Birth Injuries

As a parent, seeing your child for the first time is a moment you will never forget. Hearing that cry, holding his or her tiny hand—the feeling is one that you always hope to hold on to, a special time that can never be replaced.

Unfortunately, something may have happened to your child when they entered the world. Doctors and medical professionals are human, and do make mistakes. It is often tragic, but the negligent or careless action of a medical professional could cause your child—or the child’s mother—to be injured while giving birth. Instead of having quiet time to bond with your newborn, you may find yourself having to ask difficult questions.

Why did this happen? Could this have been avoided? Who is to blame? What are the short- and long-term consequences of the mistake and injury?

Whether a birth injury was the result of medical malpractice (act or failure to act) —as well as who is to blame and the cost of treatment to give your child the best start in life—are complex questions that I help my clients answer.

With over 30 years of experience serving clients around the country, I am dedicated to providing you and your family some peace of mind during this extremely difficult time.

Types of Birth Injuries

I have served clients whose infants have suffered from issues ranging from birthing complications and fetal distress to brachial plexus injury, shoulder dystocia, and still birth. Other newborn injury cases I handle include:

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture that is caused by some exterior influence on the developing brain, most often before birth. The disorder is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, with many factors possibly acting as contributors to the problem. These could include:

  • Random mutation in genes that control brain development
  • Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus
  • Fetal stroke (disruption of blood supply to the developing brain)
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to difficult labor or delivery
  • Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
  • Traumatic head injury to an infant from an auto accident or fall

As you can see, some of these causes can be caused by the negligent or careless action of physicians and medical professionals involved with the prenatal development of your child, as well as the delivery process.

Birth Asphyxia

Birth asphyxia is the result of a lack of oxygen. Signs of asphyxia at the time of birth include:

  • Your baby is breathing very weakly or not at all
  • Skin color is pale or bluish
  • Low heart rate
  • Muscle tone is poor or reflexes are weak
  • Too much acid is in the blood
  • The amniotic fluid is stained with meconium
  • Your baby is experiencing seizures

If you suspect your child is a victim of birth asphyxia due to the negligence of a doctor or medical professional, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s Palsy is caused by a nerve injury that affects the feeling and motion capabilities of the hands, fingers, and arms of your baby. If your child suffers from Erb’s Palsy, it is possible it was the result of negligent or careless actions of a doctor or medical professional. Because it is a serious—yet often avoidable—birth injury, it requires experience when being dealt with in a legal capacity.

Newborn Brain Injury

One type of birth injury can have the greatest effect on a child’s life: a brain injury. Oxygen being cut off to the developing brain, a serious car accident or fall during pregnancy, or medical professionals not following medical rules (malpractice) during delivery can all result in brain damage to an infant. Brain damage can lead to debilitating conditions, such as cerebral palsy, discussed above.

In a majority of cases, a newborn brain injury is not the fault of the mother or surrogate. Being involved in a car accident that was the fault of another driver, or being the victim of medical malpractice, means that you are not the reason your child suffered a brain injury.

Untreated Jaundice

High levels of bilirubin that cause severe jaundice in infants can cause serious complications if left untreated by physicians or other health professionals. If your baby has severe jaundice, there’s a risk that bilirubin may pass into the brain if not treated in a timely fashion. This causes a condition called acute bilirubin encephalopathy, with such symptoms as:

  • Listlessness or difficulty walking (infants of walking-age, of course)
  • High-pitched crying
  • Poor sucking or feeding
  • Backward arching of the neck and body
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

In some extreme examples, acute bilirubin can cause permanent brain damage, known as kernicterus. Symptoms of kernicterus include:

  • Involuntary and uncontrolled movements
  • Permanent upward gaze
  • Hearing loss
  • Improper development of tooth enamel

Your infant’s doctor should identify if jaundice is an issue. Failure to do so could harm the child for life. If jaundice is recognized early, prompt treatment may prevent significant, lasting damage.

If your child is suffering because of untreated jaundice, reach out to an experienced birth injury attorney to get your questions answered.

How I Help in Birth Injury Cases

The life and health of an infant and new mother is delicate, and the situation surrounding a birth injury should be treated as so. I will not hand your case off to a paralegal or other attorney, but instead, promise to provide personalized attention that you can trust.

I understand the legal process for investigating the events that lead to birth injury and will work with you every step of the way to find the answer to the questions you have about your baby’s injury.

If you, your child, or a loved one has suffered a birth injury …

If you, your child, or a loved one has suffered a birth injury due to the negligent action of a doctor or other medical professional, don’t face an uncertain future alone. I dedicate my time and resources to helping families like yours seek the compensation they need and deserve. Contact Brian K. Balser Co. LPA today for personalized help and guidance. Based in Elyria, Ohio, I represent clients locally and throughout the country.