5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Birth Injuries

Are You Eligible to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in WV?

Each year, an average of 3-4 million infants are born in the United States – and approximately 30,000 of them enter the world with a birth injury. These injuries range from harmless temporary conditions that self-resolve to catastrophic, life-threatening injuries that require a lifetime of extensive treatment, with many resulting in permanent disability or death. Due to the devastating potential of birth injuries, expectant parents, as well as current parents that suspect their child’s injuries were caused by medical malpractice, should be aware of the following important facts.


When a baby is born, the process of birth itself often results in physical injury. A birth injury occurs approximately every 20 minutes in the United States.


Several conditions that affect the mother and/or baby can make a birth injury more likely to occur. These include:

-Abnormal Position of the Infant Just Prior to Birth
-Abnormal Uterine, Placental, and Umbilical Cord Conditions/Damage
-Oligohydramnios (Insufficient Amniotic Fluid)
-Maternal High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia
-Difficult/Prolonged Labor
-Premature Birth
-Multiple Births
-Inadequate Pelvic Size/Performance
-Maternal Illness, Advanced Age, Obesity, Diabetes, and Other Medical Conditions

The health status of expectant mothers and infants must be carefully monitored throughout the pregnancy, as well as during labor, delivery, and the postpartum period to rapidly identify and address any known or suspected issues, should they arise.


Although many birth injuries cannot be anticipated, in some cases a medical mistake may have been made which caused or contributed to the birth injury. These may include:

-Negligent Medical Decisions/Care
-Improper Use of Vacuum Extractors/Medical Devices
-Failure to Monitor/Detect Maternal or Fetal Distress
-Negligence in Treating Maternal Infections or Medical Conditions
-Pulling Too Hard on the Infant During Delivery
-Failure to Schedule an Emergency C-Section

It is estimated that approximately half of all injuries to mothers and newborns could have potentially been avoided with adequate knowledge, competent identification, planning, and action for obstetrical risks.


Although birth injuries are relatively common, one should not assume that they are mild or will resolve on their own. In fact, most (~80%) are classified as moderate to severe. These include:

-Traumatic Head Injuries
-Fractures/Broken Bones
-Injuries to Facial, Arm, and Hand Nerves
-Oxygen Deprivation (Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy/Birth Asphyxia)
-Brain, Nervous System, and Lung Infections
-Strokes, Seizures, Encephalitis, Hydrocephalus, Meningitis, Cephalohematoma, and Brain Injuries
-Cerebral Palsy

Many birth injuries leave a lasting impact. These may include permanent physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities, significant pain and suffering, a lifetime of medical treatment, nursing care, and assistance with activities of daily life. Unfortunately, some birth injuries may also result in the tragic loss of a young life.


As your child’s best advocate, you should know and watch for signs that may indicate a birth injury. Sometimes the symptoms of birth injury are readily apparent following delivery. In other cases, a birth injury may not be discovered until many months or years later as the child is noted to miss important developmental milestones. The following signs may indicate that a birth injury has occurred which should be promptly brought to the attention of a doctor or medical professional:

-Pale or Bluish Skin Color
-Abnormal Reflexes, Movements, or Seizures
-Clear Preference for One Side of the Body
-Little to No Interest in Nursing, Eating, or Drinking
-Stiff or Floppy Muscle Tone
-Failure to Respond to Lights, Sound, and Other Stimuli
-States of Altered Consciousness
-Speech and Language Difficulties
-Learning Impairment
-Cerebral Palsy
-Sensory Processing Issues
-Vision and Hearing Impairments
-Social and Behavioral Issues

A lifetime of care for catastrophic birth injuries can be extremely costly emotionally as well as financially. If your infant or child is exhibiting these or other symptoms of concern, be sure to seek prompt medical care. However, do not indicate your suspicions to medical personnel, hospital or legal representatives who may be involved. Instead, contact Angotti & Straface Attorneys at Law. We’re on YOUR side.

Who Is Responsible for My Child’s Injuries?

Birth injury cases involving medical malpractice are often quite complex. Sometimes developmental problems and medical conditions occur that are not related to a birth injury; however, if you have a nagging suspicion that something wasn’t quite right with the care you and/or your child received, you should speak up. If your child suffered serious mental or physical injury, disability, or death that you believe was caused by medical neglect, contact Angotti & Straface Attorneys at Law for a complimentary consultation. We can review the facts and determine exactly what happened – and our legal team is ready to hold all liable parties accountable.

Maximum Financial Compensation for WV Birth Injuries

To ensure that your birth injury claim is properly handled and preserve your right to secure just compensation, you must secure effective legal representation right away. At Angotti & Straface Attorneys at Law in Morgantown, our medical malpractice lawyers work to preserve evidence, apply knowledge of all applicable laws and regulations, and offer the vast resources of our firm, including reputable medical professionals and other experts to prepare a strong case on each client’s behalf. We are prepared to determine the precise cause of your child’s birth injury, identify all responsible parties, and aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation allowed by law from all at-fault parties. To get started, contact Angotti & Straface Attorneys at Law: (304) 292-4381.