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What Types of Cases Do Birth Injury Attorneys Typically Handle?

January 5, 2024

Every year in the United States, thousands of families face the challenge of birth injuries, ranging from minor complications to more severe, life-altering conditions. These injuries not only affect the health of the newborn but also bring emotional and financial stress to families. At The Haynes Firm, we understand the complexities and heartache these injuries bring and are dedicated to helping families navigate both the legal and emotional landscapes that follow.

Our Johnson City birth injury attorneys have decades of experience fighting for families impacted by injuries sustained during labor and delivery. With deep roots in the community and a strong track record of success, we are relentless in our pursuit of fair and full compensation for injured babies and the families who love and support them.

If your child was injured during labor or delivery, or suffered harm due to complications that should have been detected before labor, call The Haynes Firm at 423-928-0165 to schedule a FREE and confidential consultation at our Johnson City office right away. Our compassionate birth injury attorneys serve families living in Greenville, Kingsport, Erwin, and all nearby areas of Tennessee.

Birth Injury Cases We Handle

There are several potential causes of birth injuries, each posing its own long-term risks, complications, and consequences. Our attorneys know how to investigate medical malpractice claims—including birth injury—to identify the underlying cause. This enables us to handle a variety of complex cases, including those involving:

Cerebral Palsy

This condition often stems from complications during birth, affecting a child’s motor skills, muscle tone, and movement. It can lead to lifelong challenges in movement and coordination, requiring ongoing therapy and support.

Erb’s Palsy

Caused by nerve damage during birth, this condition results in weakness or paralysis in a child’s arm. It can impact a child’s ability to perform daily tasks and may require surgical intervention or physical therapy for recovery.

Brachial Plexus Injury/Shoulder Dystocia

Similar to Erb’s Palsy, this involves injury to the nerves controlling arm and hand movements. It can result in varying degrees of impairment, from mild weakness to complete paralysis of the affected arm.

Broken Bones

Though sometimes occurring naturally during birth, negligence can also cause broken bones. These can lead to long-term physical problems or developmental issues and may be extremely painful for newborns.

Facial Paralysis

This condition, often caused by pressure during birth, can result in temporary or permanent loss of facial muscle control. Facial paralysis can delay speech, impact nursing abilities, and prevent the non-verbal expression of emotions.


This type of bleeding under a newborn’s scalp, often due to birth trauma, can lead to other complications such as jaundice or infection. In rare cases, both jaundice and infections can be fatal.

Far from a comprehensive list of the types of cases birth injury attorneys handle, these are among the most common. However, our experienced attorneys have assisted families in seeking compensation following every conceivable type of birth injury. We are dedicated to helping your family secure the compensation and support necessary for the long-term well-being of your child.

The High Cost of Birth Injury

The lifetime cost of birth injury can be astronomical. Depending on the type of injury and its lasting impact, these costs can include:

  • Medical and Therapeutic Professionals. This may include pediatricians, neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and more.
  • Special Education and Schooling. Expenses for special education services and accommodations for learning disabilities can quickly add up, particularly when public options are unavailable
  • Assistive Caregiver Costs: Payment for full-time or part-time caregivers to assist with daily living activities averages $27 per hour
  • Respite Care. Costs for temporary care services, which provide primary caregivers with relief, are typically not as high as in-home care, but can easily cost hundreds of dollars per month.

Additional costs associated with caring for children harmed during labor and delivery may include specialized equipment, home modifications, and transportation needs for medical appointments. Income loss for caregivers who reduce work hours or leave jobs and diminished lifetime earning capacity for affected children are also significant factors in determining the life-long costs associated with birth injury.

When your child suffers a birth injury, these costs should not fall on your shoulders. During your complimentary case review with one of our experienced attorneys, we will assess all of the ways your family has and will continue to be impacted to help you determine which costs may be recoverable through legal action.

Damages Your Family May Be Entitled to Following a Birth Injury

In Tennessee, families affected by birth injuries have the right to pursue various types of damages through personal injury claims. These include the cost of:

  • Current and future medical care
  • Caregiver and respite services
  • Special schooling and after-school programs 
  • Home modifications and adaptive technology
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity

Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the birth injury is also possible through legal action. This is a key component of non-economic damages and addresses the intangible impact on your child and family’s quality of life.

While extremely rare, in cases where the negligence of a healthcare provider is found to be egregious or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These are meant to punish the responsible party and deter similar misconduct in the future.

Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Tennessee

Tennessee imposes caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. The standard cap is set at $750,000. However, in cases of catastrophic injury, this cap is raised to $1,000,000. Catastrophic injuries include severe cases like spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis, amputation of limbs, and wrongful death.

Punitive damages are also capped in Tennessee at the greater of either two times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is less​​. However, there are certain exceptions to these caps, such as cases where the defendant had specific intent to inflict serious physical injury, was intoxicated, or committed a felony in causing the injury​​​​.

Do Birth Injury Claims Have an Extended Statute of Limitations in Tennessee?

The standard statute of limitations in medical malpractice claims in Tennessee is one year. This period begins from the date of the injury or the date on which the injury should have reasonably been discovered.

The statute of limitations can be confusing. There are exceptions, extensions, and other factors that may come into play when a child suffers harm. The best way to determine your right to take legal action is through a free and confidential consultation at The Haynes Firm.

Our Johnson City Birth Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

With over 70 years of combined experience, the Johnson City birth injury attorneys at The Haynes Firm have the background, resources, and proven track record you need when dealing with the consequences of medical negligence. We approach each case with care, taking all the time necessary to craft solid, fact-based arguments that lay the case for maximum compensation.

More than experienced and accomplished lawyers, our team is dedicated to helping families find the support they and their children need to live the best life possible following a traumatic birth. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you—FREE of both cost and obligation—to help you understand your rights and options, and determine the best way to seek the compensation your family deserves.

Contact The Haynes Firm for a FREE Case Review

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury, contact The Haynes Firm online or call us right away to schedule your FREE case review. We proudly represent families in Jonesborough, Elizabethton, Unicoi, and all surrounding areas of Tennessee.

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