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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law - Toms River Lawyers
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The difference between birth injuries and birth defects

As an expectant mother, going through complications while giving birth can be devastating. Not only can complications pose risks to the health of yourself and the baby, but they can cause pain, emotional distress and even psychological trauma.

If you believe that complications during delivery could have contributed to your child’s health issues or developmental disabilities, it is important that you understand your rights to take action under the law. In addition, if you have experienced anxiety, depression or trauma after the incident, you may be able to make a medical malpractice claim.

Before taking action to make a medical malpractice claim, you should make sure that you understand the key terminology. An important distinction to make is between birth injuries and birth defects. These terms may sound similar, but they are very distinct.

What is a birth injury?

Birth injuries occur only during the process of delivery or labor. This means that a child with a birth injury would not have suffered in this way if it were not for complications during labor.

The fact that birth injuries are caused by a complication during labor brings in the possibility of medical malpractice. For example, risks of birth injuries can often be foreseen and prevented by a c-section. If you believe that your child’s injury could have been prevented by a competent doctor, you may be able to take action to gain back damages.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is a health issue or disability that occurred while the child was in the womb, but that was present before the delivery process. Birth defects can be hereditary, or they can be caused by environmental factors. For example, smoking or using alcohol or drugs during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of birth defects.

Since the cause of birth defects can be difficult to pinpoint, making a medical malpractice claim can be challenging. However, if you can show that doctor-prescribed drugs were a likely cause of the defect, you will have a good chance of being successful in your claim.

You and your child should never have to suffer as a result of doctor negligence in Tom’s River. Making a medical malpractice claim may prevent another family from suffering in the same way.