Birth Injury

What is it?
Birth injury occurs when an infant suffers grave injury or loses its life as a result of medical malpractice. Births can be long and difficult events, and caregivers are sometimes subject to fatigue, or become careless. Inexperience can also cause a doctor or caregiver to provide inadequate or inappropriate care. If a birth injury is sustained due to negligence, the hospital or caregiver can be held liable.


Some common birth injuries incurred during labor include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Facial Paralysis

Birth defects can also be sustained during pregnancy as a result of fetal exposure to dangerous substances. If this exposure is due to a prescription of a medicine by a caregiver, that caregiver may be liable.

Examples of these injuries include:

  • Missing limbs, organs
  • Cleft palate
  • Heart or lung defects

Both birth-related injuries and birth defects can result in a lifetime of very expensive special care for your child, and a decreased quality of life.

What causes it?
Some of the common causes of injury during delivery are:

  • Undiagnosed fetal distress
  • Improper forceps use
  • Improper use or administration of medication
  • Failure to perform caesarian section
  • Excessive pulling on baby’s arms due to shoulder dystocia

It is the responsibility of the birth team to monitor your child’s vital signs during delivery and react accordingly if there are signs of distress. If a baby is left in the birth canal too long, it can suffer brain injury due to a lack of oxygen, resulting in cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or other developmental delays.

The improper use of forceps can cause brain injury or facial paralysis. A Brachial Plexus injury (Erb’s palsy), the loss of nerve function in the arm, can occur if a doctor pulls too hard on the baby’s arms during delivery, usually as a result of the infant’s shoulder become stuck behind a mother’s pubic bone in a breech delivery, (shoulder distocia).

Birth defects, such as blindness, cleft palate, or missing limbs or organs can be caused by exposure of the pregnant mother to dangerous chemicals through either

  • Dangerous environmental conditions
  • The ingestions of substances
  • Inappropriate drug prescriptions.

For example, the prescribing of certain anti-depressants, such as Paxil or Prozac can lead to heart defects, or other heart or lung problems in the child.
At Jacobs & Goodman

  • You always get an attorney, never a case manager like at other firms.
  • We take a personal interest in your case, and help you through every aspect, including helping you deal with medical leins and debts.
  • We work on a contingency basis, which means if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay.

If you think you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice resulting in your child’s birth injury, contact us to schedule a free consultation.