Most clients are familiar with
wrongful death claims – that is claims brought when someone's death is caused
by the negligence or misconduct of someone else. In those cases, certain
survivors of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for that death.
Birth injuries, to the contrary, are typically based on the birth of a
child who has severe abnormalities or birth defects, as a result of the
negligence or misconduct of someone else. Birth injury claims are not
as common as wrongful death claims, so there is a general unawareness
of these types of claims.
What is a "wrongful birth" claim?
Wrongful birth lawsuits are brought by parents of a child who is born with
severe medical problems, such as birth defects or life-threatening medical
conditions. The lawsuit is most often filed against the health care provider
or hospital involved in the birth. The basis for liability is usually
that the doctor either misdiagnosed the condition of the fetus or provided
negligent genetic counseling about the likelihood of fetal abnormalities
As a result, the infant was born with major congenital defects that will
require long-term medical treatment. The argument is that, had the parents
known about the potential risks or been given adequate medical information,
they would have terminated the pregnancy.
What is a "wrongful life" claim?
On the other hand, a wrongful life claim basically asserts that, had the
parents known of the substantial risk of birth defects, they would never
have conceived the child in the first place. This type of claim can be
seen as the "flip side" of a wrongful birth claim. A wrongful
life claim is filed by the child who developed severe birth defects, because
of the doctor's failure to provide a proper diagnosis. It is difficult
to calculate the amount of compensation in a wrongful life claim. Also,
it is necessary to prove that the parents would not have conceived the
child or carried the fetus to term had they known of the risk.
If you have questions regarding birth injury or any other personal injury matter,
contact us online or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC at (205) 381-4787.