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Portland Birth Defects Attorney

Every parent wants their child to be as happy, healthy, and capable as possible. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately one out of every 33 newborns in the United States is born with birth defects on an annual basis. In addition, such birth defects are the primary cause of infant fatalities in the U.S. Whether a child survives a birth defect or not, this can always be an emotionally devastating experience for parents.

If your child was born with a birth defect that could have been prevented or of which you were unaware, you may have the right to seek recovery from one or more liable parties. At the Johnston Law Firm, we know your first priority is to care for your child, however, we also know how costly and challenging caring for a child with a serious birth defect can be. Please call to discuss how we may be able to help you today.

Common Serious Birth Defects

There are many different types of possible birth defects, some of which include the following:

  • Anencephaly;
  • Spina bifida;
  • Encephalocele;
  • Eye defects;
  • Cleft palate and/or cleft lip;
  • Cardiovascular defects;
  • Down syndrome;
  • Other chromosomal anomalies;
  • Musculoskeletal defects;
  • Gastrointestinal defects.

While some birth defects can be partially or completely corrected by surgery, others are not treatable and a child live with the challenges of the defect their entire life. Parents may also be responsible for ongoing medical care and assistance for the child.

Causes of Birth Defects

Much to the frustration of medical professionals and parents, the cause of many types of birth defects is unknown. However, in some situations, the defects can be traced to either genetics or environmental factors. If a birth defect occurs simply because of genetics, it could not have been prevented and parents likely have little to no legal recourse. On the other hand, parents may have significant legal rights if a defect occurred due to environmental factors. Such factors can be found in the home or workplace and can include:

  • Insecticides;
  • Lead, mercury, or other heavy metals;
  • SSRIs and other prescription drugs;
  • Cleaning products and solutions;
  • Paint;
  • X-rays and other radiation exposure;
  • Petroleum products;
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC);
  • Toxic chemical exposure;
  • Alcohol or tobacco.

While knowingly using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs while pregnant would not result in a claim, a birth defect due to exposure to other environmental factors at home or work is often the basis for a valid claim.

Depending on where the exposure occurred, you may be able to hold your employer, municipal government, landlord, home builder, or similar party liable for the losses of you and your child due to the resulting birth defect. Establishing a connection between a particular birth defect and environmental exposure can involve complex medical evidence, so you want to have the help of an attorney who is familiar with this type of case and who has the resources needed to prove your claim.

Failure to Diagnose Birth Defects

In some cases, a birth defect may be so severe that parents may make the extremely difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. This can avoid health risks to the mother, unnecessary pain and suffering of the child, and more. Medical professionals should carefully screen for birth defects as part of a mother’s prenatal care.

If a medical professional should have identified a severe birth defect and failed to do so, parents may be able to hold the doctor liable for their unnecessary losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. If you want to discuss whether you may have a malpractice claim involving your child’s birth defect, please call to discuss your case today.

Contact a Portland Birth Defects Attorney For Help Today

Learning that your child has a serious birth defect can be a complicated and emotional experience. You want to give your child the best life possible and with a birth defect, that may involve significant cost for their entire lives. If you believe your child’s birth defect may have been caused by toxic exposure or some other type of negligence or wrongdoing, or if your child’s severe birth defect was not properly diagnosed, you should not hesitate to speak with a Portland birth defect attorney at the Johnston Law Firm. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and we will handle your case with nothing but compassion and understanding. We can advise you whether you have any legal rights to recovery, so please call for a free consultation at (503) 546-3167 today.