Free Case Evaluation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.
Seattle birth injury lawyers

Seattle Birth Injury Lawyers

Dedicated help from our attorneys after your baby is injured during pregnancy, labor, or childbirth

Bringing a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, but unfortunately, not every childbirth experience goes as planned. Birth injuries can have a profound and lasting impact on both the child and the entire family. If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence or malpractice, the Seattle birth injury lawyers at Smith McBroom are here to provide compassionate and expert legal representation. Our dedicated team of birth injury attorneys understands the complexities of these cases and is committed to helping families navigate the legal process to seek justice and compensation.

Free Case Evaluation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What is a birth injury?

Per the National Library of Medicine:

The National Vital Statistics Report defines birth injury as "an impairment of the neonate's body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred at birth." These injuries include a wide range of minor to major injuries due to various mechanical forces during labor and delivery. Birth injuries are different from birth defects or malformations and are often easily distinguishable from congenital defects by a focused clinical assessment.

Birth injuries most typically occur during the labor and childbirth process; however, they can also happen during pregnancy. Birth injuries can be caused by medical malpractice.

What are common birth injuries?

Birth injuries are injuries that occur to a baby during the process of labor and delivery. It's important to note that not all birth injuries are preventable, and many babies are born without any complications. However, some common birth injuries include:

  • Brachial plexus injury. This injury involves damage to the network of nerves controlling arm and hand movements. Erb's palsy and Klumpke's palsy are examples of brachial plexus injuries.
  • Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is often caused by damage to the developing brain during pregnancy, childbirth, or shortly after birth.
  • Fractures. Fractures or broken bones can occur during the birthing process, often to the collarbone or arm, especially if there is difficulty delivering the baby's shoulders.
  • Caput succedaneum. This refers to swelling of the soft tissues of the baby's scalp. It often occurs during labor and delivery and is usually a result of pressure on the baby's head.
  • Cephalohematoma. This is the collection of blood between the baby's skull and the periosteum (the membrane covering the bones). It can occur due to pressure during delivery.
  • Facial nerve injury. Pressure or trauma during childbirth can sometimes cause facial nerve injuries, leading to temporary or permanent facial weakness.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage. Bleeding within the baby's skull can occur due to various factors, including trauma during delivery.
  • Perinatal asphyxia. Lack of oxygen to the baby's brain, either before, during, or after delivery, can lead to perinatal asphyxia, which may result in long-term complications.

It's important to recognize that birth injuries can occur even when medical professionals provide appropriate care, and not all injuries are the result of medical malpractice. However, in cases where negligence or medical errors are involved, legal action may be pursued to seek compensation for your child's injuries. The Seattle birth injury lawyers at Smith McBroom can help.

Smith McBroom, PLLC

How do Seattle birth injuries happen?

Birth injuries can occur due to various factors, and many of them are preventable. Some common causes of birth injuries include:

  • Difficult labor or prolonged delivery. Prolonged labor or a difficult delivery can increase the risk of birth injuries. This can be due to factors such as a large baby, the baby being in an abnormal position, or problems with the birth canal.
  • Fetal position. The position of the baby during labor and delivery can heighten the risk of birth injuries. For example, a breech presentation (where the baby is positioned feet or buttocks first) may increase the likelihood of injury.
  • Use of assisted delivery tools. The use of forceps or vacuum extractors to assist in the delivery process can sometimes lead to injuries, including bruising, facial nerve injuries, or even fractures.
  • Fetal distress. If the baby experiences distress during labor, it may be deprived of oxygen, leading to conditions like perinatal asphyxia, which can result in long-term consequences.
  • Umbilical cord complications. Problems with the umbilical cord, such as a prolapsed cord or nuchal cord (cord around the baby's neck), can compromise the baby's oxygen supply.
  • Medical conditions of the mother. Certain medical conditions in the mother, such as diabetes or hypertension, can increase the risk of birth injuries. In some cases, infections during pregnancy can also contribute to complications.
  • Incorrect use of medical interventions. Mistakes or errors in medical interventions, such as administering medication or managing complications, can contribute to birth injuries. This may include failure to monitor the baby's vital signs or respond appropriately to signs of distress.

It's important to emphasize that many births occur without complications, and medical professionals should be trained to manage and minimize risks during childbirth. However, in some cases, birth injuries may be the result of medical negligence or malpractice. If there are concerns about a birth injury, it's important to seek legal advice to determine the cause and explore potential avenues for compensation.

How can birth injuries be prevented?

While not all birth injuries are preventable, there are measures that healthcare professionals can take to reduce the risk of complications during childbirth. It's important to note that the best approach to prevention involves appropriate prenatal care, monitoring during labor, and prompt response to any complications. Here are some strategies to help prevent birth injuries:

  • Early and regular prenatal care. Adequate prenatal care is crucial for monitoring the health of both the mother and the developing baby. Regular check-ups can help identify and address potential issues early in the pregnancy.
  • Monitoring fetal health. Continuous monitoring of the baby's heart rate during labor provides vital information about the baby's well-being. Changes in heart rate patterns can indicate distress, and prompt action can help prevent complications.
  • Proper management of high-risk pregnancies. High-risk pregnancies, such as those involving conditions like diabetes or hypertension, require careful management. Close monitoring and appropriate medical interventions can help reduce the risk of complications.
  • Proper use of assisted delivery tools. When forceps or vacuum extractors are used to assist in delivery, healthcare professionals must be properly trained and use these tools carefully to minimize the risk of injuries.
  • C-section when necessary. In cases of prolonged labor, fetal distress, or other complications, a timely cesarean section (C-section) may be necessary to prevent birth injuries.
  • Management of labor progress. Monitoring the progress of labor and taking appropriate action if labor is not progressing smoothly can help prevent complications. This may include adjusting the position of the mother, encouraging movement, or using other interventions.
  • Adequate staffing and training. Ensuring that healthcare facilities are adequately staffed with trained professionals is essential. Proper training and adherence to best practices can contribute to safer deliveries.
  • Patient education. Educating expectant mothers about the importance of prenatal care, healthy lifestyle choices, and potential risks can empower them to make informed decisions and seek timely medical attention.
  • Avoiding unnecessary interventions. Unnecessary medical interventions, such as the induction of labor without a medical reason, should be avoided, as they can increase the risk of complications.
  • Clear communication. Effective communication between healthcare providers, the mother, and her support team is crucial. This helps ensure that everyone is informed and on the same page regarding the progress of labor and any potential concerns.

If you believe your child’s birth injuries were preventable, talk to the Seattle legal team at Smith McBroom today.

Do you have a Seattle birth injury attorney near me?

Smith McBroom is located at 16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite #210, Seattle, Washington, 98188. We’re right off I-5 and I-405, near Southcenter Mall. There is a bus stop near our office, and we offer free on-site parking.

Our Seattle birth injury lawyers are here for you and your baby

If your child has suffered a birth injury, you deserve answers, support, and justice. Our experienced team of Seattle birth injury attorneys is here to advocate for you. Birth injuries can have lasting consequences, impacting the quality of life for your child and your family. Call our Tukwila-based offices or fill out our contact form today to schedule a meeting with one of our compassionate attorneys.