Birth Injury FAQ

1. What is a birth injury?

A birth injury occurs when a baby or mother sustains a physical injury during the prenatal or birthing process. When a healthcare provider’s actions or failure to take action could have prevented that birth injury, he or she may be held legally responsible.

An Ohio birth injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for you or your child’s injuries.

2. What’s the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

3. What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a group of brain and nervous system disorders that can result in physical and developmental disabilities. Symptoms include:

  • abnormal gait (limb movement),
  • abnormal motor movements,
  • lack of coordination,
  • lack of intelligence,
  • muscle weakness,
  • seizures,
  • speech problems,
  • tight muscles and joints,
  • tremors,
  • and more.

4. What is brachial plexus?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries occur when those nerves are damaged.

When these nerves are damaged during birth, it often results in Brachial palsy—or Erb’s palsy. This disorder results from trauma in the birthing process.

Symptoms of a brachial plexus injury in newborns include:

  • flexed arm, held tight to the affected side of the body,
  • lack of movement in upper or lower arm or hand,
  • no moro-reflex (startle response) on the affected side the body,
  • and poor grip on the affected side of the body.

5. How is cerebral palsy diagnosed?

Certain symptoms, such as lack of alertness, abnormal high pitched cry, staring, muscle weakness, tight muscles and joints, and many other signs are indicative of cerebral palsy. Different symptoms are indicative of the condition at different times in the developmental process.

After the baby reaches six months of age, developmental delays become more apparent. A doctor can make a diagnosis on the existence of cerebral palsy.

6. What are the causes of cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is often the result of brain damage. A brain injury may occur as the result of a variety of causes.

Premature and early infants are susceptible to these disorders when they suffer:

  • brain bleeding,
  • brain infections,
  • head injuries,
  • in-utero exposure to mothers’ infections,
  • or severe jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

The birth injury lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help if you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence.