December 19, 2022 | Publications

Can Birth Defects Be the Result of Medical Malpractice in NY?

Birth defects are disturbingly common, with 3% of babies in the U.S. born with birth defects. It can have a variety of causes, including malpractice. 

Karasik Law Group in Brooklyn, NY, and its lawyers for medical malpractice are here to help if you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney

What Are Birth Defects? 

Birth defects are structural abnormalities that are present at the time the baby is born. The most common birth defects affect the heart or neural tubes. Down Syndrome is another common birth defect. Many factors, including genetics, diseases during pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, or environmental exposure to harmful substances, can cause them. 

It’s important to note that birth defects and birth injuries are different but related conditions. A birth injury occurs during the birth process and is often the result of medical malpractice or negligence. 

Birth Defect Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional acts in a way that isn’t in accordance with medical standards. If they don’t meet the standard of care, they can be considered negligent. 

One example of medical malpractice leading to birth defects is a medical professional failing to perform an ultrasound, read it properly, or perform the ultrasound improperly. Failing to perform needed tests or ignoring their results is also medical malpractice if it leads to birth defects. Some medications can cause birth defects, particularly early in pregnancy. 

If a doctor prescribes these medications while aware that the patient is pregnant, this may also be malpractice. Lastly, a doctor may be medically negligent by not explaining the risks of a treatment or procedure to a pregnant patient. 

Birth Injury Malpractice

A birth injury can also be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Errors during the delivery process can cause lasting damage to your child. 

One of the most common birth injuries in babies is a broken clavicle or collarbone. It can occur if the doctor tries to remove the baby from the birth canal, particularly with forceps or a vacuum. 

Who Is Liable for Birth Defects Due to Malpractice?

In many cases, everyone involved can be implicated in a medical malpractice suit. For example, if your child is injured during birth, the obstetrician or delivery doctor and any nurses or staff in the room may all be held liable. 

In the case of birth defects, the primary care doctor is usually considered liable. The hospital can also be held liable in some cases. The manufacturer or pharmaceutical company may also have liability if the injury or defect is caused by medication or a medical device. 

What’s Required to Bring a Medical Malpractice Claim? 

There are a few things required for a successful medical malpractice claim. The first is wrongdoing or negligence on the part of the doctor. Again, care that doesn’t meet the standard of care can be considered malpractice. 

The other component of malpractice is injury. Your child must sustain an injury that is severe and long-lasting. Medical misconduct that doesn’t cause injury, or causes very mild injury, isn’t typically eligible for medical malpractice. 

How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help?

When you have a child with a birth defect or birth injury, you have a lot to deal with. Medical bills, specialized care, and emotional pain are suddenly a part of your world. 

A medical malpractice attorney is experienced in bringing malpractice claims. They will handle the process, so you can focus on what matters, your family. 

They will let you know if you have a valid case and what you can expect during the process. You are much more likely to win your case and receive a much larger settlement with an attorney on your side. In fact, one study revealed that personal injury victims received 40% more when they had an attorney. 

Leading Law Firm Karasik Law Group’s birth defect lawyer can help you win your case. We offer a Free Consultation with our malpractice lawyers. Call us today to set up an appointment. Once you speak to one of our experienced attorneys, you’ll know what to do and what to expect.