What are Birth Injuries and What Can Cause Them?

Imagine learning that you or your significant other is pregnant. This is often a joyous time and most parents are excited about the possibilities and journeys that lie ahead. So, it’s time to prepare and get ready for your family.

What happens, though, when things go wrong and it causes potential problems during the pregnancy? These situations are far too common and it often leaves the family dealing with a number of potential issues during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and even as the baby gets older.

The biggest issue is called birth injuries because of the potential damages they can cause. Birth injuries are also most commonly a result of someone’s negligent actions. Understanding what a birth injury is and some of the potential causes are important.


When it comes to birth injuries, there are typically two types: the injuries that cause damage to the muscles and physical being of the child and those that cause problems regarding their brain development and cognitive abilities.

These are damages that most often result from some complication that arises during the pregnancy or labor and for parents, they can be devastating. There are lifelong consequences associated with birth injuries, so knowing what to look for is important.

Here are some of the more common types of birth injuries:

  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition that impacts the child’s brain. It typically occurs as a result of lack of oxygen for an extended period of time. It causes troubles with the way the individual develops, as well as with cognitive abilities.
  • Cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of condition that occurs during a birth-related complication. Maternal infections, as well as infant stroke and oxygen deprivation, can also cause this problem. It is a brain-related condition that impacts exactly how the brain and muscles communicate.
  • Erb’s palsy occurs when the infant suffers damage to the lower nerves in the arm. It’s a form of the brachial plexus injury and can result in full paralysis in the lower part of the arm, such as the forearm, wrists, and fingers.
  • Brachial plexus is a common injury that is typically associated with a burning sensation and impacts the upper part of the arm. It is a muscle-related injury that may lead to the inability of certain muscle usage.
  • Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s head and shoulder are stuck behind the pelvic bone of the mother during delivery. It is rarer than other types of birth injuries, though, impacting just 1% of all pregnancies.

Many of these injuries are very serious, resulting in the inability of the infant to physically and emotionally develop in an effective way. Some of the long-term issues may require lifelong care, procedures, and treatments.


A birth injury may be caused by a number of factors, and for parents whose children have struggled with a birth injury, it’s important to understand. Typically, though, birth injuries are often a result of the medical professional’s negligent and reckless actions.

For instance, if an obstetrician is negligent in fetal monitoring, they may not recognize a potential problem with the fetus. Irregular heartbeat or other factors may signify that there’s a problem with the baby and that he or she is in need of emergency care.

The doctor needs to ensure that the mother and child are safe throughout the entire process, including monitoring health and heart rate, checking for any signs of distress, ensuring delivery is done in a timely and safe manner, and more.

Understanding what may have caused the birth injury can help parents understand what rights and options they may have. The infant would have to go through a lifetime of care and seeking compensation can be very important.


For families who have experienced medical negligence, there may be legal options available to you to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. This makes it increasingly important to know what comes next in the process and how to move forward.

At Hare Wynn, our birth injury attorneys recognize the significant need for legal counsel for parents of children who have suffered a birth injury. This is a very difficult time for those involved and moving through legal matters is certainly not at the top of most individual’s priority list.

Before you move forward, speak with an attorney who can explain what you can expect and how you may be able to seek compensation for the damages sustained. Here are some things that need to be considered and what you may expect.

  • Who caused the injury? There may be multiple individuals who are responsible for the birth injuries, including the delivering doctor, the nurses, or even the party responsible for the epidural if administered incorrectly.
  • What is the injury? Some birth injuries may be considered worse than others, requiring extensive treatment for the condition. This may be considered during the legal matters that follow.
  • What is the need for compensation? Compensation may be necessary for medical expenses, therapy, and more based on the injury and how serious it may be.

If your baby has been injured as a result of medical negligence, our birth injury lawyers may be able to help. We encourage you to understand what options you may have and how to move forward with our skilled Birmingham injury law firm.

Call our legal team at 800-568-5330 for a free consultation and discover what legal options you may have to hold the negligent party accountable.

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