Birth Injury Lawyers – Labor and Delivery Complications

Labor and delivery complications, which refer to any problems that arise during childbirth, are extremely dangerous for both the mother and her child. When medical professionals needlessly endanger the health of mother and baby and a preventable injury occurs, those responsible for the care are responsible for medical negligence. Every professional involved in the labor and delivery process must adhere to the accepted standard of care.

During labor, an obstetrician relies, in part, on obstetrical nurses to monitor and evaluate the mother’s vital signs, the progress of labor, and the fetal heart rate. Obstetrical nurses are responsible for advising the obstetrician when his or her services are needed in the delivery room. When a nurse does not recognize the signs of fetal distress, or an obstetrician fails to respond in a timely and appropriate manner, serious complications can occur. At times, the hospital where a child is born may be responsible for birth injuries. Inadequate policies, faulty equipment, or poor training of medical personnel can all result in serious birth injuries.

The trusted labor and delivery lawyers at Shebell & Shebell possess comprehensive knowledge of the medical and legal aspects of birth injury cases. We are committed to putting our knowledge to work for our clients, and helping them recover the monetary compensation they need to try to make up for for the child’s injuries.


Avoidable Birth Injuries

Labor and delivery rooms are often chaotic. Doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides, residents and medical students are constantly coming and going throughout the birthing process. Due to the length of time it can takes to deliver a baby (often several hours), it is likely that there will also be shift changes, increasing the risk of miscommunication. Some of the most common mistakes that occur during labor and delivery include:

  • Mismanagement of Group B Strep (GBS is a bacteria that poses no harm to adults, but when transferred to a newborn during delivery, poses a risk of serious harm because a baby may not have the antibodies to fend off the infection. Potentially deadly conditions such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, blindness and meningitis can result)
  • Neonatal resuscitation errors
  • Complications with a V-BAC (vaginal birth after C-Section) delivery
  • Delayed emergency C-Section
  • Fetal monitoring errors (including decreased oxygen to the baby, a twisted or damaged umbilical cord, breech or transverse presentation, and bleeding inside the baby’s brain)
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta previa
  • Uterine rupture
  • A midwife’s failure to refer a patient to a hospital
  • Failure to contact a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in high-risk pregnancies
  • Traumatic birth injury (A prolonged or difficult labor may result in significant injury to a baby, often to the baby’s head. In many cases, this is preventable. An obstetrician should perform diagnostic tests to identify risk factors, health problems or complications that require treatment or a planned C-section)
  • Assisted delivery complications (Including forceps injuries and vacuum extractor injuries)
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion injuries (When a woman’s pelvis is too small to accommodate the baby’s head during delivery, many problems can result including obstructed labor, which endangers the life of both the mother and the child)
  • Fetal macrosomia (a significantly larger than average newborn)
  • Intracranial hemorrhages
  • Medicine Errors (Cyotec and Pitocin are commonly used to aid in the induction and progression of labor. Hurried doctors may unnecessarily prescribe these medications to speed labor. Recent studies show that their use can be dangerous, causing uterine rupture, uterine hyperstimulation, hemorrhages, and lacerations)


Many serious and lasting injuries can result from these acts of medical negligence. Common labor and delivery injuries can include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Brachial Plexus Palsy (An injury to a group of nerves called the brachial plexus, which connects the arms to the spinal cord. This disorder is also referred to as Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy. Sufferers exhibit paralysis in the shoulders and arms)
  • Perinatal asphyxia
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Hypoxic brain damage


Monetary Compensation for Delivery Room Errors

The effects of a birth injury are often permanent, resulting in brain damage and lifelong physical disabilities. At Shebell & Shebell, we work tirelessly to obtain complete and full compensation for our clients so that they can care for their injured children. We work with obstetricians, neonatologists, nurses, neuro radiologists, forensic accountants, and life care planners to attempt to determine the cost of caring for a birth injury over a child’s lifetime. We consider costs for future surgeries, medical supplies and equipment, in-home nursing care, physical therapy, and pain and suffering. We also assist our clients with establishing special needs trusts to provide for a child’s care. The birth injury lawyers at Shebell & Shebell are some of the most experienced and respected litigators in New Jersey. To discuss your case, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.


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Thomas Shebell was an A M A Z I N G attorney for our personal injury case. He made himself available to all our questions and concerns during the whole process. We were very nervous about it all and he set our fears to rest. You instantly believe in him after your first meeting. He was serious yet empathetic, had superb legal knowledge, and great judgement. His staff is also top notch. Words cannot describe how wonderful a lawyer we believe Thomas Shebell to be and would highly recommend him.
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Tom Shebell has represented me and my family members in several cases. Tom is the most prepared lawyer I have ever seen, and demands respect in and outside of the court room. His staff is amazing and never makes you feel as if you are bothering them. I always feel that I am his most important client, and he always takes my call. If he is busy, I am reassured that he will get right back to me and he does. His knowledge of the law and research on your case is impecable, and will never give up until he gets the results that he feels are the best for you. Although he is the most professional attorney I have ever worked with, he refers you call him Tom (not Mr. Shebell), and I am most comfortable calling him Tommy. His cell phone is on his answering service, to comfort you and assuring you that you can reach him if necessary, no matter what. I will never retain another lawyer, unless it is a case that he cannot handle. That has never happened to me. Unfortunately, Tommy is handling a very emotional case for my family, and whenever we discuss it our meet together he is very comforting to us. For a family man, and extremely busy attorney to handle matters like this, it truly takes a special type of person, and extraordiinary human being. If anyone take my advise, Tom Shebell, III is the only attorney that should be called first, and believe me you will not make another call. As I said in my title, he is my true "hero"!
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Thomas Shebell and his staff were very good to work with. They were always professional, but also very down to earth and real. I always felt that my best interest was their main concern. I was always able to call with questions and concerns and was never made to wait or to feel like I was inconveniencing anyone. I always felt that they knew instantly who I was and what was going on with my case. In the end, Thomas was able to get the best possible settlement for me. I am very grateful to have been treated like my case truly mattered to them.
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Tom Shebell and his firm came highly recommended by several reputable people in the community. I come from a family deeply rooted in law enforcement, so I greatly appreciate that Tom grew up with the law as well, hailing from a family of highly respected attorneys. He easily grasped the complexity of my case and eased my concerns, while ferociously fighting for me. One of the moments that stands out to me the most was when I voiced a concern over possible retaliation and he said, "they're going to have come through me first." I wholeheartedly believed him then and now. There is no one else I'd want in my corner than Tom Shebell.
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Mere words cannot express my gratitude to Thomas F Shebell III. He took on a case, that other attorneys would shy away from and fought vehemently for my husband, myself and our daughter. His tenacity is only surpassed by his kindness and compassion for his clients well-being. I would recommend Mr. Shebell III to anyone who may need an attorney to guide them through a difficult time and see them through to a successful end. Many thanks again to him and his staff!!