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Understanding birth injury medical malpractice claims

At the Law Office of Robert A. Miller in Oregon, we know how devastating a birth injury can be, not only for the new baby himself or herself, but also for the parents. If your child suffered a birth injury during delivery, what you may not know is that you have the right to sue the physician whose negligence caused the birth injury. In addition, you also have the right to sue the hospital who employed him or her.

As FindLaw explains, Oregon law mandates that you file your medical malpractice suit within two years of the date on which the birth injury occurred.

Medical negligence

In a medical malpractice suit you must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant physician failed to act according to the standard of care imposed on him or her by the medical profession. To prove this, you likely will need to obtain the services of an expert witness. This witness must be a physician “similarly situated” to the defendant doctor, meaning that (s)he must have the same kind of medical education and training and practice the same kind of medicine in the same kind of circumstances. Through the testimony of this expert witness, you establish the standard of care that the defendant physician should have provided, but did not.


While no amount of money can make up for the birth injury to your child, nevertheless money damages are the only remedy available in a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can recover two types of damages: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages consist of the financial burden you have suffered and will suffer in the future as a result of your baby’s birth injury. Typical economic damages consist of the following:

  • The cost of your child’s current medical treatment
  • The cost of his or her time spent in the neonatal intensive care unit
  • The cost of any surgery (s)he received
  • The cost of his or her medications
  • The estimated cost of his or her future medical and/or rehabilitative care

Your noneconomic damages are those on which no one can place an actual dollar amount, such as his or her pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, etc.

Oregon places no upper limit on the amount of either economic or noneconomic damages a jury can award you. For additional information, please visit this page of our website.