resulting from the injury (such as medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc.)
  • How the doctor in question was negligent
  • How the doctor’s medical negligence harmed the child
  • The mother was a patient of the doctor and was under their care

Lawyers will gather evidence such as medical records and witness testimonies to strengthen and support your birth injury negligence claim.

How A Birth Injury Claim Can Help

Birth injuries can put significant emotional and financial strains on families. Many parents are not prepared for the high costs of care. Thankfully, you may be eligible for financial compensation that can help pay for your child’s birth injury treatment.

$1 Million

The estimated lifetime cost for caring for a child with cerebral palsy

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Birth injury malpractice compensation can help cover:

  • Assistive devices
  • Emotional damages
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medication
  • Mobility aids
  • Special education programs
  • Surgery
  • Transportation modifications
  • Therapy

Filing a Claim for Birth Injury

Working with a medical malpractice attorney is the best way to file your birth injury claim to receive financial compensation.

A lawyer specializing in birth injury medical malpractice will file your birth injury claim and prove that the doctors who delivered your child were negligent with their care.

It is important to contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. Each state has a statute of limitations that puts a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations expires, you will lose your right to sue forever. An experienced attorney will know when to file your birth injury case.

Find Out If You Have A Case

Lawyer meeting with a couple to discuss their case

If you believe your child was a victim of birth injury medical malpractice, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation to pay for your child’s treatment.

A birth injury lawsuit helps to hold the doctors that delivered your child responsible for their negligence. Compensation awarded from a lawsuit can help your family pay for surgery, medication, therapy, and more.

Get a free case review today to learn if you may be eligible to file a birth injury medical malpractice claim.

Birth Injury Medical Malpractice FAQs

Can doctors cause a birth injury?

Yes. Medical professionals are expected to provide high-quality care during childbirth. Careless medical mistakes during the birthing process may be considered medical malpractice.

Can you sue for a birth injury?

Yes. You may be able to sue the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, or hospital that delivered your child if you believe their birth injury was caused by medical malpractice.

Your lawyer must prove that the individuals that delivered your child were directly at fault for the injury.

How long do you have to sue for medical malpractice?

Each state has its own statute of limitations. This law sets a time limit on how long you have to sue for a personal injury claim. If you do not file within your state’s statute of limitations, you may lose your right to sue forever.

Since these time frames vary for each state, reach out to us for a no-obligation case review to learn more about the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in your area.

What is the average payout for a birth injury malpractice claim?

According to a study from The TDC Group, the average medical malpractice payout for children under one month old was $936,843.

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 8 Sources
  1. American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, “What is Medical Malpractice?”. Retrieved from: https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice. Accessed on June 22, 2021.
  2. Boeschen, C. (2011, October 10). Birth-Related medical malpractice. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/birth-related-medical-malpractice-30150.html
  3. Bryden, D., & Storey, I. (2011, June 19). Duty of care and medical negligence. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/4/124.ful
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, April 30). Data and Statistics for Cerebral Palsy. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html
  5. Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, “An Introduction to Medical Malpractice in the United States”. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628513/. Accessed on June 22, 2021.
  6. Medical malpractice: Who can be sued? (2019, October 02). Retrieved June 22, 2021, from http://injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/medical-malpractice-who-can-be-sued-.html
  7. Ranum, D. (n.d.). Study of malpractice claims involving children. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.thedoctors.com/articles/study-of-malpractice-claims-involving-children/
  8. What is malpractice? (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice#:~:text=Medical%20malpractice%20occurs%20when%20a,treatment%2C%20aftercare%20or%20health%20management
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