Welcoming a child into the world is arguably the most life-changing event you can experience in life. Giving birth to a new life is exhilarating, exhausting, and unbelievably rewarding. Ideally, your pregnancy and birth should progress without complication. Unfortunately, some people experience difficulties during pregnancy or labor that may result in their baby becoming injured and/or disabled.


The CDC estimates that out of every 1,000 births, 6 babies are seriously injured during birth. While this number is fortunately very low, the injuries are still devastating to those 6 families who are affected. If your baby is injured or disabled due to inadequate care from your healthcare provider, you may wish to seek financial compensation via a birth injury lawsuit.

Birth injury lawsuits may involve injuries sustained by both babies and mothers as a result of negligent care. For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus specifically on injuries sustained by infants. Next week we will examine injuries sustained by mothers during pregnancy, labor, and birth.

An Overview Of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can occur in a variety of different circumstances. Some are unavoidable and not the fault of any one individual, such as an extended delivery time or shoulder dystocia. Injuries sustained in these situations may be devastating, but you cannot blame your healthcare provider for them. Other injuries, however, may be the result of ineffective or inadequate care from the healthcare provider assisting with your pregnancy and/or labor.

Injuries sustained during labor and birth may affect the child for years or a lifetime. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the child may require expensive medical treatment. If the costs associated with the injuries are too great, the parents may have no option other than filing a birth injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages.

Types Of Birth Injuries

Birth injury law is a legal field that encompasses both birth injuries and birth defects. Though similar, birth injuries and birth defects are separate issues.

Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are the result of something that transpired during labor and/or birth itself. Examples include:

  • Improper use of forceps
  • Excessive force with during a vacuum extraction
  • Failure to perform a necessary emergency c-section
  • Failure to recognize/address lack of oxygen or other signs of fetal distress

Birth Defects 
Birth defects are the result of something that occurred during prenatal care. Examples include:

  • Prescription of dangerous medication
  • Prescription of an incorrect dosage of medication
  • Failure to recognize/diagnose a medical condition in the mother that may affect the health of the child (such as preeclampsia).

Distinguishing between birth injuries and birth defects is relatively easy. A simple rule of thumb is this: if the baby would have been born healthy if not for a complication during labor or birth, you are dealing with a birth injury. If the baby would have been born with the condition even in a perfect birthing scenario, you are dealing with a birth defect.

Pursuing A Birth Injury Lawsuit

If you believe your baby is suffering from an injury, illness, condition, or defect that could have been avoided if you had received better pre/postnatal care, you may wish to pursue a birth injury lawsuit. In order for your lawsuit to be successful, you must prove that your baby suffered a serious injury because your doctor (or other healthcare provider) failed meet the guidelines established by Standard of Care. If your doctor deviated from Standard of Care but no serious injuries were sustained, you will likely not be able to pursue a successful birth injury lawsuit.

If you believe your baby has suffered unnecessary illness or injury due to negligent care, contact one of our birth injury lawyers in central Missouri immediately. We can help you evaluate your situation to determine the best course of action.

Watch for our blog next week, where we will examine types of birth injury lawsuits that involve injuries sustained by pregnant and birthing mothers.

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