A Detailed Guide to the Actions a Parent Should Take After a Birth Injury

The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) tells us that over 4 million babies are born with birth injuries each year. As a parent, you need to be aware of the common types of birth injuries that are likely to cut short your celebration of the new addition to the family.

We’ve compiled this article to serve as a guide for parents of children suffering from birth injuries. We’ll be outlining proactive steps they can take to increase their chances of fighting for the baby’s rights as well as their safety.

Common Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can occur due to various factors. Some factors are preventable and others are usually unforeseen. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of birth injuries:

Brachial plexus injuries


Caput Succedaneum

Erb’s palsy


Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

Intracranial Hemorrhage (ICH)

Shoulder Dystocia

What to Do If Your Child Suffers a Birth Injury

As mentioned earlier, some of these injuries heal on their own. For others, you might have to take proactive steps fast to ensure the safety of your baby. Here are some of such steps:

Request appropriate medical evaluations

Your child’s pediatrician will likely be your first point of contact. Request a thorough evaluation to determine the specific birth defect and its severity. This may involve additional tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, or genetic testing.

The doctor will also assess your child’s overall health and development through these evaluations.

Talk to your doctor

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your child’s well-being at stake. Discuss treatment options, potential cures, and what to expect in the future regarding the development and management of the birth defect.

Get a second opinion

While you trust your doctor’s expertise, a second opinion can offer valuable peace of mind. Another doctor might have a different perspective on the diagnosis, treatment plan, or prognosis.

Consult your legal representative

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your baby’s birth defect, you might want to consider legal counsel.

This could be the case if you suspect medical negligence during pregnancy or delivery contributed to the birth defect. A lawyer specializing in birth defects can advise you of your legal rights and options.

What if There’s Been a Case of Malpractice?

If you suspect your child’s condition is a result of the incompetence or negligence of any medical personnel involved in their birth, you can file a lawsuit against them. You would need a very competent malpractice attorney to follow through with this as the procedure can be very complicated.

Most states have a “statute of limitations” that sets a deadline for filing lawsuits, including medical malpractice claims. This deadline dictates how long you have after the injury to take legal action.

For adults experiencing medical malpractice, this timeframe typically falls between one and two years. However, for birth injuries, things get a little tricky.

Many states recognize that birth injuries often take time to manifest, and some children might not experience the full impact until later in life.

What if There’s Been a Case of Malpractice

Image source

Because of this, most states grant children with birth injuries an extended statute of limitations. This extended period usually kicks in when the child reaches adulthood, often giving them an additional two to seven years to file a lawsuit.

Here’s the catch: the specific timeframe varies dramatically by state. For instance, some states like California offer a generous ten years after a child turns 18, while others like Alabama have a stricter two years.

Furthermore, some states limit the amount of money you can receive in some medical malpractice cases. This cap doesn’t apply to birth injuries. Birth injuries can cause lifelong challenges, and the compensation needs to reflect that.

With a successful birth injury claim, your child can access the medical care and support they need throughout their life. This could include therapy, specialized equipment, or ongoing medical treatments.

In other medical malpractice cases, the $250,000 cap might not even cover the full cost of care, especially for long-term needs.

Also read: What is an emergency medical course?

Wrapping Up

Learning your baby has a birth defect can be overwhelming. It’s natural to feel a mix of emotions and wonder what to do next. The steps listed in this article can be a guide to ensuring that your baby’s safety is ensured and their rights are protected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published