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Recognizing the differences between birth injuries and birth defects

Newborns are a gift to new parents. Despite the long nights, endless feedings, and constant diaper changes, newborns bring love and wonder into Fort Lauderdale homes. However, healthy newborns can be a lot to deal with, and ailing newborns can be scary for new parents to care for.

Not all newborns come into the world unscathed. For some, developmental challenges arise during gestation and are present during pre-birth screenings. For others, errors and omissions committed by medical professionals during gestation, labor, and delivery may leave newborns with life-long health problems. This post will distinguish between birth defects and birth injuries and will address where liability may lie for victims of the latter.

Birth defects vs. birth injuries: important distinctions to recognize

Birth defects result from issues that arise while a child develops in its mother’s body. Defects can result from genetic abnormalities or from outside influences like accidents, drug use, and others. At their core, birth defects are generally not caused by medical malpractice or doctor negligence. Birth injuries, though, may result from these legal claims.

A birth injury happens when a child is harmed due to the actions or inactions of medical professionals present at their birth. In some cases, a birth injury may result from life-saving efforts that were reasonable and necessary given the circumstances of a child’s birth. Others may result when doctors and nurses fail in their duties of care to their patients to monitor and treat them for birth-related complications as they come up.

What to do after a preventable birth injury

A birth injury caused by negligence or recklessness during the labor and delivery process may be compensable under personal injury theories of law. Families of children affected by birth injuries can talk to lawyers about possible claims based off negligence and medical malpractice. This post does not offer legal advice and all readers should seek their own legal counsel to better understand their unique cases and legal options.