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Are Birth Defects Ever Caused by Medical Negligence?


Generally, birth defects are considered unavoidable abnormalities of function, structure, or metabolism that affect a baby at birth, often resulting in physical or mental disabilities, or death. On the other hand, birth injuries can also be caused by medical negligence, which means parents can pursue fair and just compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible party. If you believe your child’s birth defects could have been caused by the negligent actions of a medical professional, you should seek skilled legal guidance to review the details of your case.

Environmental Causes of Birth Defects

There are over 4,000 known types of birth defects and, according to the March of Dimes, about 120,000 babies are born with birth defects every year. The vast majority of these defects are related to genetics and can be separated into three different categories: chromosomal defects, single gene defects, and multifactorial defects, which are a combination of genetic and environmental factors. When a baby’s defects are caused by genetics, these are usually considered unavoidable and not the result of medical negligence.

When a baby’s defects are caused by environmental conditions or substances, this can sometimes be linked to medical negligence. Environmental cause of birth defects include:

  • The physician prescribed a medication that affected the health of the baby
  • The mother developed an infection that the physician failed to diagnose and treat
  • The mother was exposed to chemicals, insecticides, pesticides, or other toxic materials that resulted in harm to the baby
  • Alcohol use or illegal drug use

Of course, not all environmental causes are linked to medical negligence. Unfortunately, most causes of genetic defects are unknown. According to the March of Dimes, 70% of birth defect causes are unknown and not preventable. However, occasionally environmental causes can and should be caught and treated by a medical professional. Negligence occurs when a health professional fails to take action when they could have done so.

Legal Liability

In addition to medical negligence, in cases where a baby’s birth defects can be linked to being exposed to prescription drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy, or exposure to certain toxic substances, the manufacturer of those products can be held liable in certain circumstances. Below is a list of drugs and chemicals that are commonly linked to birth defects:

  • Paxil
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Tetracycline
  • Warfarin
  • Anticancer drugs
  • Accutane
  • Bisphenol A

The manufacturers of these products can potentially be held liable for your child’s birth defects if they were unreasonably dangerous or there were insufficient warnings in regards to the health risks associated with them.

If you suspect your baby’s birth defects were caused by exposure to certain drugs, chemicals, or your physician’s failure to properly monitor your health, seek the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in Weston

If your baby sustained birth defects as a result of medical negligence, you need a skilled medical malpractice attorney on your side to fight on your behalf and ensure the responsible party is held liable for their actions. At Rash Mueller in Weston, our knowledgeable team of medical malpractice attorneys is backed by 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success. We understand the hardship of discovering that your child is unnecessarily suffering as a result of someone else’s careless actions, which is why we are dedicated to using our knowledge, skill, and insight to your family’s advantage.

Get started on your medical malpractice case today and reach out to our esteemed law firm at (954) 914-7116 to request a free initial case evaluation with one of our compassionate attorneys. We will not collect any legal fees unless we are able to win your case.

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