Purdy’s Wharf, Tower I
1959 Upper Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
BILA – General Information
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.
Atlantic Canada Birth Injury Lawyer
John McKiggan, Q.C., is a founding member of the Birth Injury Lawyers Alliance of Canada (BILA), and a partner at McKiggan Hebert Lawyers. A graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax, John has significant experience representing victims in medical malpractice cases, including families whose child has suffered a birth injury. He has achieved some of the highest reported settlements in birth injury cases in Atlantic Canada. He has received national recognition in the field of medical malpractice and has authored two books: The Consumer’s Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada and Brain Matter: The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, John contributes to the Brain Injury Association of Canada. He also educates kids and teens about safe driving practices.
How We Help
When new parents learn that their baby has suffered a birth injury, or discover later that their child was injured at birth, they are rightfully devastated. What should have been one of the happiest times in their lives may quickly turn to despair. In these situations, BILA will stand by your side, advocating for the help you and your child needs, getting answers and providing peace of mind to distressed parents.
We will work with you to determine what happened, examining medical records and consulting with medical experts. If we believe that your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, we will work to get you and your child the compensation that you both deserve and need. We understand many birth injuries require long-term care and treatment, so we make sure that any demand for compensation takes into account what the future holds for you and your child.
While birth injuries can occur without any type of negligence, when an infant is injured because of something a medical professional did or failed to do, it is considered medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury claim, and birth injury lawsuits fall into the broad category of medical malpractice.
Generally, medical malpractice causing a birth injury occurs when:
- A doctor (such as an obstetrician or family doctor) or obstetric nurse fails to meet the standard of care required by a competent medical professional. This is called a breach of the standard; and
- The breach of the standard of care ends up causing an injury to the newborn child.
Birth injury cases are arguably the most complicated type of medical malpractice claim, as they may involve improper care during a broad range of time, from pregnancy through labour and delivery and even postnatal care.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?
The birth injury lawyers at BILA do not charge anything to investigate your child’s claim and represent your child if our investigation indicates that your child suffered a birth injury due to malpractice. Instead, they work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will only pay legal fees and expenses if you or your child recover compensation, either through a settlement or at trial. All BILA lawyers offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Why Should I Hire a BILA Lawyer?
When it comes to choosing a lawyer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed — there are lots of lawyers advertising that they represent clients in personal injury or medical malpractice claims. But there are only a handful of lawyers across the entire country who have the knowledge, training, experience and financial resources to handle complex birth injury cases.
BILA is the only group of lawyers dedicated solely to birth injury claims that has members across the entire country. If you suspect your child has suffered a birth injury, the first thing you should do is to contact one of the lawyers at BILA for a no charge, no-obligation case evaluation. With lawyers throughout Canada (except Quebec), BILA can assist you in finding a lawyer who will work tirelessly for you and your child. Because our lawyers work collaboratively, sharing experience, knowledge, and resources across the country, we can help you level the playing field when it comes to fighting for your child’s rights.
Regional Health Care for the Atlantic Region (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador)
Whether your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, or you simply have questions or suspicions about the quality of medical care you and your child received during labour and delivery, you can access these Atlantic Region resources to get help.
Cerebral Palsy Nova Scotia
Cerebral Palsy Foundation (St. John) Inc.
O. Box 2152
St. John, NB. E2L 3V1
Cerebral Palsy Association of Newfoundland
P.O. Box 23059 Churchill Square Postal Outlet
St. Johns, NF. A1B 4J9
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Cerebral Palsy Association
P.O. Box 22034
Horizon Health Network
180 Woodbridge Street
Fredericton, NB E3B 4R3
Nova Scotia Health Authority
Health – Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador – Prenatal and Postnatal Resources
Birth Injury Statistics for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Canada
Nova Scotia has a higher rate of birth injury through instrumentation (forceps or vacuum) than Canada as a whole. The rate in Nova Scotia is 20.3%, compared to 18.6% for all of Canada.
Between 2005 and 2009, 28% of all women had their labour induced in Nova Scotia. Labour induction is associated with birth injuries.
From 2007 to 2011 c-section rates in Nova Scotia ranged from 13% to 15% of all births. Emergency c-sections are associated with a higher rate of birth injuries.