What Are Birth Injuries?

Newborn babies are rugged little creatures, over-designed and over-built for the trip through mom’s birth canal to the world that awaits them. On rare occasions, however, trauma during labor and delivery can result in an injury to a baby. These injuries range from small bumps and bruises that may be self-correcting to organ failure and brain injury. Babies who are in an awkward position during labor, or whose size makes delivery especially difficult often need special help to avoid serious injury. Babies who do not receive the help they need can receive a brain injury referred to as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). Other babies may receive significant injury if the forceps or suction device used to rescue them is applied carelessly.

Of course, many babies are born with impairments that are not the result of medical negligence. In fact, for the most part doctors, nurses and midwives do a good job of interpreting the information that is provided to them during the birthing process, especially the data that comes to them by way of Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM). When health care providers fail to obtain adequate data, or fail to respond to signs that indicate a baby is in danger of serious injury, their conduct falls below the standard of care and may form the basis for a medical negligence suit.

Birth Injury cases are difficult. Because the stakes are very high, doctors and nurses are defended by very good lawyers with unlimited resources. In order to prevail, a plaintiff needs a good lawyer who has sufficient resources to obtain respected and honest expert witnesses. Experts can prove not only that medical care was inadequate, but also that the poor care, and not some other factor, caused the baby’s injury. Before you can file a birth injury lawsuit in Maine, plaintiffs are mandated to present the facts to a screening panel. Members of the panel must be convinced that the health provider did not meet the standard of care, and that harm was done to the patient. It is a rigorous process designed to weed out frivolous claims from those that have merit.

There is an extensive range of birth injuries that may involve sub-standard care. They include:

  • Brain damage
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cranial nerve trauma
  • Developmental delays
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Failure to monitor
  • Homer’s Syndrome
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Group B strep infection
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Meningitis
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Spinal cord trauma

The family of a newborn who is injured during the birth process faces a tough road for years to come. These are some of the most heartbreaking and emotionally disturbing injuries in our society. Parents must deal with the knowledge that the injury to their child was preventable. The practical impacts of such injuries are devastating. Children injured during birth usually face lengthy rehabilitation and the prospect of expensive medical care for many years, if not for the rest of the child’s life. Families must adjust their routines and lifestyles to accommodate for the care of the injured child. It is an emotionally and financially taxing process. The lawyers at Terry Garmey & Associates understand the challenges, because they have helped dozens of families in this exact situation. Our lawyers work to maximize your compensation, not just for the short-term, but to match the longterm outlook and prognosis for the injured child.

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Terry Garmey & Associates

482 Congress Street
Suite 402
PortlandME 04101 

Phone: (207) 899-4644
Fax: 207-541-9242