Can You Sue A Hospital For A Traumatic Birth?

A newborn at a hospital.

Bringing a new life into the world should be a joyous and celebratory event. Unfortunately, complications can arise during childbirth that may lead to traumatic experiences for the mother and child. According to the cerebral palsy guide, three babies are born with birth injuries every hour. 

In such cases, families often wonder if they have any legal recourse against the hospital responsible for their care. Join us as we explore the circumstances when one may potentially sue a hospital for traumatic births.

Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our traumatic birth attorneys today. 

What is considered a traumatic birth injury?

A traumatic birth injury refers to an experience during labor and delivery that involves unexpected, distressing, or life-threatening events for the mother and infant, such as:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fetal distress
  • Failed interventions
  • Untreated infections
  • Delayed emergency care
  • Incorrect administration of medication or anesthesia
  • Negligent actions by healthcare providers

What is maternity negligence?

Birth-related medical malpractice, or maternity negligence, occurs when healthcare providers fail to meet the accepted standard of care during prenatal, labor, and postpartum care. It refers to negligent actions or omissions that result in harm to the mother or baby. 

What types of traumatic birth injuries can occur due to negligence?

Different types of traumatic birth injuries from negligence during childbirth include:

  • Cerebral palsy: Damage to the brain that affects motor skills and movement control
  • Erb’s palsy: Injury to the brachial plexus nerves, causing weakness or paralysis in the arm
  • Shoulder dystocia: Difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulders, potentially causing nerve damage or fractures
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): Oxygen deprivation leading to brain damage and potential long-term disabilities
  • Brain bleeds: Intracranial hemorrhages that can cause brain injury
  • Facial nerve palsy: Temporary or permanent facial muscle paralysis from pressure on facial nerves during delivery
  • Fractures and spinal cord injuries: Excessive force is applied during birth, causing these injuries

How can I claim a traumatic birth injury in Colorado?

In Colorado, if you believe that you have experienced a traumatic birth due to negligence or medical malpractice, there are specific steps to file a claim as follows:

  • Consultation: Seek legal advice from an experienced traumatic birth attorney in Colorado specializing in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. They will evaluate your situation and determine the viability of your claim.
  • Investigation: Your attorney will conduct thorough investigations to collect relevant medical records, consult with experts, and gather evidence linking the traumatic birth to the negligent healthcare professionals involved
  • Notice of intent: Colorado law requires sending a “Notice of Intent” letter informing potential defendants about your intent to sue them for medical malpractice before filing a lawsuit. This allows them to reach a traumatic birth injury settlement before proceeding with litigation.
  • Lawsuit initiation: If no settlement is reached during negotiations, your traumatic birth attorney can initiate a lawsuit by filing all necessary documents in court
  • Discovery phase and trial: During this phase, both parties exchange information through depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents or expert witness testimony if required. If no settlement resolution is achieved during pretrial processes, the case proceeds to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

Engaging experienced traumatic birth lawyers in Colorado who are familiar with birth injury claims early on ensures you receive proper guidance and increases your chances of a successful claim.

How much compensation do you get for birth trauma in Colorado?

Determining the average traumatic birth injury settlement amount can be complex and varies greatly depending on several factors, including the specific circumstances of the case and the extent of the injuries caused by medical negligence. Compensation for birth trauma typically covers damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses: This includes current and future costs associated with medical treatment, hospital stays, therapy sessions, medications, assistive devices, and any other necessary healthcare expenses related to the birth injury
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation may be awarded for physical pain endured by both mother and child during childbirth or as a result of long-term disability
  • Emotional distress: Birth trauma can have profound psychological impacts on both parents and children. Compensation may be provided for emotional distress, mental anguish, PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders.
  • Loss of income/earning capacity: If either parent is unable to work or has diminished earning capacity due to caring for an injured child or from significant injury during childbirth
  • Long-term care costs: A child requires ongoing medical care or assistance throughout their life due to birth injuries resulting from negligence

What is the maximum amount of compensation one could receive?

Colorado places a cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) of $300,000 for traumatic birth injuries. However, there are no caps on economic damages (lost wages, long-term care, and medical expenses).   

What is the statute of limitations for filing a traumatic birth lawsuit in Colorado?

In Colorado, the statute of limitations for filing a traumatic birth lawsuit is generally two years. However, some exceptions and variations may affect this time limit. For instance, children who experience birth trauma may have more time to file a claim. 

Can parents and their children file separate lawsuits in Colorado?

Yes, in Colorado, each party has the right to pursue legal action independently based on their own damages and injuries caused by medical negligence.

Get caring and compassionate help filing a traumatic birth claim today

A gavel sitting on a traumatic birth injury lawyer's desk.

If you or your child have experienced a traumatic birth due to medical negligence, don’t face the legal complexities alone. Turn to Bachus & Schanker’s Elite Litigation Group for caring and compassionate help. Let us guide you through this challenging process while our experienced attorneys fight tirelessly to seek the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Colorado traumatic birth lawyers today for a free, confidential consultation.


Birth Injury Statistics. (2023).

CRS 13-64-302. (2023).

CRS 13-80-102.5. (2023).