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Is My Child’s Disability a Natural Defect or the Result of Birth Trauma?

by The Beasley Firm  |  April 2, 2018  |  ,

As a law firm with a proven record handling birth injury lawsuits, our attorneys at The Beasley Firm, LLC speak with many families across Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and New Jersey who are unsure as to whether their child’s injuries were the result of birth trauma and medical negligence, or a natural defect that could not have been prevented. Determining whether your child’s injuries are due to a medical error can be a difficult matter. This is particularly true given the emotional component to these catastrophic conditions, compounded by these complex medical conditions, the underlying cause of your baby’s injury, and accepted medical standards. Fortunately, we have over fifty years’ experience prosecuting and trying the most complex birth injury claims; this level of experience will provide the information you need.

When it comes to helping families understand their right to recover compensation to provide a lifetime of care to their child, we focus on the unique facts of each case. Generally, you have the right to seek compensation for birth injuries and disabilities that result from medical negligence, which is defined as substandard care that departs from the care a reasonably skillful medical professional would provide under the same or similar circumstances. This means birth injuries resulting from trauma, delay in delivery, failing to recognize an infection, a problem with the placenta, among other things, which may be grounds for a lawsuit. This is often the case when disabilities are caused by:

  • Delays or failures to perform a C-section
  • Failures to monitor fetal distress
  • Preventable brain damage
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Placental insufficiency
  • Preeclampsia
  • Premature deliveries

Much of the confusion over whether or not you may have a case also stems from a lack of familiarity with birth defects and birth injuries, which are distinctly different when it comes to the law. While birth trauma caused by negligence (through either a medical professional’s action or inaction) is grounds for a lawsuit, natural birth defects are not compensable because they do not result from negligence. However, the fact that a child may have a disability from natural causes does not preclude a lawsuit if the healthcare providers fail to provide good care. Also, many times birth injuries are misdiagnosed by subsequent health care providers as natural birth defects, because sometimes the presenting symptoms can be similar.

Natural birth defects, or congenital defects, develop while a fetus forms in the womb. In many cases, their underlying cause is not known, except for the fact that they involve genetic abnormalities. They are present at birth, and are not the result of a medical professional’s actions. Common natural birth defects include:

  • Down syndrome
  • Autism
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Spina bifida

Although families of children born with natural birth defects may not have legal recourse, families born with children who have birth defects resulting from toxic exposure may have the right to seek compensation against the at-fault party. This can include product liability cases against manufacturers of dangerous medications that did not disclose potential risks to pregnant mothers and unborn babies, or cases filed against premises owners that failed to address toxic hazards, including lead or mold.

Ultimately, the best way to determine if you have a potential case is to discuss it personally with an experienced medical malpractice and birth injury lawyer. At The Beasley Firm, LLC, we are available to families when they have questions about their rights and birth injury lawsuits, and have earned national recognition for our work handling even the most challenging malpractice cases. To speak with a member of our team during a FREE consultation, contact us today.

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