Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

MLH&A

MLH &A

Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

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When does a birth injury warrant legal action?

One of life’s most extraordinary experiences for a parent is the arrival of their child, but giving birth may also lead to a lot of medical uncertainty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly seven out of 1,000 infants are born with birth injuries.

The presence of a birth injury does not automatically mean the family should take legal action. However, if the doctor acted negligently with the infant’s or parent’s care during childbirth, this may amount to medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice claim

The family might have a viable medical malpractice claim if a baby sustained a birth injury due to medical error or negligence. A birth injury warrants legal action when medical professionals fail to adhere to the accepted standard of care for that infant. For example, the physician might improperly use instruments during delivery, such as forceps, or fail to deliver adequate oxygen to the newborn.

Other medical errors can include failure to provide professional medical advice and improper pregnancy management. These medical complications around childbirth and shortly after may lead to a birth injury or medical malpractice claim against those responsible for damages.

Types of birth injuries

A birth injury results from harm to a baby before, during or closely after delivery. Different types of birth injuries affect different areas of the body and vary in severity. Some serious injuries may lead to lifelong permanent physical, behavioral or mental impairment, while other mild damage may heal without treatment. Common types of birth injuries are:

  • Bone fractures
  • Cranial nerve injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Vacuum extraction complications

To ensure the health and safety of the pregnant person and the infant, medical professionals must aptly and carefully take care of any childbirth complications that arise.