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Hospital Liability for Birth Injuries: What You Need to Know

A birth injury is an injury to the child that occurs during birth. A birth injury is different from a birth defect in that the latter is a natural occurrence. In contrast, the former happens due to something going wrong during the delivery. Such injuries can be quite severe and can sometimes result in death. 

A birth injury occurs due to negligence by a healthcare professional or institution. You have the right to sue the hospital or the doctor for restitution in such a case. 

However, before taking legal action, there are a few things you need to know about hospital liability for birth injuries, such as:

Types of Birth Injuries

To hold a hospitable liable for a birth injury, you should understand what conditions are considered birth injuries. The most common type of birth injury is cerebral palsy, where brain damage leads to muscle malfunction. Erb’s palsy is another common condition that happens when brain damage leads to paralysis in the limbs. Other birth injuries include: 

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Kernicterus
  • Newborn Jaundice
  • Cephalohematoma 
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) etc.

Hospital Negligence

Another issue you should know about hospital liability for birth injuries is precisely what is considered hospital negligence. To prove negligence, you must prove that the hospital or medical professional did not meet the required standard of care during the delivery of the child. 

According to, you can only prove the birth injury resulting from medical malpractice when you can establish negligence. 

The doctor and medical staff performing the delivery need to have clearly been negligent for there to be any liability. If the hospital lacked any equipment or had a staff shortage leading to the birth injury, the hospital will be liable for the damage. 

Moreover, hospitals should do all they can to prevent all patients from harm. If it is apparent that the hospital or staff could have done anything to avoid the birth injury, they will be liable for the subsequent damage. Hospital liability is difficult to establish, but it is possible with the aid of a competent attorney.

How Is Hospital Negligence Determined? 

If you file a lawsuit against a hospital for a birth injury, you may eventually end up in court. The judge or jury will listen to testimony presented by experts on the subject. 

The experts will typically be other delivery doctors who will aim to establish whether the doctor or hospital in question met the standard of care during the delivery. 

Hospital administrators may also be called upon to prove whether the hospital was negligent. 

Your attorney should provide enough expert witnesses to establish that the birth injury resulted from a hospital or doctor’s negligence. 

Only then can a medical malpractice claim be successful. However, you should note that the judge or jury needs to provide a favorable decision for you to receive any compensation.

Compensation After A Birth Injury Lawsuit

Though the parent, with the help of birth injury lawyers, will file the lawsuit on behalf of the child, the compensation typically goes to the child if the birth injury lawsuit is successful. The child is the one who will need the funds to help deal with the expenses arising as a result of the injury. The payment may be in a direct deposit or a trust that the parent can access. 

The parents can also receive compensation for the damages suffered due to the birth injury. You will still need to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your child. However, the compensation will help with many expenses that can arise from a birth injury. 

There is much to know about hospital liability pertaining to birth injuries. The most important one is that you must prove negligence for the hospital to be liable for the birth injury. The above information should help, but it is not a substitute for continuous education on the subject.

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