Birth Injury Medical Malpractice

Quick Answer

Birth injury medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional make mistakes during delivery that cause birth injuries. A birth injury can leave a child with serious complications for the rest of their lives. You may be able to take legal action and file a birth injury medical malpractice claim if your child's injury was preventable.

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What Is Birth Injury Medical Malpractice?

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...

Do I Have a Birth Injury Malpractice Case?

If you believe your child was the victim of birth injury 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.

Nurse Beth Carter

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Symptoms of a Birth Injury Caused by Malpractice

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

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

Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Malpractice

Babies can be left with lifelong injuries from birth trauma.

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 make careless mistakes that may result in serious injury or death.

Examples of 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

Medical malpractice can cause birth injuries which may cause your child to miss important developmental milestones. If you believe your child suffered from birth injury malpractice, take our developmental milestones quiz today.

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

How to Prove Birth Injury Medical Malpractice

In order to win compensation, your legal team will need to prove that the medical professionals committed birth injury malpractice 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 at specialized birth injury law firms can gather evidence such as medical records and witness testimonies to strengthen and support your medical malpractice birth injury claim.

How Can a Birth Injury Claim Help Me?

Birth injuries can put significant emotional and financial strains on families. Many parents are not prepared for the high costs of care. Thankfully, you can file a birth injury claim to pursue 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
Free Legal Case Review

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

Get a Free Case Review

Filing a Claim for Birth Injury Malpractice

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

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

It is important to contact a birth injury malpractice 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

You may be able to work with a birth injury malpractice lawyer.

If you believe your child was a victim of birth injury 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 harmed 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 malpractice case.

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 5 Sources
  1. American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, “What is Medical Malpractice?”. Retrieved from: https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice. Accessed on April 5, 2022.
  2. Boeschen, C. (2011, October 10). Birth-Related medical malpractice. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/birth-related-medical-malpractice-30150.html
  3. Medical malpractice: Who can be sued? (2019, October 02). Retrieved April 5, 2022, from http://injury.findlaw.com/medical-malpractice/medical-malpractice-who-can-be-sued-.html
  4. Ranum, D. (n.d.). Study of malpractice claims involving children. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.thedoctors.com/articles/study-of-malpractice-claims-involving-children/
  5. What is malpractice? (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice#:~:text=Medical%20malpractice%20occurs%20when%20a,treatment%2C%20aftercare%20or%20health%20management
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