What Clients Should Know About Birth Defect Law
If you feel it's time to start searching for birth defect attorneys who might take on a case, it's worth learning about some of the basics of how the law sees such situations. Here are several things every client should know about birth defect law.
How Most Cases Are Classified
In the strictest sense, nearly all birth defect claims are injury cases. Within injury law, though, matters governed by birth defect law tend to be classified as either product liability cases or medical negligence.
Product Liability Involving Birth Defects
One common form of birth defect claims involving this sort of liability are ones where prescriptions were involved. A doctor might have prescribed an expecting mother a particular drug based on recommendations from the manufacturer and the FDA. At a later point, it may be discovered that the drug in question leads to a specific set of birth defects.
Down the road, the parents of the child begin to notice that something is wrong, and they have testing performed. Eventually, the tests show birth defects consistent with the ones caused by the drug.
A similar class of cases involves medical devices and products used in medical settings. For example, the plastic on a device used to treat a baby immediately after birth might have contained a chemical like bisphenol-A.
Most cases in this category are leveled against manufacturers. Sometimes there may be grounds to go after parts suppliers that contracted with a manufacturer, too.
These cases usually fall into two subcategories. Some involve things that were done while the child was still carried in the womb, such as prescribing the mother an unsafe dosage of a drug. Others may involve injuries inflicted during the birthing process, such as the misuse of forceps.
These types of cases may be brought against doctors, nurses, midwives, and specialists. It's also common for claims to be brought against medical organizations, including clinics and hospitals, that employ such people.
Documentation and Expert Testimony
Most claims brought under birth defect law depend heavily on documentation. It's important to produce medical reports that show the extent of the harm done and how it traces to events the defendant had control over.
Similarly, birth defect attorneys oftentimes bring in expert witnesses who can explain how specific issues come into being. Their testimony is usually delivered during depositions and through reports, but they may also testify at trial if the defendant doesn't settle.