Bringing a life into this world is a literal and symbolic beginning. It’s nearly impossible not to be joyful when you interact with a newborn. However, that enthusiasm may initially be mitigated if the child is born with a birth defect. And they are more common than you think, with 1 out of every 33 live births in the U.S. (which translates to about 120,000 babies) resulting in a birth defect. Alarmingly, many of those defects are the leading cause of death in infants during the first year of life, which makes parents wonder how to prevent this from happening.
While not all birth defects have known causes or are caused by a medical professional’s negligence, Attorney Chris J. Roy, Jr. knows what to look for and how to craft an effective case to secure maximum compensation. A trusted advocate, Chris fights to protect the rights of the littlest patients and their families. By choosing the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, you will benefit from nearly three decades of experience and skilled representation. He handles claims from anywhere in Louisiana with a concentration in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, and Grant Parish. For a free consultation to find out your options, contact LA birth defects lawyer Chris J. Roy, Jr. by calling 1-318-487-9537 or filling out a case evaluation form.
Birth defects can occur at any time throughout the pregnancy, but most commonly they occur during the first trimester. This is the time when the baby’s organs are formed. Defects can be structural (having to do with a part of the body) and functional (having to do with social and/or mental function). Thousands of different kinds have been identified. Common structural abnormalities include cleft lip, abnormal heart valves, club foot, and spina bifida. Common functional defects include autism, Down syndrome, blindness, deafness, hypothyroidism, and muscular dystrophy.
Awareness is often the best preventative medicine. Risk factors that are known to contribute to birth defects include:
- Taking certain medications or illegal drugs during pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy
- Exposure of the mother to harmful substances such as mercury or bisphenol A (BPA)
- Exposure of the pregnant woman to rubella/German measles or toxoplasmosis
- Pregnancy after the age of 35
- A history of birth defects in the family
- The mother’s diabetes or obesity.
Genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors often play a role, but about 70 percent of birth defects do not have a known cause. Some of those external factors could be medical negligence and malpractice during prenatal care. Legally speaking, a birth defect is different from a birth injury. A birth defect forms while the infant is still in the womb. In contrast, a birth injury occurs while the mother is in labor or during the delivery process. Both types typically result in infants with serious health problems who require specialized, life-long medical care.
It is natural for parents to wonder why their child has a birth defect. Was it related to something that happened during pregnancy? During delivery? Was it preventable? Some birth defects can be can be linked to exposure to:
- Prescription drugs or over the counter medications
- Environmental toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides
- Toxic industrial chemicals such as cleaning fluids, paint thinners, and solvents
When a child has a birth defect that may have been caused by an avoidable exposure, possible answers may cause parents to consider litigation. Additionally, parents who are not properly warned of possible birth defects may have a legal claim for wrongful birth if they feel they would have opted to end or avoid pregnancy if they had been informed.
Central Louisiana birth defect lawyer Chris J. Roy Jr., founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, understands how difficult it can be for families to deal with the trauma of medically induced birth defects. He seeks to ease the financial, mental, and physical burden that the litigation process can add by consistently communicating with you, as well as handling the complicated details so you can focus on what’s important. While the firm is large enough to supply the necessary resources to handle any type of personal injury, it is also small enough to provide the individual attention that your case deserves. Chris J. Roy, Jr. will carefully examine all possible avenues for compensation to make sure you get the best recovery possible. An experienced litigator, he takes pride in helping victims of medical negligence throughout Louisiana. For help with your legal claim, contact the firm today for a free initial consultation by calling 1-318-487-9537 or filling out this online form.