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Who Can be Held Responsible for Birth Injuries?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 4 million children born in the United States in 2012. Most of those children were born without trouble.

The CDC says that about one in every 33 of those babies was born with a birth defect. Some of those conditions couldn’t have been prevented. But in other instances, children suffered injury during birth and in some cases those were the result of mistakes made by health care providers and resulted in the children being severely disabled. It may present in the form of one of the types of cerebral palsy. It might be some form of nerve damage that results in another form of palsy or paralysis.

When such things occur, the first reaction parents and family members are likely to go through is pain and anguish. Then there might be a sense of anger and questions about how such a thing could happen. It may not be until later that the full implications of the injury, such as special treatments and long-term care begin to be realized. Then the questions might turn to who can and should be held responsible?

The answer to that will vary depending on the circumstances of each case, but the list can be long.

The conduct of the primary caregivers must be looked at, of course. But any ancillary personnel, such as nurses and anesthesiologists, need to be investigated as well.

The hospital may also bear some responsibility. If what happened can be traced to hospital negligence, that may support a claim of direct liability. The hospital might also be held vicariously liable for the errors of its staff.

As this brief explanation shows, many parties might bear responsibility for in the event a medical malpractice or birth injury claim is made. It depends on the specifics of each case, which can be intricate, which speaks to why it’s always advisable to seek the help of experienced legal counsel.

Source:, “Births and Natality,” accessed, Aug. 28, 2014