Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know

By Ben Gobel on November 29, 2023

Photo of a Gavel and Stethoscope

Most people think birth injuries are rare, but unfortunately, they’re more common than you may think. In most cases, birth injuries could be prevented. Medical malpractice is the most common cause of preventable birth injuries. 

Tens of thousands of injured children suffer neonatal injuries yearly. Birth injury attorneys can help parents file medical malpractice claims when serious injuries occur during the labor process. 

Throughout the labor and delivery process, the mother and child deserve thorough and attentive care. When a health care provider’s negligence leads to birth injuries for the mother, a birth injury advocate at Ogg, Murphy, & Perkosky can work diligently to help you recover compensation and hold healthcare providers responsible.

Common Birth Injury Causes

Medical negligence can cause birth injuries when medical standards are not met. Omissions, negligent treatment, or incompetent medical professionals can lead to birth defects and injuries.

Common birth injuries include:

  • Delaying or missing a medically necessary C-section
  • A medical mistake
  • Failure to recognize umbilical cord issues or fetal distress
  • Improperly using medical equipment, such as vacuum extractors when a baby is stuck in the birth canal 

A birth injury lawyer can help you receive a fair settlement in medical malpractice cases if an injured child has suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

Most Common Types of Birth Injuries

Medical negligence before, during, and after childbirth can result in birth injuries. Medical personnel must continuously monitor the child and mother to prevent birth injuries. If a medical provider does not do so, serious preventable birth injuries can occur.

Common birth injuries newborns sustain can include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neonatal brain injury
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Erb’s palsy

A mother may suffer catastrophic injuries, such as:

  • C-section injuries
  • Uterine rupture
  • Pelvic fractures

Liable Parties in Birth Injury Claims

An entire team of medical professionals is responsible for the delivery and care of newborns. Anyone on this team can be held liable for birth injuries. 

The following could also be held liable in birth injury cases:

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Other medical professionals

A birth injury lawsuit can name more than one responsible party. You can file a medical malpractice claim for negligent medical care if the injury occurs during birth and the doctor fails to provide proper care.

Did Negligence Cause the Birth Injury?

A successful medical malpractice or birth injury lawsuit must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence caused a child or maternal injury. A connection must be made between the doctor’s negligence and the injury.

To recover compensation, the following legal elements must be proved:

  1. A doctor-patient relationship was established
  2. The doctor breached their duty of care
  3. The breach of care resulted in injuries
  4. The patient suffered damage from the injury

The experienced birth injury lawyers with our firm can prove the doctor’s negligence through medical records and hiring experts to review evidence.

Compensation For a Birth Injury or Medical Malpractice Case

Each medical malpractice or birth injury case is unique and has various forms of compensation available. Birth injury lawyers help parents recover damages for their injured child when birth injuries were caused by negligent doctors. In cases of medical negligence where the mother was injured, a medical malpractice claim seeks to recover damages for the damages she sustained.

Compensation can be recovered for the following damages:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Birth Injury Statute of Limitations

A medical malpractice lawsuit has a strict time limit in which it must be filed. Under Pennsylvania law, injured victims have two years from the date the injury was discovered or that the child’s injuries should have reasonably been discovered. In certain cases, birth injuries may not be apparent for an extended period, allowing the discovery rule to extend the statute of limitations.

The clock doesn’t start ticking for children injured at birth until they turn 18. That gives them until their 20th birthday to file.

Consult a Birth Injury Lawyer Today

Our attorneys can help you file a birth injury claim to hold the medical provider responsible for the mistakes that led to your child’s birth injury. We can go over the details of your case during a free consultation. If a medical professional causes physical pain to the mother or neonatal injuries to their child, we will seek the highest financial compensation. Contact our medical malpractice attorney today through our online form.