FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-04-13
Preparing for the birth of a child is such an exciting time. An expecting mother carefully monitors what she eats, exercises safely and sees her doctor on a regular basis, all with the hopes of delivering a healthy baby. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies or deliveries go as planned. Sometimes mistakes occur during a mother’s pregnancy or the baby’s delivery that can cause harm to the newborn.
There are two general categories of harm from which a newborn may suffer:
- Birth injuries: caused by something that went wrong during labor or the delivery process
- Birth defects: typically caused by something that occurred before or during the mother’s pregnancy
Many birth injuries and birth defects are the result of medical malpractice, or mistakes made by health care professionals either through a negligent act or by failing to act appropriately. Many injuries sustained by newborns create a need for a lifetime of medical care and expenses for the child. Common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injuries
- Premature birth
Lawsuits arising from birth injuries usually involve claims against the medical professionals involved at the delivery, as well as the hospital or health care facility where the birth took place. The hospital is responsible for providing a safe and clean environment, hiring properly trained doctors and providing proper oversight of its employees, including nurses and physician assistants. It is also responsible for negligent acts or mistakes made by those employees.
Claims arising from birth defects often involve prescription medications wrongfully provided to the mother before or during her pregnancy. Lawsuits for birth defects may implicate the drug manufacturer or pharmaceutical company, the mother’s doctor and her pharmacist.
If your child was injured during labor or delivery, or suffers from a birth defect, consult an attorney whose practice deals exclusively with birth injury cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you seek compensation for your losses, including medical expenses and long-term care.