Regardless of the circumstances, every expectant woman hopes to give birth to a happy and healthy child. However, this unfortunately is not always the case. Specifically, there are a number of complications that can arise, whether before conception or during pregnancy. When this happens, it is incumbent upon your medical professional to detect the problem and to advise you immediately as to all of your available options. Doctors can and sometimes do make mistakes, leaving you with the painful reality of having a child with serious injuries and life-long challenges.
If your child was born with a medical condition that could have been identified either before conception or during pregnancy, it is important to understand that you may have the right to pursue either a wrongful birth or wrongful life case. Call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 for a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?
A wrongful birth suit is a type of medical malpractice tort case where parents of an ailing child allege that their medical professional failed to inform them of their risks associated with conceiving or delivering a baby with either a congenitally or genetically-based medical condition. Hence, plaintiffs in these types of cases will often claim that their doctor did not allow them to make an informed decision as to whether to persist with the pregnancy, or to end it through a termination procedure.
Similar to wrongful life cases, the underlying injury or disability is neither one that arose during the labor and delivery process, nor was it caused by the health care provider. Rather, it is a claim against a medical professional that he or she, through medical negligence, failed to afford parents the option of terminating the pregnancy.
Filing a wrongful birth lawsuit
A wrongful birth lawsuit is exclusively brought by the parents of a disabled child, who allege that they would have pursued a lawful abortion had they known of their baby’s health status. In the United States, roughly half of the states allow these types of claims to be brought.
In these states, the amount of damages that may be recovered varies by jurisdiction. To illustrate, some states allow parents to be compensated for the medical expenses associated with caring for their child for the entire time in which the child is dependent upon them (which could progress into adulthood). However, others limit damages to recovery of the costs of medical care only while the child is a minor (usually until he or she reaches the age of 18). Keep in mind that some states allow parents to seek recovery for damages associated with the emotional distress of having a child with debilitating injuries. Overall, it is important to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney to learn more about your state’s laws in this regard.
If you feel that you were not fully informed as to the status of your child’s heath, whether before conception or during pregnancy, you may wish to pursue your legal options. Please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 for more information.