Des Moines Birth Injury Lawyer

The arrival of a new baby is a time filled with hope and joy, but sometimes, unforeseen challenges like birth injuries can cast a shadow on this happy occasion. Birth injuries are deeply distressing events for any family and can result in extensive medical expenses, long-term needs, and other losses that impact a family emotionally and financially. When a birth injury occurs as a result of medical negligence or malpractice, families may be entitled to compensation for the damages they suffered.  

A Des Moines birth injury lawyer from Hope Law is experienced in navigating the complex landscape of birth injury claims, understanding both the profound emotional turmoil and the intricate legal challenges these cases entail.

At the Hope Law Firm, we recognize that each family's story is unique. Yet, all share a common thread: the quest for answers, accountability, and assurance that future families might be spared similar hardships. 

Our attorneys, well-versed in the nuances of medical malpractice law, are here to guide you through each step of this challenging journey. With a combination of legal and medical knowledge, and an unwavering dedication to our clients, we aim to restore hope and secure the compensation necessary to support your child's needs today and in the future.

If your family is grappling with the aftermath of a birth injury, trust in the Hope Law Firm to stand with you, fight for you, and help you navigate the path to justice and healing.

Why Choose Hope Law Firm for Your Des Moines Birth Injury Case?

A concerned pregnant woman, showing signs of depression, seeks medical assistance at a hospital clinic.

At Hope Law Firm, we understand the delicate nature of birth injury cases and the profound impact they have on families. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Des Moines brings an impressive background with over 125 years of combined litigation experience, demonstrating a deep commitment to justice and client advocacy.

We have conducted over 100 bench and jury trials in State and Federal Courts across Iowa. Our involvement in over 1,000 mediations and alternate dispute resolutions highlights our versatility and dedication to finding the best outcomes for our clients. With over 5,000 clients represented across Iowa and tens of millions of dollars recovered for injured Iowans year after year, our track record speaks for itself.

What is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury refers to any harm or injury that an infant sustains during the birthing process. These injuries can range from mild, requiring little to no intervention, to severe, leading to long-term health issues or disabilities. Birth injuries can occur for various reasons, including complications during labor and delivery, the use of medical devices like forceps or vacuum extractors, or a delay in performing a necessary cesarean section (C-section). 

It's important to differentiate between birth injuries and birth defects. Birth defects are structural or functional anomalies present at birth that can result from genetic factors, environmental exposure, or unknown causes, and they are not caused by the birthing process itself.

When a birth injury is suspected to be the result of medical negligence or malpractice—such as improper use of birthing tools, failure to monitor the baby's vital signs accurately, or failure to address complications—a birth injury lawyer can help families understand their legal rights and pursue compensation to cover medical expenses, ongoing care needs, and other dam.

Types of Birth Injuries

Common birth injuries can vary in severity from minor, easily treatable conditions to more severe injuries that may require lifelong medical care and support. Here are some of the more frequently encountered birth injuries:

  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These injuries involve damage to the brachial plexus, the network of nerves that controls movement and sensation in the arms and hands. Erb's palsy is a common condition resulting from this type of injury, characterized by weakness or paralysis of the arm.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often before, during, or shortly after birth. Symptoms include muscle weakness, poor coordination, and tremors, among others, and can vary widely in severity.
  • Fractures: The clavicle (collarbone) is the most commonly fractured bone during the birth process. These fractures usually heal quickly but can cause discomfort to the newborn.
  • Perinatal Asphyxia: This condition occurs when the baby does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or immediately after birth, leading to potential brain damage and other organ dysfunction.
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage: This occurs when there is bleeding under the skull but outside the brain, such as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, or within the brain tissue itself. It can result from trauma during delivery or other factors.
  • Facial Paralysis: Pressure on the baby's face during delivery or the use of forceps can cause nerve damage that leads to temporary or permanent facial paralysis.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Though rare, these injuries can occur during difficult deliveries and may result in paralysis and other severe complications.

It's important to note that not all birth injuries are due to medical malpractice. Some occur despite appropriate care and precaution. However, if parents believe a birth injury was caused by negligence or substandard care, consulting with a birth injury lawyer can help clarify the circumstances and whether there is a potential claim.

Compensation Available in a Des Moines Birth Injury Claim

Katie M. Naset, Personal injury attorney

Families who successfully pursue a birth injury claim may be eligible for various types of compensation. These compensatory damages are intended to cover both economic and non-economic losses related to the injury. 

Eachpersonal injury case is unique, and the types and amounts of compensation will vary depending on the specifics of the injury and the impact it has on the child's and family's life. Here's an overview of what compensation might be available in a Des Moines birth injury claim:

Medical Expenses

This includes costs for immediate medical care following the injury, as well as ongoing and future medical expenses. It can cover surgeries, medication, physical therapy, specialized equipment, and any other healthcare services the child may need throughout their life due to the injury.

Rehabilitation Costs

Expenses related to physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation that help the child achieve the best possible recovery and quality of life.

Special Education Needs

If the child requires special educational services or accommodations due to learning disabilities or developmental delays caused by the birth injury, these costs can also be claimed.

Home Modification Costs

Hope Law Firm - Personal injury lawyers

If the injury necessitates modifications to the family home, such as wheelchair ramps, special beds, or other adjustments to accommodate the child's needs, these expenses may be compensated.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage meant to compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered by the child and, by extension, their family. This can include compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life and any physical and emotional trauma associated with the injury.

Loss of Earning Capacity

For more severe injuries that affect the child's ability to earn a living in the future, compensation can include an estimate of the loss of future earnings or earning capacity.

Parental Lost Income

Parents who take time off work or quit their jobs to care for their injured child can seek compensation for lost wages and benefits.

Do I Have a Birth Injury Claim?


To have a successful birth injury claim, you'll need to establish several key elements that demonstrate negligence or malpractice on the part of the healthcare providers involved in the delivery and care of your child. Here are the main components you must prove:

  1. Duty of Care: You must show that there was a professional relationship between you (and your child) and the healthcare provider, thereby establishing that the provider owed you a duty of care. In the context of childbirth, this is typically straightforward, as doctors, nurses, and other medical staff involved in the delivery process inherently owe their patients a standard of care.
  1. Breach of Standard of Care: The standard of care is defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under similar circumstances. You need to prove that the care provided to you and your child fell below this standard. This often involves expert testimony from medical professionals who can attest to what the standard of care should have been and how the defendants failed to meet it.
  1. Causation: Demonstrating causation is critical. You must prove that the breach of the standard of care directly caused the birth injury. This means showing a direct link between the healthcare provider's actions (or lack thereof) and the injury sustained by your child. It's not enough to show that the provider was negligent; you must also show that this negligence was the cause of the injury.
  1. Damages: Finally, you must prove that the injury resulted in damages. This includes physical harm to the child, which can be shown through medical records, diagnoses, and expert testimony about the child's condition and future prognosis. Damages can also include financial costs (such as medical bills and future care needs) and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Proving these elements in a birth injury case can be complex and requires a nuanced understanding of both medical and legal issues. It often involves gathering extensive medical records, securing expert witnesses in medical fields relevant to the injury, and meticulously building a case that clearly establishes each of these elements. 

Due to the complexities involved, working with an experienced birth injury lawyer who can navigate these challenges and advocate on your behalf is crucial for a successful claim.

What is the Deadline for Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

In Iowa, the statute of limitations for filing a birth injury lawsuit generally requires that the legal action be initiated within two years of the date the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered, but this rule comes with notable exceptions, especially for minors.

2019-personal injury

For minors (children under the age of 18), Iowa law typically allows until the child's 19th birthday to file a lawsuit related to birth injuries. This is an extension meant to ensure that children and their families have sufficient time to recognize and understand the extent of the injury and its implications, which might not be immediately apparent, especially in cases of developmental delays or similar conditions. 

However, medical malpractice claims, including birth injury lawsuits, also have an overarching "statute of repose," which limits the time frame within which any lawsuit must be filed, regardless of when the injury was discovered. In Iowa, this period is generally six years from the date the act causing the injury occurred. This means that, even with the extension for minors, there could be cases where the statute of repose could potentially limit the ability to file a claim.

Given the complexity of these laws and the possibility of exceptions or changes in legislation, it's essential to consult with a legal professional who handles medical malpractice or birth injury cases in Iowa. An experienced attorney can provide guidance specific to your situation, including an accurate assessment of the applicable statute of limitations and any steps you need to take to preserve your right to file a lawsuit.

Contact the Des Moines Birth Injury Lawyers at Hope Law Firm Today

Andrew L. Hope, Personal Injury Lawyer
Andrew L. Hope, Birth Injury Lawyer in Des Moines

Dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury can be an incredibly challenging and emotional journey for any family. Understanding your rights toward seeking justice and compensation is crucial. At the Hope Law Firm, we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way, providing the expertise, support, and compassion you need during this difficult time.

Our team of experienced Des Moines birth injury lawyers is ready to delve into your case, offering a comprehensive evaluation and guiding you through the complexities of the legal process. We are dedicated to advocating for the rights of your family and your child, aiming to secure the compensation you deserve to support your child’s health, development, and future.
If you believe your child's birth injury was due to medical negligence, do not hesitate to reach out. Contact us at (712) 424-4673 or through our online form for your free consultation and to discuss your options for financial recovery. Let us help you take the first step towards healing and justice. Together, we can work towards a brighter future for your child and your family.

Hope Law Firm - Des Moines Office

Address: 666 Walnut St Suite 2220
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (712) 424-4673