Advocating for the most vulnerable members of our community

Families spend months, or even years, planning for the arrival of a new baby. Mothers take extra precautions to care for themselves and meet with their doctors, to ensure the baby’s well-being throughout the pregnancy. These efforts are made in preparation for a safe and healthy delivery, but medical negligence can result in lifelong injuries to the mother and child.

For more than 35 years, Larson Law Firm P. C. has provided strong legal advice and representation to families whose babies have experienced serious injuries during the birthing process. Our dedicated North Dakota birth injury lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights of injured babies and their families.

What is a birth injury?

There is a difference between a birth injury and a birth defect. Birth defects are often inherited, and usually congenital, which means they have occurred before or at birth. A condition like Down syndrome, which is a chromosomal disorder, is considered a congenital birth defect: there was nothing that you or a doctor could do to prevent your baby’s genes from developing the way they did. Spina bifida, a defect that keeps the spinal cord from developing properly, is another common birth defect.

A birth injury, however, is one that occurs before or at birth that could have, and should have, been prevented. Sometimes, there are conditions or circumstances which will make a pregnancy or delivery high-risk. Among the most common birth injuries are:

  • Forceps injuries
  • Skull fractures
  • Hypoxia
  • Oxygen deprivation caused by nuchal cord trauma
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Infections or internal bleeding
  • Fetal deaths

According to the Leapfrog Group, Trinity Hospital ranks poorly for high-risk deliveries.

Many times, families whose children have birth defects feel as though they could have done something to prevent the defect. We want you to know that birth defects are not your fault. In many circumstances, the defect if beyond your control, or anyone else’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers suggestions for reducing the risk of a birth defect, but fully acknowledges that not all birth defects are preventable.

Is cerebral palsy a birth defect or a birth injury?

Cerebral palsy (CP) can be the result of either a congenital birth defect or a preventable birth trauma. The underlying causes of congenital CP, however, are largely unknown. Some of the more common medical mistakes leading to cerebral palsy include:

  • Failure to diagnose or treat infections
  • Failure to diagnose or treat jaundice and kernicterus
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Damage to the umbilical cord
  • Failure to treat a mother’s thyroid problems, diabetes, or hypertension

When medical negligence leads to CP, you may be able to make a claim for compensation for your child, to ensure that he or she will have the security and care he or she needs for a lifetime of challenges.

What are the preventable causes of birth injuries?

Although they are all highly trained, even doctors, nurses, midwives, EMTs and hospital staff can make careless mistakes that lead to birth injury. Numerous types of medical negligence can cause injury during the birthing process, including:

  • The failure to diagnose a condition during pregnancy
  • An inadequate response to complications arising during childbirth
  • Failure to adequately monitor the mother or baby’s vital signs
  • A delayed C-Section
  • Improper delivery methods

We know that even a momentary lapse in attention can result in brain damage or spinal cord injury, leading to paralysis for the rest of a child’s life. By making it a point to get to know the child and family, and how a birth injury has turned their lives upside down, we present a powerful case that demonstrates the profound impact the birth injury has on their lives.

Do birth injuries also involve injuries to the mother?

Yes, they can. Typically, birth injuries refer to the newborn injured in the birth process. However, the mother can also suffer serious injuries during labor and childbirth due to medical negligence, including:

  • Fractured tailbone or separated pubic symphysis
  • Post-partum bleeding and hemorrhaging
  • Post-partum stress disorder
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Vaginal tearing and b