Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Phone: 410-793-4554

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Birth injuries are not the same as birth defects

Expectant parents want to bring home a healthy child. While this does occur in most cases, there are instances in which cases can take a turn for the worst. For these parents, finding out what is wrong with their child, learning the treatment plan, and understanding the prognosis becomes a priority.

There is one big question that parents should find out when they are facing this difficult situation. Does the baby have a birth injury or a birth defect? This question can have a huge impact on what you might do from here. It is often a springboard to other questions like what the cause of the injury or defect is.

Birth defects

Birth defects are sometimes due to abnormal genetics. However, they can also be due to an unknown cause or because of controllable factors. One factor that might cause birth defects is the use of certain drugs during pregnancy, especially early pregnancy.

If your baby has a birth defect that is due to a doctor prescribing you a drug that could harm your baby, known as a teratogen, you may be able to pursue compensation for the birth defect. The doctor would need to have known that you were pregnant so that he or she could avoid prescribing you medications that could harm the baby.

Birth injuries

Birth injuries occur during labor and delivery. These vary greatly and can range from minor injuries that won't require future medical care to severe ones that can impact the child's entire life. Erb's palsy, which is caused by nerve damage near the shoulder, is an often minor birth injury that will resolve on its own. Cerebral palsy, which can cause severe problems, is another birth injury that might occur.

One estimate notes that there are five birth injuries for every 1,000 births in this country. These children with birth injuries will have to deal with the often crippling effects. Sadly, many of them won't know anything other than the pain and suffering that comes along with the injury and the treatments that are often required.

Claims for compensation and the statute of limitations

When these birth injuries or defects are due to medical neglect or malpractice, the parents of the injured baby might opt to seek compensation. Parents in this situation should know that the statute of limitations is usually tolled, which means paused, since the baby is a minor and isn't competent to make decisions on his or her own.

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Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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