Determining if a Birth Injury Resulted from Negligence

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The birth of a baby is supposed to be a special time in a family’s life. Unfortunately, thousands of babies and mothers experience devastating birth injuries on a yearly basis. When these incidents occur, it can be challenging to correctly determine whether the injury was caused by medical negligence. If you find yourself in this situation, the assistance of a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney can prove invaluable to the successful outcome of your case.

Birth injuries and medical malpractice can occur at various times throughout the pregnancy and delivery process. When trying to determine the cause of a birth injury, the following steps can help in your analysis:

  • During pregnancy, your physician must give you the proper level of testing, and tailor your treatment to avoid a missed diagnosis and increased risk for the child and mother.
  • During the labor process, the attending physician needs to make timely and accurate decisions about the well being of your baby in utero and the best method of delivery. If the labor is progressing too quickly or too slowly, proper measures for correction should be employed.
  • During the delivery stage, the doctor’s chosen method of delivery may cause injury. Delayed cesarean delivery, forceps, and vacuum deliveries can pose substantial dangers to the infant.
  • Recognize the signs of possible birth injury or illnesses. While numerous birth injuries are immediately apparent, many injuries do not present symptoms until days or even weeks after the birth. Some signs of birth injuries, which could be related to medical negligence, include:
    • Seizures
    • Paralysis of the arms, legs, or other body parts
    • Needing oxygen at birth
    • Failure to sit-up, roll over, or maintain head control
    • Inability to meet routine newborn milestones (walking, talking, etc.)
    • Difficulty eating
  • Familiarize yourself with the common types of birth injuries. Knowledge is half of the battle. Take some time to learn about possible birth injuries and how they are commonly caused. Some of the most common injuries, as reported on SaferChild.org, include:
    • Brain damage. Lack of oxygen during labor and delivery (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) causing Cerebral Palsy.
    • Brachial plexus. Damage to the nerves connecting the spine, shoulders, arms and hands.
    • Facial Paralysis. Commonly results from the use of forceps or other pressure placed on the baby during delivery.
    • Other injuries or illnesses. Parents know their children best, so if you suspect a problem with your infant, seek medical attention.

If you suspect medical negligence, speak to a doctor and a medical malpractice lawyer immediately to get the help your child needs.

Turn to experienced attorneys in Washington D.C. or Baltimore for answers to your birth injury questions


The attorneys of Schochor, Federico, and Staton, P.A. have more than 30 years of medical malpractice experience. When you work with these lawyers, you can rest assured that you are receiving representation from a firm with a proven track record for success. With offices in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, the firm welcomes local clients, as well as national plaintiffs in class action cases. Contact the office today at (888) 234-0001 for a consultation.