Frequently Asked Questions: Do I Have a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Question: Is there a difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
A: Birth injuries are typically caused by something that went wrong during the process of delivering the child. On the other hand, birth defects tend to involve harm to a baby that originated prior to birth, usually from something that happened during or before the pregnancy.
Question: When can legal action be taken for birth injuries?
A: Most birth injury cases occur when a doctor fails to properly assess or respond to various conditions and complications during a woman's pregnancy or delivery, or when a doctor prescribes drugs during the pregnancy that causes harm to the baby.
Question: What is medical malpractice?
A: Medical malpractice refers to the negligence that has been committed by a professional health care provider such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital, or hospital worker. When a health care provider departs from the standard of practice that those with similar training and experience would use in a similar situation, and a patient suffers harm, they can be sued for medical malpractice. The standard for malpractice is set by the customs and standard practices of the profession itself.
Question: Are birth injuries common?
A: Research estimates show that for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, five will end up suffering an injury during birth.
Question: When it comes to birth injury lawsuits, how does a jury determine if a doctor acted in accordance with the standards of good medical practice?
A: To determine if a heath professional acted negligently or not, a jury will consider testimony from experts in the field, usually from other doctors. These experts will testify if they believe a physician's actions followed standard medical practices or fell below the accepted standard of care for a patient.
Question: What are "teratogens," and do they cause birth defects?
A: A teratogen is a chemical or agent that causes birth defects in children. A number of different drugs have been found to contain teratogens, many of which were initially meant to aid women during their pregnancies. Examples of teratogens include Delalutin, a drug administered to pregnant women for the prevention of miscarriages, and Bendectin, a drug that is given to pregnant women to help them fight nausea.
Question: How common are birth defects?
A: It is estimated that 7% of all babies are born with either a minor or severe birth defect or irregularity.
Question: Is cerebral palsy a birth injury?
A: Cerebral palsy is the generic term for a number of disorders that affect a baby's brain function and ability to move their body. Cerebral palsy can be caused from an injury to a baby's brain in the womb, during the delivery process, or sometimes after birth. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by a lack of oxygen flow to a baby's brain when they are being delivered.
Question: Who will receive compensation after a successful birth defect or injury lawsuit?
A: If the child who suffered the birth injury or defect survives their condition, the damages awarded in a successful lawsuit will generally go to the child, sometimes in the form of a trust. In some situations, parents can also receive compensation for the emotional distress they have had to endure.
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