Birth Injury or Birth Defect: When Can a Parent Sue?

Pregnant woman touching her belly with hands

According to government reports, well over 100,000 potentially preventable injuries will happen to mothers and their babies during childbirth in a year.

If you or your baby experience such an injury, you’ll be asking questions. What occurred and why? Did something go unnoticed during pregnancy that a doctor should have noted? Or the hospital staff might have incorrectly used a medical instrument or delayed a necessary C-section.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you or your baby has suffered an avoidable birth injury,  experts in personal injury law are ready to defend your rights.

The hospital is usually the primary defendant because it employs the professionals who were involved. Individual professionals may also be sued.

If a child suffers harm due to an avoidable birth injury, monetary damages may be provided for a trust that ensures your child has lifetime care.

If a Birth Defect Is Diagnosed, Is There a Case?

In some cases, medication taken during pregnancy can result in harm that becomes evident after the birth. If the drug caused the injury, you might have a claim against the drug manufacturer, and possible claims against health care or pharmaceutical providers.

Some prescribed drugs have been deemed teratogens, meaning they are drugs causally related to birth defects, and they are responsible for roughly 4-5% of birth defects. Some were developed to prevent miscarriages or stop nausea. However, some teratogens, like alcohol and tobacco, aren’t prescriptions.

The questions are:

  • Did the pregnant person ingest a teratogen prescribed by a healthcare professional?

  • Is the harm unlikely to stem from some other factor, such as heredity?

  • Did the teratogen cause the birth defect or injury?

A Duty of Care

You may have a case if the medical professionals, a drug maker, or both had a duty of care, and failed to provide you or the baby proper instructions or care before or during birth. In short, the healthcare professionals must be shown to have fallen short of the accepted professional standard of care.

Then, your attorney must show that the harm resulted from that shortcoming. Bringing in experts to testify is often the key to proving that cause element.

Successful legal action for birth injuries can win compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and future losses. The parent may also have a claim for emotional distress on account of the baby’s birth injury.

Contact An Attorney

Birth injuries are factually complicated. But it’s best not to accept any settlement before a lawyer examines the facts with you and goes over potential lifetime costs.

Contact Branch & Dhillon P.C. to discuss whether legal action may pertain to your situation.