Can I Sue Over My Baby’s Birth Injury in Wisconsin?


No one expects their baby to be injured during birth, but it happens all too often. Sadly, the cause of many birth injuries is medical negligence. This can result in anything from scalp lacerations to bone fractures to fetal asphyxia. While some of these conditions are temporary, others will lead to a lifetime of expenses.

When a newborn is injured at birth, parents may want to pursue a lawsuit so the at-fault party will cover the cost of their child’s care. You can file a birth injury lawsuit in Wisconsin if the following conditions are met:

  • You and your attorneys can prove that a medical professional or institution was negligent
  • You and your lawyers can prove that this negligence caused the birth injury
  • You file a lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations

If you’re wondering if you have a case, keep reading to learn more about the types of birth injuries and your rights under the laws in Wisconsin.

Statute of Limitations in Wisconsin

In this state, minor plaintiffs are able to file birth injury lawsuits within ten years of the date of their injury. Parents may file claims within three years of the injury. Wrongful death claims may also be filed within three years of the injury. If you file after these deadlines have passed, your case may be dismissed.

Anyone who had custody of the injured child during the statute of limitations period can file a lawsuit. If you are the parent or other caregiver or a child who is suffering due to a preventable medical mistake, the sooner you file a lawsuit, the better your chances will be of recovering the largest possible amount of compensation.

Disorders Caused by Birth Injuries

There are many different types of disorders that can be the result of a birth injury. The following are some of the most common disorders that parents are filing lawsuits over.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) can cause a child to require lifelong care, and it is often the result of oxygen deprivation or missed diagnoses. According to Wisconsin Cerebral Palsy Lawyer, there are several types of CP a baby can get from a birth injury, depending on the severity of their brain injury. Nearly 80% are cases of spastic cerebral palsy.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy happens when a baby’s shoulder is stretched abnormally away from its neck, causing nerve damage. It is often caused by cephalo-pelvic disproportion, which should have been discovered prior to delivery. The impairments from Erb’s palsy may resolve on their own with little treatment. However, some children will never regain the use of the affected arm.

Wrongful Death

When a preventable birth injury is fatal, many parents choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The most common causes of the wrongful death of a newborn include the blood supply being cut off or oxygen deprivation. Some wrongful death causes the baby to die after birth. However, others will be stillborn.

According to the 1969 case Kwaterski v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in cases where unborn children were fatally injured after they’ve passed the point of viability. If your baby was stillborn and you believe a doctor or medical institution was at fault, you may have a case.

How to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit

Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. During your first contact with a lawyer, they will review the facts of your case and tell you whether or not it is in your child’s best interest to pursue it. If you decide to file, your attorney will make sure the proper paperwork is filed with the court.

Before you take the case before a judge and jury, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate directly with the defendants’ insurance. Many cases are able to be resolved without a court appearance. The stronger your evidence is, the more likely it is that you will be able to receive a settlement that is fair and adequate.

If you’re the parent of an injured baby or child in Wisconsin, it is worth pursuing any avenue that is available so you can begin early intervention services and cover their cost. If someone caused your baby’s condition, a lawsuit may be able to hold them accountable.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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