February 06, 2023 | Publications

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

Every day, thousands of women trust doctors, nurses, and midwives to deliver their babies. Sometimes, medical mistakes occur and result in permanent and serious injuries to the baby that can be devastating for a lifetime. You can avoid most of these heartbreaking situations with proper care. If a medical provider’s negligence caused your baby’s injury or birth defect, call Karasik Law Group to receive legal assistance.

Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury

The terms “birth defect” and “birth injury” are often used interchangeably, and their meanings are quite similar. The main difference between birth defects and birth injuries is how and when they develop.

Birth defects are health conditions and traumas that develop while a baby is still in the womb. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. Embryos are extremely sensitive and vulnerable during the first 13 to 60 days because the baby’s main organs and structures are developing. 

Most birth defects are caused by a mix of environmental and genetic factors, but sometimes they can also be caused by a physician or another medical provider.

The most common types of birth defects include the following:

  • Neural tube disorders
  • Anencephaly
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Hemoglobin disorders
  • Upper and lower limb reduction defects
  • Thalassemia
  • Down syndrome

Most birth defects are not preventable. For example, almost 70% of major heart defects and over 50% of Down syndrome cases go unnoticed by physicians.

Birth injuries are health issues, injuries, and traumas that occur before, during, or shortly after the birthing process. They can also range in cause and severity. They usually include brain damage, broken bones, contusions, lacerations, oxygen deprivation, spinal cord damage, and dislocations.

In the United States, 1 in 143 babies is injured at birth. Some birth injuries can be cured, while others can lead to permanent disabilities and affect a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development. 

Here is a list of some of the most common birth injuries:

  • Erb’s palsy;
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Lack of oxygen in the brain
  • Nerve damage
  • Shoulder dystonia
  • Bone or skulls fractures
  • Facial nerve injury or paralysis

If you or your loved one has experienced any birth injury or birth defect that was caused by a medical provider’s negligence, contact a medical malpractice attorney.

How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help?

Medical malpractice lawyers can offer clients who experienced a birth defect or birth injury the following: 

  • Investigation of a birth injury case. A lawyer will review and analyze the medical records during pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care. They will also review the information received from witnesses.
  • Consultation with medical professionals. An attorney will consult an independent medical expert to examine a malpractice case and determine if a doctor, nurse, or midwife has not provided the standard of medical care and made a mistake resulting in a birth defect or injury.
  • Making a settlement demand. Once a lawyer prepares the case, they will submit a first settlement demand to the healthcare provider or insurance company. A case will be settled if no damages and liability can be disputed.
  • Filing a lawsuit. If a pre-litigation agreement cannot be reached, a medical malpractice lawyer will file a complaint at a Federal District Court or Circuit Court. After filing a lawsuit, they will continue discussing settlements.
  • Bringing the case to trial. An attorney will present the case with the strongest arguments, including professionally prepared exhibits and witness testimony.
  • Collecting the compensation. If a settlement is reached or a verdict is rendered in the client’s favor, a lawyer will collect the compensation the client is eligible to receive.

Do You Have A Birth-Related Medical Malpractice Case?

If you experienced a birth defect or injury caused by medical negligence, it is time to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. 

Karasik Law Group is a law firm that is ready to help you. Our lawyers for medical malpractice are great legal experts experienced in birth injury and other medical malpractice lawsuits. We are ready to fight for your right to compensation that you are entitled to under the law. If you have any questions or want to schedule your free consultation with our New York birth injury lawyer, do not hesitate to call us today.