Bridgeport Birth Injury Lawyer

A medical team in an operating theater attempting to repair a birth injury in a newborn.Birth injuries occur at the very beginning of a child’s life, and in some cases, their effects last for the rest of the child’s life. Sometimes, birth injuries are evident right away, but in other cases, you may not notice any symptoms until your child is older.

When you do discover the issue, it could be permanent, and your child might require long-term medical care.

How Could a Bridgeport Birth Injury Attorney Help?

You want what’s best for your child, but if they have a birth injury, securing the care they need can be difficult. Some children with birth injuries need frequent doctor’s visits, physical or speech therapy, mobility aids like a wheelchair, and other assistance.

Unfortunately, health insurance doesn’t always cover these necessities fully and can also be expensive. At the same time, you also have to plan for your child’s future.

If they have significant disabilities, they may not be able to work as an adult, and they might need care either at home or in a group home. You want to save money for their future needs, but this can be difficult if you’re struggling to meet their current needs due to financial constraints.

If your child suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of the doctor who attended the birth, a birth injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for these injuries, including:

  • Medical expenses. You can seek damages for your current bills for medical treatment and follow-up appointments your child needs, as well as estimated future healthcare expenses.
  • Lost income. This covers any time you or your spouse had to take off from work while your child was in the hospital or needed care. In some cases where the child needs more care than a typical daycare or babysitter can provide, one parent might have to quit their job and be a stay-at-home parent, reducing the family’s income.
  • Pain and suffering. No one wants to see their child in pain, but sometimes birth defects can lead to physical pain or mental or emotional distress. Your child deserves compensation for their suffering.
  • Future costs. Beyond medical care, your child may need assistance with various activities as an adult. We’ll calculate their possible future expenses for needs like in-home care, making a future home accessible, being cared for in a group setting, replacing mobility devices as they wear out, etc.

What Is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

Birth defects occur during the pregnancy, often early in the fetal development process, and are not related to anything that happens during the birth. They may be caused by genetics, infections, or exposure to chemicals or toxins during pregnancy, and in most cases, they are not associated with a healthcare provider’s negligence.

One exception might be if your doctor prescribed a medication known to cause birth defects without asking about the possibility of a pregnancy or discussing the risks with you. This would not be a birth injury, but it could be a case of medical malpractice.

Birth injuries are caused by trauma during the birth, which is sometimes due to a healthcare provider’s negligence. Here are some common ways that a negligent doctor might cause a birth injury:

  • Failing to perform a C-section when needed. Many birth injuries can be avoided by using a cesarean delivery when necessary. If the baby is in an atypical position, traveling through the birth canal could cause injury in multiple ways, which we’ll discuss in the next section. A competent OB/GYN should recognize when a C-section is necessary and perform one promptly to reduce the risk to the infant.
  • Misusing tools. Sometimes, if the delivery isn’t progressing as it should, the doctor may use instruments like forceps or vacuum extraction to help complete the process. But if the doctor isn’t careful, these instruments can cause damage, particularly to the baby’s head.
  • Failing to diagnose pregnancy complications. Complications like preeclampsia can often be successfully treated if caught early. However, if your doctor brushed off your symptoms, failed to follow up on tests, or otherwise missed a diagnosis, you might have suffered a severe illness that unnecessarily complicated the birth.
  • Failing to appropriately monitor the mother and baby during delivery. Even if there don’t appear to be any significant complications, healthcare workers have a duty to monitor the mother’s blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the fetal heart rate. If the doctor isn’t paying attention to these vital signs, they could miss a problem that requires rapid intervention, such as a change in the fetal heart rate or other signs of distress.
  • Excessive use of medications to induce labor. In some situations, it is necessary to use drugs to induce labor, but if the doctor uses too much or uses drugs in a situation where they aren’t needed, the medication may increase the risk of fetal distress and hypoxia.

What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

Below are some of the most common birth injuries we see, although this is not an exhaustive list. If your child suffered any kind of injury at birth, we recommend speaking with a Bridgeport personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options.

Shoulder Dystocia and Brachial Palsy

Shoulder dystocia refers to difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder. When it results in damage to the nerves that control the hand and arm, the baby could have trouble moving the arm and even permanent nerve damage in some cases.

If this does occur, an early diagnosis and intervention with physical therapy exercises can help reduce the risk of permanent damage.

Facial Paralysis

This condition is caused by pressure on the baby’s face during delivery and is more common when forceps are used. The pressure can damage facial nerves, leaving the baby with paralysis on one side of the face.

In milder cases, the nerves may heal on their own, and the symptoms will resolve. More severe cases may require surgery, and in some situations, the nerve damage could be permanent.

Other nerves can also be damaged, including the phrenic nerve, which controls bleeding, and the spinal cord, an injury that could potentially cause paralysis.


Sometimes, shoulder dystocia or a breech delivery can be complicated enough to cause a fracture in one or more of the infant’s tiny bones. Most commonly, the collarbone or clavicle is affected.

These usually heal quickly, but the baby may require a splint to restrict movement until the bone is repaired.

Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE

This is caused by any situation that results in a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery. If the brain lacks oxygen for too long, permanent damage may occur, potentially affecting a number of areas of the brain.

HIE is one of the most common causes of Cerebral Palsy, a lifelong condition of impaired motor function, such as difficulties with strength, flexibility, and coordination.

It’s important to understand that the symptoms of hypoxic brain injuries often don’t appear for months or even years after the child’s birth. If your child has recently been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, other neurological difficulties, or developmental delays, and you suspect the diagnosis is related to an issue that occurred at birth, please speak with an attorney right away.

Connecticut law allows you to file a medical malpractice suit within two years of the date of injury or when the damage is discovered but no more than three years after the negligence occurred. Even if it has been less than three years, your lawyer will need time to prepare your case, so we encourage you to seek legal advice right away.

Head and Brain Injuries

Sometimes, new parents notice bruising or scratches on the baby’s head. The use of instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors often causes these, but in most cases, bleeding outside of the skull bones is not serious and will resolve on its own.

However, in some situations, a birth trauma can cause bleeding in the brain and may require prompt treatment.

How to Get Help From a Bridgeport Birth Injury Law Firm

If your child has suffered a birth injury, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free consultation to learn your options. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and outline your options for pursuing compensation.

There are no upfront fees, and if we take your case, you won’t owe us anything until we win or settle it.

Bert McDowell Jr. is an experienced trial attorney who has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured people and their families. The growth of his law practice attracted the attention of 40 Under 40 Connecticut Magazine, where he was featured.

He also became one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 and has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four consecutive years. Mr. McDowell prides himself on community service and serves on multiple nonprofit boards.

In 2017, he received the 100 Men of Color Award for his nonprofit work and stellar legal reputation, and in 2018, he was given the Man of Excellence Award from the organization Black People Rocks. Work with him today by calling (203) 590-9169.