Any way you look at it, birth defects and injuries are costly.  They account for one in every five deaths in the first year of life, and hospitalization for birth defects alone costs the U.S. over $2.6 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

My law firm—Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law—realizes that birth injuries not only have physical and emotional consequences, but also place a financial strain on your family. You put a lot of trust into the doctor or healthcare provider, so when a birth injury is caused by their negligence, it makes the situation that much more difficult. My Houston, Texas law firm proudly stands up for clients throughout the surrounding areas of Webster, Pasadena, South Houston, Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, and the rest of Texas. I’m here to help you with your birth injury case.



Causes of Birth Injuries

Given how dangerous the birthing process can be, birth injuries can occur very frequently, and the types of injuries vary widely. Birth injuries usually occur because of mistakes made by a doctor, nurses, or hospital staff during the delivery process. The use of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other instruments during delivery can place excessive force on the child’s body, leading to injuries. Obstetricians may use excessive force to pull a child through the birth canal, causing broken bones, nerve injuries, or other complications.

Birth injuries may also be caused by pre-existing conditions in the newborn that increase the risk of complications during the delivery. Babies who are born prematurely, with a large birth weight, who were conceived through fertility treatments, and twins or other multiple births may be more likely to be born with complications.

During the delivery process, medical staff may also fail to properly monitor the mother or her baby. An emergency C-section may be necessary in order to reduce the risk of complications and save the life of the child or its mother. If the staff fails to recognize the signs that a C-section is needed, this could be a fatal situation. All pre-existing conditions that can increase the risks of delivery should also be accounted for by the medical staff to avoid the possibility of birth trauma to the infant.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth traumas that occur during delivery can cause injuries that result in permanent problems with movement or cognition and developmental delays. Some of these conditions can be managed through surgery, physical therapy, and other treatments. Other birth injuries might resolve themselves within a few weeks after delivery, depending on the situation.

Common birth injuries may include:

  • Cerebral Palsy (caused by lack of oxygen during delivery)

  • Erb’s Palsy 

  • Fractures

  • Facial Nerve Paralysis

  • Intracranial Hemorrhage

  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

  • Caput Succedaneum

  • Neurological injuries

Other birth injuries include subconjunctival hemorrhage, bruising, and lacerations.

Proving Negligence

Birth injuries fall under medical malpractice, as they involve the lack of a standard of care for the mother and her baby. In order to have a successful birth injury case, you have to prove the elements of medical malpractice:

Negligent violation of the standard of care 

Medical professionals are required to uphold certain standards of care in the services they provide that are recognized and accepted as reasonable by those within their field, specialty, and community.

Breach of duty of standard of care

If a doctor negligently—as in carelessly or irresponsibly—breached their duties of care to a patient and caused injury, the doctor can be responsible for damages. A breach of duty can be accidental or purposeful, with malicious and criminal intent.

The negligence caused an injury 

A violation of the standard of care alone is not enough to be medical malpractice. There must be an actual injury that was caused by the doctor’s negligence. It must be proved that the negligence was the actual cause of the injury or condition.

There are significant damages from the injury

A medical malpractice claim can be extremely expensive because it often requires testimony from medical experts to prove that the injury was significant. There could be an extensive discovery process.


If your baby suffered a serious birth injury because of negligence on the part of a doctor or healthcare provider, my firm can help you explore your legal options. I’m ready to answer any questions you might have about your potential birth injury claim. Contact my Houston office today to schedule a one-on-one initial case consultation.

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