Raising a child can be hard when they are perfectly healthy. Caring for a child with a serious medical condition? That comes with even more emotional and financial costs.
If a child is born with a disability or serious injury, their parents can take legal action through a wrongful birth lawsuit. Here’s what you should know about this sensitive issue.
What is wrongful birth?
A wrongful birth lawsuit is a medical malpractice case in which the the doctor may be held responsible for providing substandard care during the pregnancy. There are few different allegations that the parent can make in these cases:
- Failure to diagnose: The doctor did not identify the prenatal medical problem.
- Failure to warn: The doctor may have correctly diagnosed a serious medical condition, but did not go far enough to warn parents about the risks associated with it.
- Not allowing for informed decision-making: The parents were denied the ability to choose to terminate the pregnancy by their doctor.
Failing to properly diagnose medical conditions like cystic fibrosis, spina bifida and Down syndrome can have a serious impact on the lives of a child and their parents. If a doctor is unable to appropriately warn the parents beforehand — allowing them the option to terminate the pregnancy — there might be monetary repercussions.
What type of damages are rewarded?
If the court finds that your doctor failed to provide a diagnosis of birth defects during pregnancy, you could receive financial compensation. This may be awarded in the form of school tuition, medical costs and even emotional distress. For parents that want to provide the best care for their child, wrongful birth litigation can be an effective way to help.