- Medical Malpractice
- Birth Injuries
- Estate Planning
- Real Estate
The distinction between birth injury and birth defect can sometimes be confusing. A birth injury is something that happens during the labor and delivery process. In contrast, a birth defect occurs when genetic or environmental influences cause a physical or chemical abnormality in the baby before birth. Like birth injuries, birth defects can be mild, or they can be severe or even fatal. Whatever their severity, they are life-long, requiring ongoing medical treatment, therapy and surgery.
The child is not the only victim. The families of children with birth defects find that their lives are turned upside down by the child’s condition. Children with severe conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Down Syndrome or other serious birth defects may require lifelong care because they are unable to perform many tasks on their own. There are significant emotional and economic challenges for families with a child born with a birth defect.
In some cases, birth defects are preventable or can be repaired in utero. However, when doctors fail to take steps to prescribe prenatal tests or fail to interpret the result of tests and screenings correctly, the opportunity to correct a birth defect can be lost. Moreover, when parents do not have full information they need because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, they cannot decide whether to terminate the pregnancy until it may be too late.
In addition to being affected by genetic and chromosomal anomalies, babies in utero can also be damaged by exposure to a variety of toxic substances, including prescription or over-the-counter medications. Prenatal care must include careful evaluation of the medications prescribed a pregnant patient. Otherwise, the medical provider could be liable for birth defects resulting from taking certain medications during pregnancy.
In some cases, parents may be able to obtain compensation for their expenses, losses, and other costs associated with a birth defect by filing a claim or lawsuit. They may be able to recover the costs of the child’s medical treatment, lost income, punitive damages in some cases, and other expenses related to caring for their child.
At Richards & Richards, LLP, our legal team includes an attorney who is also a nurse practitioner and former hospital administrator. Attorney Veronica Richards uses her medical knowledge, experience and leadership to help parents and their children obtain the compensation they need after a baby is born with a birth defect. In addition to the in-house medical knowledge provided by Attorney Richards, our clients benefit from our nationally recognized medical experts and specialists who help us build the strongest possible cases for our clients. These are challenging cases, and our law firm has the ability to pursue justice for parents and their children through the legal system.
If your child was born with a birth defect that you believe could have been prevented or repaired, talk to the attorneys at the Western Pennsylvania law firm of Richards & Richards, LLP. Schedule a free consultation to find out whether you are eligible to file a claim to obtain compensation. In addition to offering free consultations, we take cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay no attorney’s fees if we fail to obtain compensation for you and your child.