My infant suffered an injury during delivery. How do I know if I have a birth injury case?

A birth injury is caused during labor or shortly after delivery. If your infant suffered a birth injury, he or she could have to deal with the life-long consequences of suffering with a brain injury, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or other medical conditions. These devastating medical conditions can affect his mobility, ability to reason, concentration, memory, vision, hearing, and more.

What makes birth injury cases so tragic is that a newborn would have most likely been healthy if a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider had not committed medical malpractice.

How to Determine If You Have a Birth Injury Claim

It can be difficult to build a case for birth injury negligence, because not all injuries are caused by medical malpractice. You need the assistance of an experienced birth injury attorney who can review your infant’s medical records, hire the necessary experts, and evaluate the circumstances regarding your baby’s birth to determine whether you have a claim.

However, you can get an idea about whether you have a valid case by understanding what needs to be proven in order to pursue a claim against a doctor, nurse, health care provider, or hospital for malpractice. You would need to show the following:

  • Doctor-patient relationship. You must show that there was a doctor-patient relationship between the mother, baby, and doctor. If your doctor was treating you during the labor and delivery of your baby, you should be able to establish this.
  • Breach of duty of care. A key element of your claim is a physician, nurse, or another member of the birthing team breached the applicable standard of care that a reasonable professional would have followed in a situation similar to yours. In order to establish this, your attorney would most likely need to retain an expert witness.
  • Damages. You must establish that your baby suffered injuries, and they were caused by a medical professional's malpractice.

Common Mistakes That May Lead to a Birth Injury Claim

There are many medical mistakes that can result in an infant suffering a birth injury. Ways that a medical professional may have committed malpractice include:

  • ​Failing to recognize fetal distress and take actions to stabilize the condition
  • Incorrectly using forceps during delivery
  • Applying excessive force
  • Failing to recognize and respond to your fetus experiencing a lack of oxygen
  • Failing to follow up with you and your baby after delivery
  • Administering dangerous drugs or the wrong dosage of a medication
  • Failing to perform a cesarean section when necessary

Contact Us Today

Like other medical malpractice claims, birth injury cases are complex and difficult to prove. The negligent doctor or other health care provider could fight harder and longer to deny your claim because of its potentially larger value, increased malpractice insurance costs, and the risk of losing professional licensure. You need to retain experienced birth injury attorneys as soon as possible if you want your baby to receive what he or she deserves.

Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and to have your questions answered.


Pellegrino Certa
Pittsburgh Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney