Welcome to Brown Trial Firm, where Dallas birth injury attorney Laura Brown is dedicated to championing the rights of families and children who’ve experienced birth injuries or trauma caused by medical mistakes.
If your child is suffering from a birth injury, you already know that the emotional and financial tolls can be overwhelming. Medical bills can quickly pile up, adding stress to a time that should be about bonding and caring for the newest member of your family.
At Brown Trial Firm, we know that a birth injury doesn’t just affect your child; it affects your entire family. Texas-based birth injury attorney Laura Brown understands the unique challenges that Dallas families face in trying to take care of their children’s unique needs both now and in the future.
With years of specialized experience in birth injury law, Laura’s committed to providing personalized, compassionate service to help get your family the justice and compensation you deserve so you can focus on what matters most—taking care of your loved ones.
Did you know?
According to a 2022 article by The Texas Tribune, Texas leads the U.S. in teens who give birth multiple times. In fact, more than 1 in 6 Texas teenagers who delivered a baby in 2020 already had a previous child.
The March of Dimes also reports that from 2018 to 2020, approximately 6.5% of babies in the state were born to mothers under the age of 20.
Why does this matter?
Data tells us that babies born to both younger and older mothers frequently face a higher likelihood of adverse birth outcomes, such as premature birth and low birth weight, both of which increase the risk of birth injuries.
Don’t wait to get the answers, guidance and peace of mind you need.
Reach out to Brown Trial Firm today.
Is a birth injury the same as a birth trauma?
The terms “birth injury” and “birth trauma” are often used interchangeably, but they can have nuanced differences depending on the context in which they’re used.
“Birth injury” is a broad term that refers to any damage or harm to a baby before, during or just after the birthing process. This could include injuries resulting from mechanical forces like compression or traction (which could be classified as birth trauma) but also encompasses harm resulting from other factors like lack of oxygen (asphyxia), infection, or a reaction to medications.
Common types of birth injuries include the following:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition where the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, often leading to developmental issues or cerebral palsy.
- Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder resulting from brain damage, often caused by oxygen deprivation during labor or delivery.
- Perinatal asphyxia is a general lack of oxygen in the baby’s body, which can cause multiple organ dysfunctions if severe.
- Neonatal infections are frequently acquired during or shortly after birth, often due to Group B streptococcal infection. Severe infections can lead to issues like vision problems, hearing loss, organ failure and even death.
- Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a newborn breathes in amniotic fluid containing meconium, potentially leading to respiratory issues.
It’s important to note that birth injuries could be the result of natural complications during childbirth or medical negligence.
“Birth trauma,” on the other hand, is more specific and usually refers to physical injuries that occur to the baby during the actual process of birth. These injuries often result from mechanical forces such as compression, traction or twisting exerted during delivery.
Common types of birth trauma include the following:
- Nerve and spinal cord injuries
- Brachial plexus injuries like Erb’s palsy involve damage to the network of nerves that control the arm and hand muscles, usually caused by excessive pulling on an infant during childbirth, particularly in deliveries that involve shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s head passes through the birth canal but the shoulders get stuck.
- Facial nerve injuries like Bell’s palsy are caused by pressure on the facial nerve during birth or the use of forceps and can result in temporary or permanent damage.
- Spinal cord injuries are rare but can occur due to hyperextension of the baby’s head during delivery.
- The clavicle (or collarbone) is the most commonly fractured bone during childbirth.
- Skull fractures are rare but can occur due to the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
- Head injuries
- A cephalohematoma is an accumulation of blood between the baby’s skull and the periosteum (membrane covering the bones), usually caused by pressure during delivery.
- Caput succedaneum is swelling of the soft tissues on the baby’s head, often resulting from vacuum extraction or prolonged pressure during delivery.
- Intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside the baby’s brain, usually resulting from a traumatic delivery or the use of forceps.
In summary, while all birth traumas are birth injuries, not all birth injuries are birth traumas. It’s important to consult with an attorney experienced in birth injury law to understand how your child’s unique injury could impact their potential compensation in a lawsuit.
What is the most common birth trauma of the scalp?
It’s estimated that about 80% of birth injuries involve an injury to the scalp, with caput succedaneum being the most common.
This condition involves the swelling of the soft tissues on the head of a newborn, usually over the part of the skull that enters the birth canal first. It often occurs due to the pressure exerted on the baby’s head as it passes through the birth canal, but it can also be caused by vacuum extraction during delivery.
The swelling typically appears as a soft, puffy area on the baby’s scalp and may extend across the midline or down the sides of the head. It’s generally harmless and tends to resolve on its own within a few days to a week without requiring any specific treatment.
However, it’s essential to differentiate caput succedaneum from other conditions like cephalohematoma or subgaleal hemorrhage, which may look similar but could be more serious and require intervention.
How many babies are dropped during delivery?
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, it’s estimated that 600 to 700 newborns are dropped each year in U.S. hospitals. It’s important to note, however, that this study not only included incidents involving doctors, nurses and other hospital staff but also parents.
Injuries that can result after dropping a baby include broken bones, skull fractures, brain bleeds, internal organ damage and spinal cord injuries.
How do you know if your baby has birth trauma?
At Brown Trial Firm, we hear questions like these from parents all the time:
I noticed my baby isn’t moving her left arm as much as her right. Could this be a sign of a birth injury?
My son cries inconsolably whenever we try to swaddle him. He seems to be in pain. Is this normal, or should I be concerned about a possible birth injury?
The truth is, it’s not always easy to identify a birth injury. In fact, some birth injuries aren’t diagnosed for months or even years after a child is born.
While determining if your baby has a birth trauma or injury typically involves a combination of medical assessments, observations and diagnostic tests, the following signs may indicate the need for further evaluation by a medical professional:
- Visible injuries. These can include bruising, swelling or abrasions, particularly on the head, shoulders or hips.
- Limited movement. If your baby is unable or seems reluctant to move a limb, it could be a sign of nerve damage or a fracture.
- Facial asymmetry. Uneven facial movements, such as difficulty closing one eye or asymmetrical smiling, may indicate nerve damage.
- High-pitched crying or wailing. While it’s common for newborns to cry, a high-pitched, inconsolable wail may indicate pain or distress due to injury.
- Feeding issues. Difficulty sucking, swallowing or breathing during feeding could be a sign of birth trauma affecting the nervous system or other organs.
- Respiratory distress. Labored breathing or bluish skin color could be a sign of underlying problems requiring immediate attention.
- Behavioral issues. Excessive fussiness, lethargy or unusual levels of irritability may also be signs that something is amiss.
- Missed developmental milestones. Delays in reaching early milestones like lifting the head, rolling over or gripping objects may warrant further investigation for possible birth injuries.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of a possible birth injury, seek medical attention immediately. Timely intervention can make a significant difference in your child’s health and recovery outcomes.
Do babies remember birth trauma?
While there’s no definitive answer to this question, some research suggests that early life traumas, including those experienced during birth, may have a lasting impact on a child’s development and behavior.
For example, adverse experiences during birth can potentially affect a child’s stress response system, which could have longer-term implications. This is sometimes categorized as “implicit memory,” which doesn’t involve conscious thought but might still influence behavior and emotional development.
What are the long-term effects of birth injuries?
The long-term effects of birth injuries can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, the body part(s) affected, and the overall health of the child. However, with that in mind, here are some potential long-term consequences of birth injuries that parents should be aware of:
- Cognitive impairment. Injuries that affect the brain like cerebral palsy may result in cognitive impairments that could affect learning and intellectual development.
- Speech and language delays. Injuries affecting the areas of the brain responsible for speech and language could lead to delays or disorders in these skills.
- Motor skill development. Injuries to the muscles or nerves can affect fine and gross motor skills, influencing tasks like gripping objects, writing or walking.
- Behavioral issues. Children who’ve experienced birth injuries may be more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, including attention deficit disorder (ADD) and emotional issues like anxiety or depression.
- Respiratory issues. Injuries that impact the baby’s respiratory system can result in long-term breathing difficulties, possibly requiring lifelong treatment or medication.
- Digestive problems. Injuries to the gastrointestinal system could lead to chronic issues like difficulty absorbing nutrients or gastrointestinal reflux.
- Sensory impairments. In some cases, birth injuries may result in permanent sensory impairments such as loss of vision or hearing.
- Psychological effects. Knowing they have a birth injury could affect a child’s self-esteem and social interactions, leading to emotional or psychological challenges.
- Dependency. Severe birth injuries may result in lifelong dependency on medical devices or caretakers for basic functions like eating, moving or personal care.
- Increased medical costs. Ongoing medical treatments, physical therapy, surgeries and special education can result in significant financial burdens for families.
- Quality of life. The cumulative impact of these issues can significantly affect a child’s quality of life and limit opportunities for education, employment and social interaction.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help mitigate some of these long-term effects, but in many cases, the consequences of birth injuries can be lifelong. An experienced birth injury attorney can help Dallas parents evaluate their child’s current and future medical and financial needs to ensure they get appropriate compensation through a birth injury lawsuit.
What is medical negligence during childbirth?
Medical negligence during childbirth refers to the failure of health care professionals to provide the standard of care required during prenatal care, labor or delivery, which results in harm to the mother, baby, or both. This negligence can occur in various forms and stages of the childbirth process.
Below are some common examples:
- Failure to monitor. Not properly monitoring fetal heart rates or maternal vital signs can lead to preventable complications.
- Delayed diagnosis. A health care provider may fail to recognize signs of distress or other complications, such as preeclampsia in the mother or oxygen deprivation in the baby.
- Failure to perform cesarean section. If a cesarean section (C-section) is necessary for the health of the mother or child, failure to perform it in a timely manner can result in injury or death.
- Failure to address complications. Ignoring or improperly treating complications like umbilical cord prolapse, breech position or placental issues can lead to birth injuries.
- Improper use of medical instruments. Incorrect or careless use of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other medical instruments can cause injury to the baby.
- Medication errors. Incorrect dosage or choice of medication can have adverse effects on either the mother or baby.
- Inadequate skill level. If a health care provider is not skilled enough to handle complicated childbirth procedures, this can lead to mistakes.
For years, Dallas birth injury attorney Laura Brown has been helping local family get results like these:
Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury
Our client’s infant was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to misuse of Pitocin, delayed Cesarean section delivery, and failure of medical professionals to respond to fetal distress. We secured a successful recovery for our client and our fee was paid out of the gross settlement amount, meaning the client was able to secure our legal assistance without any out-of-pocket expense.
Reach out today for a free case evaluation to learn more.
Consequences of medical negligence during childbirth can be severe, including birth injuries, maternal injuries, and, in extreme cases, death.
Victims of such negligence have the option to seek legal recourse, including compensation for past and future medical expenses, physical and occupational therapy, pain and suffering, lost ability to earn an income, and other damages.
If you suspect medical negligence during childbirth, consult a health care provider for a medical assessment and consider seeking legal advice to understand your options for recovering compensation.
How a birth injury attorney can ensure maximum compensation for your child
Hiring an attorney who specializes in birth injuries is essential for securing the compensation your child needs to thrive. Such attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the complex medical terminology and procedures involved in these cases, as well as the standard medical practices that should be followed during childbirth.
Their expertise allows them to collect crucial evidence effectively and negotiate skillfully with insurance companies or health care providers to maximize payouts.
Additionally, a specialized attorney is well-versed in the specific state laws that pertain to birth injury cases and understands the long-term financial implications of raising a child who’s suffered a birth injury, so they can ensure all potential expenses are included in a settlement.
Should your case go to trial, their courtroom experience becomes invaluable as well. Overall, having a specialized attorney can not only strengthen your case but also provide peace of mind as you navigate this challenging time.
Get help from a top-rated Dallas birth injury attorney
Don’t leave your child’s future to chance. When it comes to birth injuries, you need an expert by your side to navigate the complex legal landscape and secure the compensation your family deserves.
Laura Brown of Brown Trial Firm in Dallas is committed to helping families like yours. Her specialized knowledge and proven track record make her the advocate you need to fight for your child’s well-being.
Get in touch with Laura Brown today to take the first step toward ensuring your child has all the resources they need to live the best possible life.
Chong, S. (2022). Head Injury during Childbirth. Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society, 65(3), 342–347. https://doi.org/10.3340/jkns.2022.0045
Klibanoff, E. (2022, February 21). Texas tops the nation in teens who give birth multiple times. The Texas Tribune. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/02/21/texas-teenage-pregnancy-abortion/
Monson, S. A., Henry, E., Lambert, D. K., Schmutz, N., & Christensen, R. D. (2008). In-Hospital Falls of Newborn Infants: Data From a Multihospital Health Care System. PEDIATRICS, 122(2), e277–e280. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2007-3811
Percentage of births by maternal age: Texas, 2018-2020 Average. (n.d.). March of Dimes | PeriStats. Retrieved September 13, 2023, from https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/data?reg=48&top=2&stop=5&lev=1&slev=4&obj=3&sreg=48