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Birth injury » Birth injury or birth defect


Birth injuries are often confused with birth defects and families need to be clear on the distinction between the two when making a claim. Birth defects involve harm to a baby that arose prior to birth and are sometimes caused by something that happened during or before the mothers pregnancy, not during childbirth or the delivery process.

Birth defects

Birth defects - also known as a congenital disabilities - can be caused by a number of things including genetic factors and heredity. A chemical that causes birth defects in a baby is called a teratogen and can be found in several types of medication administered to pregnant women. One example is Thalidomide, the drug that was sold as a sleeping aid and to combat morning sickness but was found to also cause deformities in children.

If a baby sustains a birth defect which its parents believe was caused by a certain medication, they may make a compensation claim against the company that made the product. It will need to be proven that the mother was prescribed the medication, that she took it, that the medication is capable of causing birth defects and that it did indeed cause a birth defect.

However, not all birth defects are caused by medication. Around 25 % are caused by genetic abnormalities, whilst the cause of many others is unknown. These other causes account for many babies who have congenital deafness, blindness and heart problems.

Abnormalities fall into two categories: major defects and minor defects. Major defects change a babys body and can cause serious health or social problems. Minor defects are abnormalities that do not cause serious problems of this nature.

Birth injuries

A birth injury, on the other hand, occurs during childbirth. Sometimes birth injuries are an unfortunate natural occurrence whilst other times they are caused by, or could have been prevented by, doctors. This latter circumstance is known as medical negligence.

A birth accident can cause personal injury to the baby in a number of ways. Some of the most common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, facial palsy, fractures and infections.

Many parents feel responsible for the injury to their baby, are unclear about how the injuries happened or what their rights are and dont realise that somebody else may be liable.

Making a birth injury compensation claim

Although the birth of a child is one of the happiest times in a parents life, and most deliveries go as expected, accidents do occur and when they do, the effects can be traumatic for the whole family.

When complications arise, they may result in temporary or permanent injuries to your baby. Sometimes those injuries could have been avoided and you may feel that other people are accountable for what your baby has suffered and that they did not carry out the delivery with due care.

Our personal injury solicitors will be sympathetic to your distress and concern and have first-hand experience in dealing with traumatic cases of this kind. We have an excellent success rate in handling birth injury compensation claims.

Call us now on 01582 437070 and we will talk you through the claims process and explain what to do next.