Birth Injury Lawyers

Our birth injury attorneys seek justice for our youngest clients — newborns harmed during birth. Serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide cases.

Our Birth Injury Attorneys Get the Results You & Your Baby Deserve

While no expectant parent likes to think about the risk to their baby of a birth injury or defect, these unfortunate outcomes impact families far too often. In many cases, we find that these injuries could have been prevented. While avoidable birth injuries typically do not result from a healthcare provider’s intentional act, they can occur when a medical professional is careless or negligent during the birth process.

At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, our attorneys have decades of experience successfully handling birth injury claims, and we work tirelessly to ensure that we advocate for our youngest and must vulnerable clients to the very best of our abilities.

In handling birth injury lawsuits, our lawyers work closely with medical experts and experienced physicians to assess the clinical aspects of your claim, support your case — and pursue the best possible outcome for both you and your baby.


Common Types of Birth Injury Cases

Several types of injuries may qualify for a birth injury lawsuit. If your baby has been the victim of a birth injury, you need expert legal help to navigate your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

  • Brachial Plexus Injuries

    During birth, an injury to the brachial plexus, a group of nerves in the arms and hands, can cause an infant to develop brachial “palsy,” or weakness. Depending on the severity of the injury, the baby can lose the ability to flex and to rotate its arm, or in more severe cases, can suffer permanent nerve damage or paralysis.

    Common Causes

    • Births in which the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the pubic bone or sacrum (shoulder dystocia)
    • Difficult births in which the baby’s neck is stretched to the side
    • Births in which the baby is in breech position
    • Birth in which there is a particularly prolonged labor
    • Large newborn size
  • Broken and/or Fractured Bones

    Bone breaks and fractures are birth injuries that can occur during labor and delivery. And while many of these injuries are likely to heal without lasting effects, these injuries are nonetheless serious ones, and in many situations, may have been preventable.

    Common Causes

    • Trauma at birth
    • Large newborn size
    • Breech delivery
    • Newborn’s shoulder becoming stuck during delivery
    • Mother having a narrow birth canal
    • Use of tools (such as forceps) during delivery

    Most Common Childbirth-Related Broken Bone Injuries

    • Clavicle (about 46%)
    • Humerus (about 20%)
    • Femur (about 14%)
    • Depressed skull fracture (about 11%)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

    Spinal cord injuries occur most often as a result of difficult deliveries. Although spinal cord injuries are not especially common among infants, they can result in life-long damage and even paralysis.


    Common Causes

    • Torsion, or excessive rotation, during vertex deliveries
    • Excessive traction during breech deliveries
    • Other complications due to abnormal presentation of the fetus
    • Undiagnosed spina bifida, a neural tube defect that typically occurs by 28 weeks of gestation
  • Cerebral Palsy

    Cerebral palsy is a condition that often occurs as a result of an injury to the brain of a fetus, abnormal development of the fetus’s brain, and/or insufficient oxygen supply to the newborn during childbirth. It is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills, including:

    • Standing still
    • Breathing
    • Bowel and bladder control
    • Eating
    • Talking


    Types of Cerebral Palsy

    • Spastic — results in stiffness and difficulty with movement
    • Athetoid — results in a child’s inability to control movements
    • Ataxic — causes problems with balance and depth perception


    Common Causes

    • Maternal infections during pregnancy
    • Insufficient oxygen supply to the fetus
    • Fetal stroke that disrupts the blood supply to the fetus’s brain
    • Infection that leads to brain inflammation
    • Traumatic head injury to an infant during childbirth or shortly thereafter
    • Lack of oxygen to a newborn’s brain (also known as asphyxia) during labor and delivery
    • Breech birth
    • Complicated labor and delivery in which a baby may have vascular or respiratory problems
    • Low birth weight
    • Multiple babies sharing the uterus
    • Premature birth
    • Incompatible Rh blood type between mother and child
  • Perinatal Asphyxia

    This injury occurs when a newborn baby has been deprived of adequate oxygen during birth, which generally results in brain damage and lifelong detrimental effects.

    Common Causes

    • Low oxygen or low or high blood pressure in the mother during labor
    • Long, difficult deliveries
    • Infections in the mother or baby
      The placenta separating from the uterus, restricting oxygen flow
      The umbilical wrapping around the baby’s neck
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage/Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

    Commonly referred to as “brain bleeds,” these life-threatening injuries are some of the most common types of birth injuries, often occurring as a result of trauma or excessive pressure to an infant’s head during delivery. While they can be due to a variety of factors, improper delivery techniques on the part of the doctor are often to blame.

    Intracranial hemorrhages may affect multiple parts of the brain and are more likely in full term infants, while subarachnoid hemorrhages involve bleeding between the innermost membranes covering the brain, are more likely to affect preterm infants.


    Common Causes

    • Prolonged hard labors in which the infant is subject to trauma in the birth canal
    • Breech births, in which the baby presents feet first, requiring manual maneuvering on the part of the doctor
    • Difficult births, in which the use of forceps or vacuum extraction is required to remove the baby from the birth canal


    Common Errors

    • Failing to intervene in a prolonged labor
    • Using excessive force, either in maneuvering the infant in the womb or with extraction instruments
    • Failing to correctly diagnose and treat the hemorrhage

Birth Injury Facts

  • <2%

    Neonatal deaths and stillbirths caused by significant birth injury

  • 6-8

    Average number of injuries per 1,000 live births

  • #1

    Head injuries are the most common birth injuries

Source: Medscape Merck Manual

Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit

Birth injuries can be devastating, resulting in physical, financial, and emotional hardships for the child, the mother, and the rest of the family. Filing a birth injury claim can provide relief from these hardships if your child was injured as a result of medical negligence.

  • Reasons to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit

    By filing a birth injury claim, you could hold the at-fault medical provider and their employer accountable for the injuries that your child sustained. You can recover a financial settlement to help pay for the costs of the injury, including medical care, disability accommodations, and pain and suffering.

  • What Compensation Is Available in Birth Injury Lawsuits?

    In a birth injury lawsuit claim, you can recover economic and noneconomic damages.

    Economic damages include:

    • Past and future medical expenses to care for the injury
    • The cost of a live-in caregiver
    • Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your child
    • Any medical equipment that your child requires, such as a wheelchair
    • Therapies for your child, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy
    • Lost income potential or loss of earnings caused by an injury

    Noneconomic damages involve the intangible physical pain, emotional suffering, inconvenience, and loss of life’s pleasures that you or your child have experienced and will experience for the rest of your lives.

  • How Fast Should You File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

    The statute of limitations is a law that establishes a filing deadline for certain types of lawsuits. If you do not file a lawsuit in time, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will be ineligible for any recovery or settlement. It is important to speak with a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation.

    The statute of limitations for birth injury lawsuits varies from state to state. Additionally, different rules apply for birth injury cases involving minor children.

    The statute of limitations for a birth injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania is:

    • In PA, Adult plaintiffs have two years from the date of an injury to file a claim.
    • in PA, Minor children have two years from the date of their eighteenth birthday to file their lawsuit.

    The statute of limitation for a birth injury lawsuit in New Jersey is:

    • in NJ, Competent adult plaintiffs also have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
    • in NJ, minor children born before July 2004 have two years from the date of their eighteenth birthday to file their lawsuit.
    • in NJ, Children born after July 2004 must file their birth injury lawsuit by their thirteenth birthday.
  • How to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit

    The first step to filing a birth injury lawsuit is to speak with an attorney experienced in handling birth injury claims. These cases are highly complex and require a great deal of investigation, medical expert validation, and legal knowledge. The personal injury attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roch, P.C. have achieved history outcomes for our clients’ birth injury lawsuits. Contact one of our birth injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

  • Initially, I was lost about what to do and how to get help. I was upset at the time. After calling Cohen, Placitella & Roth, I felt ok that we could have a meeting and discuss this together. Their lawyers reassured us that we could get help with what had happened. 

    John A.
  • You talk to a lawyer who is really interested in you and who cares about what is happening in your life. You feel they are there to help you and are going to help you. After the fact, they called me to see how it was going. How many attorneys take the time to do that? 

    Marissa H.
  • When I didn’t know who to turn to, CP&R had the relationships to recommend nursing care, medical services, financial services, people instrumental in helping us work things out, not just the legal part. The lawyers at CP&R are good people and deserve to be recognized for how good they are professionally and personally.

    Carly J.

Contact Our Birth Injury Attorneys Today

Schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer today. Fill out this form to reach our team of personal injury attorneys and get the results you deserve for your case.

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