At Montee Law Firm, P.C., our Kansas City personal injury attorneys represent
victims of negligence, including those who suffered preventable birth
injuries as a result of negligent medical professionals. When it comes
to birth injuries and medical malpractice, we know that complex laws and
medical standards can make it difficult for victims and families to understand
when they have a valid claim for compensation and when they do not. As
such, we always take the time to thoroughly review cases, educate clients
about their rights, and discuss how injuries or issues at birth may mean
they have grounds to pursue a case.
One of the most difficult concepts victims and families must understand
when it comes to
birth injury cases, or any
medical malpractice case for that matter, is that victims are entitled to compensation when
injuries are preventable if not for negligence. This means that if a nurse,
doctor, or other health care provider who treated you during pregnancy,
labor, or delivery failed to provide care in accordance to accepted medical
standards (which constitutes negligence) AND you or your child suffered
harm as a result, you might be entitled to compensation.
While this is a general explanation of medical negligence, and although
all cases will vary, determining whether or not an injury was preventable
is one of the first steps in a birth injury case. Often, victims are confused
as to whether their child’s injury was the result of negligence
in some way – and much of this confusion can be cleared up when
the difference between birth injuries and birth defects are explained:
Birth Injuries – Birth injuries refer to injuries sustained during the birthing
process, including labor and delivery. Birth injuries can be caused by
a variety of factors, including difficult labor, complications, and medical
errors (such as failing to properly perform a C-section, improperly using
forceps, or failing to monitor signs of fetal distress). Although medical
negligence can certainly be a cause of birth injuries, it is not the only
cause. In order to determine when a birth injury was caused by negligence
– and therefore grounds for a birth injury lawsuit – a medical
professional’s conduct will need to be closely evaluated to determine
if it was not the type of care a reasonably skillful medical professional
would have provided under the same or similar circumstances.
Birth Defects – Birth defects, as opposed to birth injuries, do not occur at birth.
They are generally health conditions, illnesses, or abnormalities that
form while a baby is still developing in the womb. Although both birth
defects and birth injuries can create extensive needs for children and
families, they are distinctly different when it comes to the law. That’s
because most birth defects are congenital, meaning they cannot be avoided
and do not result from medical negligence. In these cases, medical professionals
would not be held liable for a birth defect. However, there may be cases
where birth defects result from a fetus or pregnant mother being exposed
to toxic substances. This may occur when the mother takes a certain medication
without knowing it could cause defects, or when a mother is exposed to
harmful substances such as lead, mercury, pesticides, and others. Depending
on the circumstances, victims who can connect their child’s birth
defect to toxic exposure (either exposure to a dangerous medication or
environmental exposure) may have a case for compensation against the manufacturer
of a drug or material (product liability) or party that exposed victims to the substance.
Do I Have a Case?
You might have a potential personal injury lawsuit if:
- Your child’s injuries (or yours) resulted from medical negligence
during birth; or
- Your child’s birth defect resulted from exposure to a toxic substance,
including harmful medications
Because there are so many unique circumstances involved in birth injury
and toxic exposure cases, our legal team at Montee Law Firm, P.C. is available
to help victims more thoroughly review their potential case. During a
FREE and confidential consultation, we can help you better understand
what may have led to you or your child’s injuries or defect, whether
you may have a potential case, and what we can do to help!
Contact us to speak with a member of our firm.