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At Sivin, Miller & Roche LLP, we understand the delicate nature of birth injuries and the profound impact they can have on families. Birth, a moment of joy and expectation, can sometimes lead to unexpected challenges. When these challenges are the result of medical negligence or errors, the need for skilled legal guidance becomes essential. Reach out today to talk with a birth injury lawyer at no cost.

What is a Birth Injury?

What is a Birth Injury?

Birth injuries refer to any harm that a baby might endure during or shortly after birth. These can range from minor bruises to more severe conditions like cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy. Understanding the cause and implications of these injuries is critical in determining the right course of action.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can vary widely in their severity and impact, ranging from minor, temporary issues to more severe, long-term conditions. Understanding the different types of birth injuries is important for parents and medical professionals. Here’s a list of common birth injuries:

Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI)

These injuries involve damage to the brachial plexus, the network of nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. The most common type is Erb’s Palsy, which can cause weakness or paralysis in the affected arm.

Cerebral Palsy

This is a group of disorders affecting muscle coordination and body movement. It can be caused by brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth, often due to oxygen deprivation.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

HIE is a type of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow. It can lead to cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, and in severe cases, can be life-threatening.

Perinatal Asphyxia

This occurs when the baby does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or immediately after birth, potentially leading to respiratory distress, decreased heart rate, and other complications.

Bone Fractures

Commonly, the clavicle or collarbone is fractured during the birthing process, especially in difficult deliveries or breech births. These injuries usually heal with time.

Caput Succedaneum

This is a swelling of the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp, often seen after long or difficult labors, particularly with vacuum extraction. It typically resolves within a few days.


This refers to bleeding between a bone and its fibrous covering on the baby’s head. It usually resolves on its own but can increase the risk for jaundice.

Facial Paralysis

If there is pressure on a baby’s face during delivery or if forceps are used, it can cause nerve damage that leads to facial paralysis. Recovery may vary based on the severity of the injury.

Spinal Cord Injuries

These are rare but can be very serious, potentially leading to paralysis. They can occur due to trauma during delivery.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

This is bleeding inside the skull, which can range from minor to severe. Different types include subarachnoid, intraventricular, and subdural hemorrhage.

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

This happens when a newborn breathes a mixture of meconium (early feces) and amniotic fluid into the lungs around the time of delivery.

Each type of injury can have different causes, treatments, and outcomes. It’s important for medical professionals to quickly identify and address these injuries to minimize long-term effects. In cases where medical negligence is suspected, legal consultation may be sought to understand the rights and options available for the affected families.

How Do Birth Injuries Happen?

Birth injuries can occur due to a variety of reasons, often involving complications during the labor and delivery process. Understanding these causes is crucial for both parents and medical professionals to prevent and manage them effectively. Here are some common ways in which birth injuries happen:

Prolonged Labor or Difficult Delivery

Extended labor, especially in first-time mothers, can increase the risk of birth injuries. Difficulties such as the baby being in an abnormal position can lead to injuries due to prolonged pressure or stress during delivery.

Oxygen Deprivation

This can occur if the baby’s oxygen supply is compromised during labor or delivery. It can lead to serious conditions such as cerebral palsy or brain damage. Causes of oxygen deprivation include umbilical cord problems, placental issues, or prolonged labor.

Instrumental Delivery

The use of instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors can lead to birth injuries. While these tools are sometimes necessary to assist in the delivery, their use can result in physical trauma, such as bruising, nerve damage, or skull fractures.

Preterm Birth

Babies born prematurely are more vulnerable to injuries because their bodies are less developed and more fragile. Premature birth can result in a range of complications, including respiratory distress and increased susceptibility to brain injuries.

Inadequate Fetal Monitoring

Failing to properly monitor the baby’s heartbeat and other vital signs during labor can lead to delayed action in critical situations, increasing the risk of injury.

Medical Negligence

Mistakes or oversights by healthcare providers, such as improper use of delivery techniques, misjudging the baby’s size, or failing to respond to distress signs, can result in birth injuries.

Maternal Health Issues

Certain health conditions in the mother, like diabetes or high blood pressure, can increase the risk of complications that may lead to birth injuries.


Both maternal and fetal infections can contribute to complications during birth, potentially leading to injuries.

It’s important to note that not all birth injuries are due to medical negligence. Some are the result of unavoidable complications. However, in cases where an injury could have been prevented with proper care and attention, families may seek legal assistance to understand their rights and potential recourse.

How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

A birth injury lawyer plays a crucial role for families facing the challenging aftermath of a birth injury. We offer assistance in numerous ways:

Experienced Legal Guidance

Personal injury lawyers have specific knowledge of medical malpractice and personal injury law. We can navigate the complex legal system and provide guidance on the legal aspects of birth injury cases.

Case Evaluation

We can evaluate the details of your case, including medical records and circumstances surrounding the birth, to determine if medical negligence occurred. This assessment is vital in deciding whether to pursue legal action.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Birth injury lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to collect evidence. This may include obtaining medical records, interviewing medical staff, and consulting with medical experts to establish the cause of the injury and who is at fault.

Representation in Negotiations and Court

If a lawsuit is filed, a birth injury lawyer will represent you in court or in settlement negotiations with the responsible parties and their insurance companies. We aim to secure fair compensation that covers medical expenses, ongoing care costs, and other damages.

Assistance with Financial Burdens

We help in calculating the lifetime costs of the injury, ensuring that any settlement or judgment accounts for both current and future needs of the child, including medical care, therapy, special education, and other related expenses.

Emotional Support and Advocacy

Birth injury lawyers often provide emotional support to families during this challenging time. We understand the emotional impact of birth injuries and advocate passionately on behalf of our clients.

Facilitating Access to Care

We can also assist families in finding the medical and therapeutic resources necessary for their child’s recovery and ongoing care needs.

Ensuring Timely Filing

Birth injury cases have specific statute of limitations, meaning there’s a limited timeframe to file a lawsuit. Birth injury attorneys ensure that all legal actions are taken within these time limits.

Educating Families on Their Rights

Birth injury lawyers educate families on their legal rights and options, providing clear and understandable information to help them make informed decisions.

Handling Insurance and Medical Bureaucracies: We can deal with the complexities of insurance claims and medical bureaucracies, relieving families of the burden of navigating these systems on their own.

By engaging a birth injury lawyer, families gain a powerful advocate who can guide them through the legal process, fight for their rights, and seek the compensation necessary to support their child’s needs, both now and in the future.

How To Know If You Have a Birth Injury Case

Determining whether you have a birth injury case involves understanding if the injury was caused by medical negligence or could have been prevented with proper care. Here are key steps and considerations to help you evaluate if you have a birth injury case:

Identify the Injury and Its Impact

Document the specific injury your child has sustained and how it affects their health and development. Some birth injuries are immediately apparent, while others may take time to manifest.

Understand the Standard of Care

In medical terms, the ‘standard of care’ refers to the level and type of care an average, prudent healthcare professional in a similar field would provide under similar circumstances. Determining whether this standard was met is crucial in a birth injury case.

Consult Medical Professionals

Seek opinions from medical experts or specialists regarding the injury. They can provide insight into whether the injury was likely caused by a deviation from the standard of care during the birth process.

Gather Medical Records

Collect all relevant medical records, including prenatal records, records of the birth, and any postnatal care. These documents can provide crucial evidence about the care you and your baby received.

Consider the Timing and Circumstances of the Injury

Analyze the events leading up to and during the birth. Factors like emergency situations, the use of delivery tools (like forceps or vacuum), or decisions made during a prolonged or complicated labor can be significant.

Look for Signs of Medical Negligence

Medical negligence in birth injury cases can include failure to monitor the baby’s condition, improper use of birth-assisting tools, failure to perform a necessary cesarean section, inadequate response to fetal distress, or failure to anticipate birth complications due to the baby’s size or position.

Assess the Impact on Your Child’s Life

Consider how the injury affects your child’s daily life and future. This includes ongoing medical care, therapy needs, and any long-term disabilities or challenges.

Consult a Birth Injury Lawyer

An experienced birth injury lawyer can provide a professional evaluation of your case. They can help interpret medical information and advise on the legal aspects, including whether negligence occurred and the likelihood of a successful legal claim.

Consider Statute of Limitations

Be aware of the legal time limits for filing a birth injury claim. These vary by state and can impact your ability to pursue a case.

Emotional and Financial Toll

Reflect on the emotional and financial impact the injury has had on your family. A successful birth injury claim can provide compensation for these damages.

Remember, not all birth injuries are due to medical negligence. Some are the result of natural, unavoidable complications. However, if there’s a possibility that the injury was preventable and caused by medical error, it’s worth exploring a legal case to seek justice and compensation for your child’s needs.

Our Approach to Birth Injury Cases

Our approach is rooted in a deep understanding of both the emotional and legal complexities involved in birth injury cases. We combine compassionate counsel with thorough legal experience to support our clients through these trying times. Our team is adept at navigating the intricacies of medical malpractice law, ensuring that your family’s case is handled with care and professionalism.

How We Can Help

Our role extends beyond just legal representation. We strive to be a pillar of support, offering:

  • Thorough Investigation: We meticulously investigate each case to uncover the facts, working with medical experts to understand the nuances of your child’s injury.
  • Legal Guidance: Our team provides clear, understandable legal advice, helping you navigate the complex legal landscape.
  • Advocacy: We advocate fiercely for your child’s rights, aiming to secure the compensation necessary for medical expenses, ongoing care, and other related costs.

Why Choose Sivin, Miller & Roche LLP?

Choosing the right birth injury attorney is crucial. At Sivin, Miller & Roche LLP, we are not just legal professionals; we are dedicated advocates for the wellbeing of your family. We understand the sensitivity surrounding birth injuries and are committed to handling your case with the utmost respect and dedication.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If your family has been affected by a birth injury, we invite you to contact us. Let Sivin, Miller & Roche LLP be your guide and advocate during this challenging time. Together, we can seek the justice and support your family deserves. Contact us today.


What should I do if I suspect my child’s birth injury was due to negligence?

If you suspect negligence, consult a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help review your case, advise on legal options, and guide you through the process of potentially filing a claim.

How long do I have to file a birth injury lawsuit?

The time limit, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. Generally, it ranges from a few years after the injury or, in some cases, from when the injury was discovered. It’s crucial to consult with a lawyer promptly to ensure you meet these deadlines.

What compensation can I recover in a birth injury lawsuit?

Compensation can include medical expenses, costs for ongoing care, compensation for pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages. The exact compensation depends on the specifics of the case.

Are birth injury cases taken on a contingency basis?

Many birth injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive a settlement or win the case. Always confirm payment structures directly with the law firm.

Are all birth injury cases considered medical malpractice?

Not necessarily. A birth injury qualifies as medical malpractice only if it results from a healthcare provider’s deviation from the standard of care, leading to preventable harm. It’s important to differentiate between injuries caused by medical errors and those resulting from unavoidable complications.

How is a birth injury different from a birth defect?

A birth injury typically occurs during labor and delivery, often due to physical trauma or lack of oxygen. In contrast, a birth defect generally develops during pregnancy and is often related to genetic factors, environmental influences, or unknown causes.

What role do medical experts play in a birth injury case?

Medical experts provide critical insights into whether the standard of care was met and if the injury was preventable. They can analyze medical records, interpret medical procedures, and offer expert testimony to support the case.

Can a birth injury claim be filed for emotional distress?

In some cases, parents may be able to claim compensation for emotional distress or mental anguish caused by their child’s birth injury. This depends on state laws and the specifics of the case.

What is the likelihood of winning a birth injury lawsuit?

The likelihood of winning a birth injury lawsuit depends on several factors, including the strength of evidence, the nature of the medical error, and the experience of the legal representation. Each case is unique, so outcomes can vary significantly.

How long does a birth injury lawsuit typically take?

The duration of a birth injury lawsuit can vary widely. Some cases are settled out of court relatively quickly, while others may take several years to reach a conclusion, especially if they go to trial.

Can I file a birth injury lawsuit if the injury was diagnosed years later?

Yes, it’s possible to file a lawsuit if the injury was discovered later, as long as it’s within the statute of limitations. Some states have laws that extend the filing period when injuries are discovered post-diagnosis.

Are there any risks involved in filing a birth injury lawsuit?

The primary risks include the emotional strain of a legal process and the potential for not receiving compensation, especially in cases taken on a contingency basis. Discussing risks with your lawyer can provide clearer expectations.

Can parents be compensated for lost wages if they leave work to care for an injured child?

Yes, compensation for lost wages and loss of earning capacity can be part of a birth injury claim if parents must reduce work hours or quit their jobs to care for their child.

How can I prepare for a consultation with a birth injury lawyer?

Prepare by gathering all relevant medical records, a timeline of events, any communication with healthcare providers, and a list of questions or concerns you have about the case.

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