Birth Injuries

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Michigan Birth Injury Lawyers

Every parent hopes that his or her child is born healthy and free of injury. It is all the more devastating, therefore, when a child is injured or killed during labor or delivery as a result of medical negligence. Unfortunately, birth injuries, though relatively rare, can and do occur. Often, infant injuries and deaths occur due to the negligence of a hospital, delivery room doctor, nurse, midwife, or another medical professional. In certain circumstances, the mother may also suffer serious injuries or be killed during the labor or delivery process.

At Grewal Law PLLC, we represent mothers and infant children who are injured as a result of negligence. We also represent the surviving family members of individuals who are killed due to medical malpractice. Our personal injury attorneys in Michigan have more than 100 years of collective experience and we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.

Contact us onlineor by phone at (888) 211-5798for a free consultation with a Michigan birth injury attorney.

Common Types of Birth Injuries & How They Occur

A birth injury refers to any damage or injury that occurs to an infant during the process of labor and delivery. These injuries can happen for various reasons and can affect different parts of the baby's body.

There are several injuries that can occur during birth that may result in physical impairment or brain damage. Each injury may be attributed to a different cause, such as strained or torn nerves, trauma to the head, or lack of oxygen.

Some of the most common types of birth injuries that occur in infants include:

  • Shoulder Dystocia: This occurs when a baby's shoulder gets stuck during delivery after the head has already emerged. It can cause nerve damage and difficulties in delivering the baby's shoulder.
  • Erb's Palsy: It's a type of brachial plexus injury that affects the nerves around the shoulder. It can lead to weakness or paralysis in the arm.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These involve damage to the nerves that control the movement and sensation in the arms and hands. They can result in weakness or paralysis.
  • Cerebral Palsy: This is a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, or posture. It can occur due to brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth.
  • Facial Paralysis: It's the loss of voluntary muscle movement in the face due to nerve damage during birth. It can lead to drooping or weakness on one side of the face.
  • Cephalohematoma: This is the pooling of blood between the skull and its fibrous covering, often due to pressure during delivery. It usually resolves on its own but may increase the risk of jaundice.
  • Broken Bones/Fractures: Certain bones in the baby's body, such as collarbones or arms, can get fractured during a difficult delivery.
  • Caput Succedaneum: It's the swelling of the soft tissues in the baby's scalp, often due to pressure during birth. It typically resolves without treatment.
  • Asphyxia: This occurs when the baby doesn't get enough oxygen before, during, or just after birth. It can lead to various complications if severe and prolonged.
  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: It's the breakage of small blood vessels in the baby's eyes, causing red patches. It's usually harmless and resolves on its own.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord during birth can lead to various neurological problems, affecting movement and sensation.

Furthermore, the mother may suffer any of the following injuries during labor or delivery:

  • Cesarean Section (C-section) Errors: While C-sections are generally safe, errors during the procedure can occur, leading to complications such as infections, excessive bleeding, damage to nearby organs, or issues with wound healing.
  • Hemorrhaging: Excessive bleeding during or after childbirth can occur due to various reasons, such as tears in the uterus, placental complications, or issues with blood clotting. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Uterine Rupture: This is a rare but serious complication where the wall of the uterus tears, potentially leading to severe bleeding and endangering both the mother and the baby. It can occur during labor, particularly in women who have had a previous C-section or other uterine surgeries.
  • Prolapsed Uterus: In some cases, the uterus may slip down into or protrude out of the vagina, either partially or completely, due to weakened pelvic muscles or trauma during childbirth.
  • Complications Resulting from Failure to Perform an Emergency C-section: If an emergency C-section is medically necessary but isn't performed promptly, it can lead to various complications for both the mother and the baby. This can include fetal distress, oxygen deprivation, and injuries to the mother such as hemorrhaging or uterine rupture.
  • Perineal Tears or Lacerations: Tears or lacerations in the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) can occur during vaginal delivery. They are classified by degrees, with more severe tears requiring repair and sometimes leading to ongoing issues.
  • Infections: Any invasive procedure, including childbirth, carries a risk of infections. This can include infections in the uterus (endometritis), urinary tract infections, or wound infections from C-section incisions or tears.
  • Pelvic Floor Injuries: Childbirth can sometimes cause damage to the muscles, ligaments, or connective tissue in the pelvic floor, leading to issues like urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Emotional Trauma: Some women may experience emotional trauma or postpartum depression as a result of a difficult labor, unexpected complications, or injuries during childbirth.
  • Anesthesia Complications: In cases where epidurals or other forms of anesthesia are used, there can be complications such as allergic reactions, headaches, or nerve damage.

While signs of a disorder such as Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy may be evident immediately after delivery, some brain injuries may not be identified for years. Sometimes, an injury may not be realized until the child is in school and learning disabilities or other characteristics relating to brain damage become apparent.

Serious injury can occur if there is a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during delivery. There is a high risk of birth injury when there is difficult, prolonged labor; improper use of medication by the pregnant mother; or a large fetus or a breech birth. An unreasonable delay in performing an emergency cesarean section can also increase the risk of injury.

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A History Representing Victims of Sexual Abuse Grewal Law, PLLC represented one-third of the survivors in the MSU and Larry Nassar lawsuits, resulting in a $500 million settlement. We are also part of a legal team currently representing over 100 survivors of Robert Anderson at University of Michigan. We are pleased to announce a $490 million settlement in principle.
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Medical Negligence and Birth Injuries

Not all birth injuries stem from medical malpractice. However, there are many ways that a physician or OB-GYN can fail to consider the safety of a baby during the delivery process – or the safety of the mother giving birth. Because doctors are legally held to the “standard of care,” they can be held accountable through the civil justice system when they do not take reasonable measures to ensure your health and wellbeing. When medical professionals fall short of this care standard, it may be considered medical negligence.

Some of the most common ways negligence and wrongdoing can contribute to a birth injury:

  • Improper use of forceps, vacuums, and other birthing tools
  • Failing to monitor infant vital signs
  • Delayed or prolonged labor
  • Failure to perform a necessary C-section
  • Failing to screen for preeclampsia and other maternal health conditions
  • Performing a C-section without consent or justification
  • Incorrect application or dosage of anesthesia
  • Failing to account for maternal high risk factors
  • Poor positioning of the baby through the birth canal
  • Lack of maternal after-care to prevent complications

Contact Grewal Law PLLC Today

If you, your child, or your family member suffered severe, life-altering injuries after a difficult pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you may be entitled to take legal action. A birth injury lawsuit seeks compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced life quality, and other damages incurred as a result of the accident.

Grewal Law PLLC can assist you with all aspects of your birth injury claim. We understand just how difficult it can be to move forward after a devastating accident. Because of this, our Michigan birth injury lawyers offer compassionate and personalized legal guidance for our clients. We are prepared to serve as your dedicated advocate throughout the legal process.

Call (888) 211-5798 to request a complimentary case evaluation with a Michigan birth injury attorney today.

Recovered over a billion dollars On Behalf Of Our Clients
Sexual Abuse

We represented 111 of the 333 survivors in the lawsuits against Michigan State University for sexual abuse involving the former MSU doctor, Larry Nassar.

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Grewal Law has been amazingly empathetic and forward-thinking through this very emotional and trying time.

- Anonymous

Birth Injury FAQs: What You Need to Know

How Common Are Birth Injuries?

Although Michigan mothers have access to some of the most advanced medical technologies and procedures in the world, the sad truth is that birth injuries continue to be a problem for our hospitals, clinics, and midwifery programs around the country. According to some estimates, between 6 and 8 children out of every 1,000 are born with some type of birth injury, or well over 25,000 babies each year in the United States. Mothers also face high risks of birth-related injuries: In fact, the United States has a higher rate of maternal mortality during childbirth than any other developed country.

What Is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

Where a birth defect typically involves harm done to the fetus or infant before birth, the term “birth injury” is reserved for harm done during or after the birthing process. Although birth defects can also be preventable, they are far more likely to be caused by genetics, infection, or accidental exposure to a toxic substance. Birth injuries, on the other hand, are almost always considered to be preventable medical mistakes.

How Can I Tell if My Baby Has a Birth Injury?

It depends on the nature of the birth injury in question. If you notice strange bruising, or if your child is unusually limp or stiff in certain areas, it’s possible that these may be signs of a birth injury. Although the most severe symptoms may appear shortly after childbirth, developmental disorders and other birth injuries may not become obvious until much later in life. When you are not sure, it’s important to seek out a second medical opinion first.

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