What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 8-Jan-2018

Personal injury attorneys may take cases involving birth defects or birth injuries. However, there are differences between these two terms. A birth defect is a physical, mental or biochemical abnormality. Birth defects can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors during pregnancy. Taking certain medications during pregnancy could cause birth defects. Birth injuries may refer to physical trauma or medical neglect that occurs shortly before, during or directly after birth.

What are the consequences of a birth injury or birth defect? It depends. Birth injuries may cause cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or brachial palsy. In rare cases, a newborn can suffer a spinal cord injury during the birthing process. Birth defects could include cleft lip, heart defects, limb abnormalities or neural tube defects.

Can I File a Birth Defect or Birth Injury Lawsuit?

There are cases where it is possible to file a lawsuit for a birth defect or birth injury. For instance, Depakote may be linked to higher rates of spina bifida if taken during pregnancy. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect where the spinal column does not close completely. Mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy and delivered children with spina bifida have filed lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories, the drug’s manufacturer.

Birth injuries may be caused by medical mistakes. The improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors may cause a birth injury. Newborns can suffer brain damage if they are not treated for severe jaundice. These are cases where medical malpractice may have occurred.

If your child suffered a birth injury or defect, your ability to recover damages would depend on the circumstances. An attorney could investigate your situation to help you determine whether you would be eligible to seek damages. In many cases, the party responsible for a birth injury or defect has access to considerable financial and legal resources.

The Washington DC birth injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have a proven record of helping families affected by medical negligence. You could speak with one of our attorneys during a free consultation to discover whether you have legal options to seek damages.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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