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Some say there is no greater joy in the world than becoming a parent. After nine months of excitement and emotion, all you could want as a soon-to-be parent is a healthy and safe delivery. However, what happens when someone else’s negligence leads to your precious baby having a birth injury?

The last thing you’ll want to worry about is having to seek justice for your innocent newborn because of someone else’s carelessness. We are here to help. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re expecting.

Truth in numbers

While you may think a birth injury is unlikely to happen to you, let’s look at the alarming statistics.

  • Approximately 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury every year
  • That is 1 in every 9,714 births
  • 76 babies per day are born with some form of a birth injury
  • Over 150,000 birth injuries occurred between mothers and babies during childbirth in 2006 (all avoidable)
baby holding finger birth injury

So, what can you do to best protect yourself and your unborn child? First, make sure you trust your OBGYN and their staff. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or as if they are not taking your health seriously, it may be time to find a new doctor.

Birth injuries occur more often in tool-assisted births. This means the use of forceps or a ventouse (vacuum). Although safe births can happen with the use of these instruments, it is vital to discuss with your doctor why/if these are necessary for your delivery.

Birth injuries or birth defects?

Sometimes, it can be hard to determine whether or not the issue is a birth injury or a birth defect. And while birth injuries can sometimes happen despite all the proper steps taken, it is vital to make sure you have all the information.

Lack of oxygen during birth can lead to conditions like cerebral palsy. However, it can also be the result of a birth defect. A birth defect is something that cannot be avoided, and is not the result of a doctor’s negligence.

Who is liable?

You might be wondering who is responsible for an injury inflicted during birth. Anyone whose care you are under, whether that be a nurse, OBGYN, family doctor, or other hospital staff can be held liable. The hospital as a whole can also be liable for its employees’ actions.

When the day your baby arrives finally comes, make sure you feel comfortable and safe with your delivery team. And, if at any moment, you think you are being given the less-than-standard care that you deserve, it might be time to seek legal consultation. We can help.


Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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