Birth Injury

Is your baby suffering because of an injury that happened before birth or during delivery?

Our team at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys handles all types of birth injury lawsuits for clients throughout Michigan.

We understand your immediate need to get medical fees paid and covered. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced birth injury attorneys. We collect no fees unless we’re successful.

What Is a Birth Trauma?

Birth trauma is an action resulting in the death or injury to a fetus or newborn. It can be a life-altering event in the life of a family expecting to celebrate the joys of parenthood.

Common Birth Injuries/Trauma

There are numerous medical conditions associated with birth injuries, and many require lifelong medical care. These conditions can also heavily impact the mental, physical, and emotional development of a child, making it difficult for them to live a normal and productive life.

According to medical professionals, the following are the most common birth injuries:

  • Brachial palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Bruising
  • Caput succedaneum, or swelling of soft tissue in the scalp which can sometimes lead to newborn jaundice
  • Cephalohematoma, or blood underneath the scalp
  • Facial paralysis 
  • Fractures
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage, or when a blood vessel breaks just underneath the surface of the eye

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

The vast majority of birth injuries, no matter how severe, are preventable. There is no single overlying cause of birth injuries in the United States. However, some of the common causes include:

  • Exposing the mother to certain drugs before and during pregnancy
  • Improper use of forceps and other assistive devices during childbirth
  • Improper positioning of the fetus prior to birth
  • Failing to adequately monitor the vital signs or condition of a mother and child
  • Failing to perform a necessary medical procedure in a timely manner

Often, the causes listed above stem from medical negligence and a lack of oversight. Some medical facilities also create environments in which such negligence is likely to occur.

Birth Injuries Versus Birth Defects

It’s important to note that birth injuries and defects are not the same. A birth defect occurs when the fetus is still forming in the womb, while birth injuries occur while the baby is being born. In Michigan, you can file a lawsuit against a hospital, doctor, or health care provider if either the birth injury or birth defect was caused by medical negligence.

Why Work With a Birth Injury Attorney?

Proving a medical professional or facility is guilty of malpractice can be immensely difficult without the help of a seasoned birth injury attorney. 

To successfully file suit, a claimant must prove the physician failed to provide an acceptable standard of care. In other words, they must prove the physician or medical professional consciously made a decision that was not in the best interest of the patient. To hold a medical facility liable, the claimant must establish the facility created an environment conducive to malpractice. Other parties, such as nurses, pharmacists, and physician assistants can also be held liable.

Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys provides aggressive representation for all types of birth injury cases in Michigan; our birth injury attorneys will help you understand current legislation surrounding medical malpractice in Michigan, prove negligence, and determine potential damages you could recover.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Laws surrounding birth injuries can be complicated. In our FAQ below, we’ve covered some of the most common questions we’ve received regarding birth injury cases in Michigan.

Are There Any Limitations on Damages?

Yes and no. Birth injury cases are typically a subset of medical malpractice. In medical malpractice cases, an individual can recover two primary types of damages: economic (monetary) and non-economic (pain and suffering). 

There are no existing caps for economic damages, but there are current caps for non-economic losses in medical malpractice litigation. According to MCL 600.1483, if the plaintiff can prove that one or more defendants involved in the case were medically negligent, there can be a non-economic damage award of up to $280,000. If the negligence of one or more defendants involved resulted in a death or permanent loss or damage of a vital organ or bodily function, the non-economic damage cap is increased to $500,000.

What Could I Recover?

In a birth injury case, you can likewise recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to any losses that have a monetary value, including medical expenses and physical rehabilitation. Non-economic damages refer to losses that don’t have a set monetary value and are associated with pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a decline in quality of life.

Calculating economic and non-economic losses can be challenging, as many factors will impact what you could recover. You will need to seek a complete case evaluation from an experienced birth injury attorney to determine whether and what you may possibly recover in your specific case. 

How Do I Prove Medical Negligence?

To prove medical negligence, you must first establish the relevant standard of care and establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the health care provider or facility failed to meet that standard of care. Then, you must prove that your child’s injury or defect directly resulted from that breach of that standard of care. 

Proving negligence in any medical malpractice case is complex and requires the assistance of one or more expert witnesses. When you work with a birth injury attorney, they can help you find evidence to establish negligence and find and retain the expert witnesses needed for your case to move forward to trial.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims?

In Michigan, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years after the date of the incident. However, if a child has not reached their eighth birthday as of the date of the malpractice, then any medical malpractice claim must be commenced within two years after the date of the incident OR before or on the child’s tenth birthday.

Generally, it’s best to file a claim as soon after the incident as possible. If you think your child’s injury was a direct result of medical negligence—contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.

Is It Expensive to Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?

Some personal injury law firms, including Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, work on contingency fee basis. In such an arrangement, the law firm takes no fee unless and until you obtain a financial recovery, whereupon the firm takes a percentage of the recovery (typically one-third) net of costs. 

Do I Have a Case?

If you believe your child’s injuries were the direct result of medical negligence, it’s always advisable to consult with a birth injury attorney. Determining whether or not you have a viable case will depend on a variety of factors. All case evaluations at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys are free. Fill out our online form today to get started.

Request a Free Case Evaluation Today

As a parent, we know your child’s wellbeing is your top priority. If a negligent health care provider has caused your child to suffer, turn to Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys. We’ve been helping clients in Michigan settle birth injury claims for nearly four decades. 

Fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our birth injury lawyers. 

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