Giving birth to your child should be one of the most joyful occasions of your life. However, while birth injuries are relatively rare, when they occur, they can cause devastating long-term or permanent problems for your little one. If you find yourself in this position, it is important to get in touch with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to discuss legal action.

Common Birth Injuries

Birth injury covers a wide range of injuries that can occur during or immediately after delivery. They can affect either the mother or the newborn and range from minor injuries like fractures to more severe and permanent disablement. The most common form of birth injury is brain damage which can go on to cause additional health problems, including cerebral palsy or epilepsy. Brain damage usually occurs due to either asphyxiation (lack of oxygen) or hematoma (bleeding in or around the brain). Some other common types of birth injuries include bone fractures, kernicterus resulting from untreated jaundice, and shoulder dystocia, which occurs when the baby's shoulders get lodged behind the pubic bone during delivery prolonging labor and causing trauma to both mother and child. If your child suffers from these or any other injury during delivery due to the negligence of your medical team, a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville can help you to take legal action against them.

Birth injury is almost always a result of medical negligence, and it can impact any mother, but there are some factors that may increase the risk of it happening. For example:

  • Research has shown that birth injury is more prevalent among those living, and birthing, in rural areas.
  • Teenage mothers aged 15-17 are at the highest risk of birth injury during a natural vaginal delivery.
  • Women aged 25 to 34 present the highest risk of birth injury when forceps or vacuum extraction are used.
  • Infants who are above average size, premature, or part of a multiple birth (twins or triplets) have a greater risk of sustaining a birth injury.

How Common is Birth Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of every 1000 babies born in the United States, approximately seven will be affected by some sort of birth injury. The majority of these injuries could likely be prevented with the appropriate care from the medical provider.

  • It is estimated that 1 out of every 1000 live births will result in a bone injury during the delivery. Around 47% of these injuries involve broken collarbones!
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 3 in 10,000 live births in the United States will result in the child dying due to asphyxia.
  • Approximately 12,000 babies develop Erb's Palsy, a condition that limits the use of the arms, shoulders, and hands, as a direct result of a birth injury.
  • When a brain injury occurs at birth, it may lead to Cerebral palsy. The CDC estimates this occurs in 1.5 to 4 children out of every 1000 births in the United States.
  • According to the University of Oxford, 2 out of every 1000 infants suffer from oxygen deprivation at birth.

Mothers Can Suffer Birth Injury

When discussing birth injury, the focus is usually on the infant. Still, mothers may also need the assistance of a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville due to trauma during labor and childbirth. In fact, studies suggest that as many as 1 in 3 women will experience birth trauma, and some believe the figure could actually be as high as 45%. Most of these incidents of birth trauma in mothers could have been avoided. Something we often hear from clients as a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville is that birthing mothers feel that their healthcare providers did not listen to them and did not explain procedures clearly during their labor experience. Over 54% of mothers say that their healthcare providers' lack or loss of control during birth was the primary cause of their trauma. Here are just a few of the shocking statistics that have been gathered from mothers who have experienced birth trauma:

  • The Journal of Affective Disorders states that 4% of births lead to the mother suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • 28% of women who had a hospital birth claim to have been mistreated during their labor and delivery. This is compared to just 5.1% who had a home birth.
  • A startling 55% of birth professionals say they have witnessed a medical provider carry out a medical procedure that the mother stated she did not want!
  • Around 8% of women will experience delayed birth, also known as prolonged labor. This can result in nerve and muscle damage.

Suppose you or your child have experienced an injury as the result of improper or negligent care during labor and delivery. In that case, it is important to speak with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to start the process of filing a lawsuit. This will help you recover some of the costs of ongoing treatment for your injuries.


Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice LawBirth Injury LawTrucking Accident LawPersonal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at or call 865-637-3531.

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