401 W. Georgia Street Suite 905 B
Vancouver, BC V6B 5A1
Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance
The Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance of Canada is a national network of personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers who specialize in supporting families affected by birth injuries. Our members are knowledgeable and caring advocates with access to experts in all aspects of birth injury to advocate for children and families.
Our British Columbia and Yukon Regional Birth Injury Lawyer
Paul McGivern, Q.C. (Pacific Medical Law) is a founding member of the Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance of Canada. Born in Vancouver, Paul has more than 35 years of experience handling medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits. As a former medical malpractice defence counsel for 17 years, Paul understands the strategies that insurance companies often employ — and how to put together a strong case against these tactics.
In 2016, Paul was named Lawyer of the Year for Medical Negligence in Vancouver. This award was given in large part due to his expertise in the complex medical and legal aspects of medical malpractice lawsuits. In addition to his legal practice, Paul has taught civil procedure at the University of British Columbia for 18 years. He is regularly invited to speak at continuing education programs on medical and legal studies.
Paul takes a thoughtful, thorough approach to medical malpractice claims, working to maximize the family’s financial recovery. He is married with 3 daughters.
How We Help
As you welcome a new child into your family, you are likely filled with excitement and hope. When your child suffers a birth injury, your anticipation may quickly turn to despair as you grapple with the uncertainty of the future.
If your child has been injured during the labour and delivery process, or if you have concerns with the medical treatment that you or your baby received, we are here to help. At BILA, our practice is dedicated to helping parents who are going through one of the most uncertain and frightening times of their lives.
When you schedule a consultation with a BILA lawyer, we will provide you with some initial information about how a potential claim is investigated. We will also advise you on the limitation period for your province, which is the amount of time set by law in which you are allowed to file a medical malpractice claim.
It can be difficult to know when you need a birth injury lawyer. Birth injuries are a complex area of medical malpractice law. The basis of these claims is an allegation that an obstetrician, gynecologist, midwife or another medical professional acted negligently during a vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery, by improperly inducing labour, or by violating another standard of care for their profession.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, such as cerebral palsy or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the only way that you will know for certain that a malpractice claim exists is to investigate the facts and the medical-legal issues involved in your pregnancy, labour and delivery, and post-natal care. Starting with a free initial consultation, your birth injury lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.
What Should I Look for in a Birth Injury Lawyer?
When you are seeking a lawyer for your medical malpractice claim, it is important to find one with the skill, experience, and resources to help you achieve a favorable result. A lawyer who belongs to an alliance, such as BILA, is able to share medical and legal research and knowledge with fellow alliance members across Canada while focusing on the specific laws that are applicable in your province.
When Should I Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Each province has a limitation period, which is a period of time where you are allowed to file a lawsuit for a particular type of case. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after the limitations period has ended, then your case will likely be dismissed. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as possible after you discover your child’s birth injury.
British Columbia and Yukon Health Care and Resources
If you are pregnant, have recently delivered, or are dealing with a birth injury diagnosis, these resources may help you get the help that you need.
BC Women’s Hospital and Health Services
4500 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1
Toll-free (BC): 1-888-300-3088
BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1
Phone: (604) 875-2345
Toll-free (BC): 1-888-300-3088
Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children
3644 Slocan Street
Vancouver, BC V5M 3H4
Phone: (604) 453-8300
Perinatal Services in British Columbia
West Tower, Suite 350
555 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 3X7
Northern Health Perinatal Program
Community Contacts Map and Links
Birth Injury Statistics for British Columbia and Canada
Induced labor is often associated with a heightened risk of birth trauma. Labour may be induced for a number of reasons, including if you have gone past your due date or you have a condition that threatens your health or the health of the baby. In British Columbia, 27% of all first-time mothers have their labour induced artificially, in comparison to a rate of 22% for all mothers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that no region should have a rate of induced labour that is higher than 10%.
Approximately 10% of all pregnancies across Canada are considered to be high-risk. High-risk pregnancies include those where the mother and/or baby have a higher chance of developing complications. High-risk pregnancies require specialized medical care, yet most hospitals with specialized prenatal clinics and intensive care units are located in major urban centres in Canada.
1 out of 3 (33%) first-time mothers in British Columbia have their babies delivered via Cesarean section (C-section), which is significantly higher than the rate of 10% recommended by the WHO.
17% of all first-time mothers in British Columbia deliver vaginally with the use of forceps or vacuum. The use of these tools can cause serious trauma to the mothers and is associated with a higher rate of birth injuries.