Understanding birth injuries vs birth defects

| Nov 13, 2017 | Medical Malpractice |

Birth is a beautiful, and sometimes difficult process. Depending upon the circumstances, if your child suffers from a birth injury, you may be able to seek compensation.

Since the claim process can become time consuming and costly, it is important that you develop a solid case and be sure that you know whether you are dealing with a birth injury or a defect. There are a few key facts to know that may help in your determination.

Birth defect

Birth defects occur in the womb while the baby is still forming. The defect may affect the child’s development and may manifest in a number of different forms. Though genetic mutation commonly plays a part in birth defects, outside forces may also cause such occurrences.

Birth injury

Birth injuries happen during or immediately after delivery. There are a number of different birth injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Head trauma or brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia

These are just a few of the many injuries that a baby may endure as a part of delivery. Unfortunately, injury may not be avoidable in certain cases; however, there are instances where the physician’s negligence results in injury.

Duty of care

Even in the case of a birth injury, a physician may still not be found guilty of wrongdoing if he or she provided the necessary duty of care. In other words, when doctors act in the same manner as any other reasonable, prudent doctor would in the same situation, the courts may rule that they provided the right duty of care and therefore could not prevent the defect or injury. Therefore, a successful claim would have to prove the contrary. In order to build a solid case, it is important that individuals understand the medical malpractice laws in their states and their common application.

These are brief overviews of birth injuries and birth defects. If you think you may have a case, speak with a knowledgeable attorney to see what options are available to you.