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The difference: Birth injuries versus birth defects

The life of a child is a precious gift. When improper actions and methodologies put a child's life in danger, the harmful party should pay.

Thankfully, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim in the case of avoidable birth injuries. A critical aspect of a successful claim is being able to distinguish a birth injury from a birth defect.

Birth defect

Birth defects are different from birth injuries, though they may appear the same at first glance. A birth defect occurs before birth, while the child is still in the womb. Birth defects tend to occur due to genetic factors and can manifest either during pregnancy or after birth. Though some physical defects are easily recognizable, some may be internal or mental.

The difference

Timing is a strong differentiator between birth injuries and birth defects. While birth defects develop before birth, birth injuries occur during the birthing process. Another strong factor is the catalyst for the event. Physicians have no control over birth defects; however, they are a key participant in birth injuries.

Avoidable birth injury 

For a medical malpractice case to stand, a party must not only be able to show that a birth injury occurred, but also that it should never have happened. Medicine is a complex field, and some procedures can be difficult. In such cases, some medical injury may not be avoidable. However, there are other instances where the physician is negligent and unduly causes the injury. The courts measure this by considering what a physician's prudent course of action should be in the situation. If a party can prove the physician did not proceed in accordance with the proper methods, then a negligence charge may stick and create a successful medical malpractice claim.

Though a claim is not able to reverse the negative effects of improper medical care, it can aid in easing the burden moving forward. Consider how a claim could benefit your situation.

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Law Offices of Neil M. Howard
717 North Douglas Street
El Segundo, CA 90245

Phone: 424-259-4807
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We’ve successfully represented patients as north as Redding and as south as San Diego.