For expectant parents, the arrival of a new baby is one of the most exciting and joyous times in their lives. Unfortunately, for some families, this special time is marred by birth defects caused by medical malpractice. These defects can range from minor to life-threatening, and can have a lasting impact on the health and well-being of both the baby and the family. Understanding your legal options can help you make informed decisions about the care and future of your child.
If your child suffered an adverse health condition due to medical mistakes during the pregnancy or their birth, the medical malpractice attorneys at The Dominguez Firm can help. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818 today.
What are Examples of Birth Defects?
A birth defect is a physical or functional abnormality present at birth. Some of the most common birth defects include:
- Brain Damage: Can be caused by several factors such as an infection (listeria, rubella) to the mother during pregnancy or a lack of oxygen to the brain during pregnancy or delivery.
- Neural tube defects: This type of defect occurs when the neural tube, which eventually becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord, doesn’t form or close properly.
- Musculoskeletal Abnormalities: Abnormalities in the bones, muscles, or joints that can affect movement and mobility.
- Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain that occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the first few years of life. The damage can affect the development of the brain’s ability to control muscle movement and coordination, leading to permanent motor disability.
What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and Birth Defect?
A birth injury is an injury that occurs during the birth process, such as a broken bone, a head injury, or oxygen deprivation. A birth injury is typically caused by medical negligence, such as improper use of instruments during delivery, or failure to monitor the baby’s vital signs during labor.
A birth defect, on the other hand, is a condition that is present at birth and affects the structure or function of a baby’s body. Birth defects can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors, or medical negligence. Some common types of birth defects include heart defects, cleft lip and palate, and brain damage.
Both birth defects and birth injuries can be caused by medical negligence.
What is Medical Malpractice and What are Examples of it During Pregnancy and Delivery?
Medical malpractice is the failure of a healthcare provider to offer a standard of care that meets the accepted norms of their profession. This can occur during the prenatal period or delivery, and can result in injury or harm to the mother or baby. Some common examples of medical malpractice during childbirth include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: If a healthcare provider misdiagnoses or delays the diagnosis of a condition, it can result in harm to the mother or baby.
- Failure to properly monitor the mother or baby: During delivery, it is important for healthcare providers to monitor the mother and baby for signs of distress. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for any harm that results.
- Improper use of delivery instruments: Tools such as forceps and vacuum extractors can cause injury to the baby if not used properly.
- Failure to diagnose or treat an infection in the mother: If a healthcare provider fails to diagnose or treat an infection in the mother, it can be transmitted to the baby, resulting in birth defects.
- Failure to perform a C-section quickly: If there are complications during the birth, obstetricians must perform C-sections promptly. Failure to do so puts the child and mother in great danger.
- Prescribing dangerous medications during pregnancy: Certain medications can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. If a healthcare provider fails to advise the mother against taking these medications, they may be liable for any resulting harm.
How Long do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in California?
In California you generally have 3 years from the date of an injury, or 1 year from the date the injury was discovered, whichever comes first to file a claim. Notwithstanding, you shouldn’t wait to file a lawsuit for your child’s birth defect caused by medical negligence. There are several reasons for this:
- Getting The Dominguez Firm involved right away helps us gather fresh evidence to strengthen your case.
- Any witnesses will have a clear memory of what happened. If you wait weeks or months, their recollection of events may not be as reliable.
- Defense attorneys will question why you waited and use it against you, unfair as this may sound.
We know you might not want to deal with a lawsuit at such a difficult time. But by taking action, you can hold those responsible for your child’s health condition accountable. Your medical malpractice attorney will also fight for the compensation you and your family are entitled to for what happened. This can allow you to focus on your child’s treatment and well-being without worrying about medical bills.
Legal Options for Parents of Children with Birth Defects
If your child has been diagnosed with a birth defect that you believe was caused by medical malpractice, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. In these cases, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the complexities of birth defect cases and can help you navigate the legal process effectively.
The main elements of a birth defect case are:
- Duty of Care: The healthcare provider had a legal obligation to provide a standard of care that met the accepted norms of their profession.
- Breach of Duty: The healthcare provider failed to meet this standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to the mother or baby.
- Causation: The breach of duty was the direct cause of the birth defect.
- Damages: The birth defect caused harm to the baby and resulted in measurable damages, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
To prove these elements, your personal injury lawyer will gather and present evidence, such as medical records, expert witness testimony, and other relevant documentation. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can also help parents gather and present the strongest case possible to recover compensation for their child’s birth defect.
Contact the Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Dominguez Firm
The Dominguez Firm has over 35 years of experience successfully managing medical malpractice cases including those related to birth defects. We have the resources, personnel and nationally recognized attorneys to help you. And if the defense attorneys for the parties involved won’t make a just offer for your baby’s injuries, we aren’t afraid to go to trial. Not every personal injury law firm can do the same.
Call The Dominguez Firm for a free consultation today at (800) 818-1818. We work on a contingency basis which simply means we get paid from a percentage of your final compensation. You don’t pay anything up front; no legal fees, hidden costs or out-of-pocket expenses, period. Let us fight for your right to the maximum compensation for your child’s injury!
My experience was good. They made sure to kept me in the loop and made sure to let me know what was going on the whole time. My mom has used other attorneys and this experience was beyond better. I would definitely recommend them!
— Ashley Magana
The attorneys were always available and answered my questions. I would recommend them to anyone. Zoe is the best!
— Janet Salazar
My experience with The Dominguez Firm and the attorneys was really good. They were very informative and always returned my calls.
— Jocelyn Gonzalez