Head Injury at Birth

How Can a Baby Receive a Head Injury at Birth?

Traumatic brain and head injuries (including damage to the skull, scalp, and other parts of the head) are the most common types of birth injury.  Typically, these injuries are either caused by trauma to a baby’s brain or skull, or by a lack of oxygen flow to the brain immediately before, during, or shortly after birth.

Tragically, many head and brain injuries are preventable, particularly those caused by negligent medical care.  The injuries resulting from medical negligence can have devastating results (including brain damage and related conditions such as cerebral palsy), which affect motor skills, learning, and many other cognitive functions (including severe mental retardation and conditions such as blindness).

Recovering Compensation

As Michigan birth injury lawyers, we have been representing infants injured through preventable birth injury – including the victims of traumatic brain and head injuries – for over two decades.  We use our substantial experience with birth injuries to seek the maximum compensation possible so that injured and disabled children and families can move forward.

We know that a birth injury case can be stressful and emotionally taxing for most families.   We provide compassionate representation and strive to lessen the burden by seeking to hold accountable those responsible for causing injury, and fighting for the maximum compensation for past and future medical care and other damages.  Call today to schedule a FREE consultation.

There is no fee for our services unless compensation is recovered!

How Are Infant Head Injuries Caused?

Head injuries are the most common type of birth injury, and a primary cause of infant mortality and permanent physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy.  Infant brain and head injuries typically result from:

  • Congenital disabilities and defects (naturally occurring conditions),
  • External trauma to the head during delivery (often caused by negligent medical providers), and
  • Oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or childbirth (often the result of medical negligence).

While congenital disabilities and defects are unavoidable, external trauma and (in some cases) oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or childbirth may be the direct result of medical negligence and malpractice.  If medical malpractice or negligence is suspected, we retain physicians, who are also supported by our staff nurses, to carefully review all records relating to a birth to determine if it appears that medical malpractice did, in fact, occur.

When medical malpractice occurs, those who are injured are legally entitled to full compensation for all resulting injuries and damages.  This compensation includes not only present damages – including pain, suffering, medical bills, and other damages – but also compensation that may be required for a lifetime of care, lost earning capacity, and other damages.

We are committed to holding negligent healthcare professionals and others who may be liable (including hospitals and clinics) for every penny owed to our clients.  This is the only way that families can get a partial measure of justice.

What Types of Head Injuries Occur During Birth?

The following are the most common birth-related head injuries:

  • Brain Swelling
  • Bruising of the Scalp (can be caused by incorrect use of forceps, vacuum extractors, or monitor leads)
  • Scalp Lacerations
  • Bleeding Outside of the Skull
  • Cephalhematoma (blood accumulation below the periosteum)
  • Subgaleal Hemorrhage (blood accumulation under the scalp)
  • Skull Fractures
  • Oxygen Deprivation
  • Cerebral Palsy

How Can I Tell If My Child Suffered Brain Damage at Birth?

It can be challenging to determine if a newborn has sustained brain damage, as injuries can be internal, and warning signs may be subtle or mimic typical newborn mannerisms.  However, some physical symptoms are readily observable in infants, making it easier to detect a potential head injury, including:

  • Seizures
  • Abnormally large forehead
  • Distorted facial features
  • Twisted spine
  • Undersized head
  • Neck stiffness
  • Inability to focus or move eyes
  • Abnormal temperature
  • Inability to sleep lying down
  • Intense crying
  • Feeding difficulties

In many cases, head injuries can go unnoticed for many months, or even years.  If a child is over the age of six months, the following may be symptoms of brain trauma:

  • Inability to roll over by nine months of age
  • Inability to sit up without assistance
  • Trouble closing hands or bringing hands to the face
  • Involuntary spasms or movements
  • Abnormal posture
  • Consistent failure to meet developmental milestones

If a child displays any of these signs and symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional who can determine whether a permanent brain injury has occurred.

If you suspect that your child sustained a head or brain injury due to medical malpractice associated with birth, or if your physician failed to diagnose a head injury and your baby’s condition worsened, we would like to speak with you.  We can evaluate the facts of your case, use our on-staff nurses and retain physicians to review medical records to determine if it is likely that medical malpractice occurred. If medical malpractice is suspected, assist in determining all at-fault parties, and explain your options for seeking compensation.

Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Doctor for Injuring My Baby’s Head or Brain?


Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a duty to provide an adequate standard of professional medical care before, during, and after the birth process, to both newborns and mothers.  When they are negligent and administer suboptimal treatment, they breach this duty and can be held liable for any resulting harm.  Head and brain injury lawsuits based on medical malpractice can be brought against all those who are believed to be negligent, including physicians, nurses, other staff, and hospitals and medical facilities.

Call to Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Berkley Birth Injury Lawyers

When medical malpractice results in a birth injury, families should not have to pay for lifelong treatment for a disabled child; instead, physicians, nurses, hospitals, or other medical personnel should be financially responsible for the damage caused.

At Olsman MacKenzie Peacock & Wallace, we have helped victims of birth injuries for over two decades, and our attorneys have secured millions in compensation for families caring for infants suffering from traumatic brain injuries.  If your child sustained a debilitating injury because of negligent medical care, we can investigate every aspect of your case and tenaciously fight to get you the justice and monetary compensation your child rightfully deserves.  Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to get started.

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