A Nationwide Birth Injury Resource

Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injuries

If your child is hurt, you need answers. That's why we're here.  We've compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about birth injuries. If you don't see your question here, or if you need more information on your specific situation, contact us to speak with a birth injury expert directly.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is any injury that affects a child before, during or just after birth. Some birth injuries, such as bruises and broken bones, are temporary and will heal in time. Many birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, are permanent and require lifelong care and therapy. Medical professionals who treat mothers and newborns, including obstetricians, pediatricians and labor and delivery nurses, are held to high standards of care in order to minimize birth injuries.

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What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a physical disorder caused by brain damage, usually before, during or shortly after birth. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include abnormal or inhibited movement, stiff muscles, seizures, difficulty with hearing and speech, and developmental delays. Children with cerebral palsy may also have learning disabilities. While severe cerebral palsy is usually diagnosed at or shortly after birth, some cases may not be diagnosed for years later. Learn more about cerebral palsy.

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What is a life care plan?

A life care plan is an organized, concise and dynamic plan that addresses current or future medical needs and associated costs for someone with a chronic health problem, such as cerebral palsy or another permanent birth injury. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, a life care plan may include ongoing evaluations, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, home health care (such as a visiting nurse), speech therapy, medication, medical devices and other interventions. The intent of a life care plan is to provide for the lifetime needs of a disabled person. Learn more about life care plans.

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What is medical malpractice?

Malpractice refers to cases when doctors or other medical professionals fail to meet established standards of care, causing injury. Medicine is not an exact science, and not every negative patient outcome is the result of malpractice. Doctors are not perfect, but when a doctor fails to meet the standard of care that would reasonably be expected of an average doctor in the same specialty with the same available information, that doctor can be held liable for malpractice.

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What are my legal options in a birth injury case?

If your child's injury was caused by medical malpractice, you may be able to take legal action against the doctor or hospital responsible for the injury. The lifetime cost of a permanent birth injury can be significant, and such a lawsuit can recover the funds needed to pay for your child's life care plan. Different legal deadlines (statute of limitations) may apply to your case, depending on your jurisdiction. That's why we recommend speaking with an attorney licensed in your state who can advise you of your legal options. Learn more about free legal consultations.

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