Prenatal Injuries

Representing Clients in Matters Related to Prenatal Injuries in Miami-Dade County, Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale area), Palm Beach County, Monroe County (Key Largo to Key West), Lee County (Ft. Myers) and throughout the State of Florida

Every parent hopes and prays for a healthy baby. Unfortunately, a fetus is not immune to injury. Injuries incurred in the womb as a result of medical malpractice or another person’s negligence can have devastating, long-lasting effects on both mother and child – even after birth – from both an emotional and financial perspective.

Prenatal Injury Types and Causes

Common prenatal injuries include neurological injuries, birth defects, cerebral palsy, and injuries related to delivery complications. Examples of actions/omissions which may be attributable to medical practice and the legal cause of prenatal injury include:

  • Failure to properly monitor the fetus
  • Failure to perform a C-section when necessary
  • Injuries from forceps
  • Improperly estimating a due date
  • Failure to monitor jaundice at birth
  • Rh factor incompatibility
  • Failure to address lack of oxygen to the infant’s brain

Prenatal injuries may also occur in non-medical related situations. For example, a fetus could be injured as: 1) the result of an automobile accident involving the fetus’ mother; or 2) the result of a slip and fall incident involving the mother. If the motor vehicle accident or the slip and fall incident were caused by the negligence of another, a “prenatal injury” lawsuit would be grounded in general negligence rather than medical malpractice.

Florida Prenatal Injury Law

Under Florida law, the child who is born alive may in his/her own right sue the negligent party for injuries sustained while he/she was a fetus. The lawsuit is commenced on behalf of the child-plaintiff by the child’s legal guardian. Any awarded damages are personal to the child.

The parent or guardian of the child may also sue for damages in his or her own name to recover medical and related expenses she/he incurred and will continue incurring to care for the injured or impaired child. A parent may also be able to recover damages for loss of child custody and companionship and lost income attributable to the parent’s absence from work to care for the injured/impaired child.

If the child or mother dies as a result of the negligence either before, during or after delivery, the personal representative of the mother and/or child may also be able to sue the wrongdoer for wrongful death. Florida law also recognizes a cause of action known as wrongful birth if a doctor and/or hospital does not properly diagnose a child with a genetic abnormality that he/she should have diagnosed based, upon other things, the medical history of the child’s parents, other children, and the parents “family tree.” The theory behind this cause of action is that the doctor should be responsible for paying the lifetime care of a child who would never had been born had the parents been informed of the child’s condition before the birth. The parents are the plaintiffs in a wrongful birth cause of action. The issues in a wrongful birth action are particularly sensitive because they will often touch on bioethics and opinions concerning abortion.

Troy & Schwartz understands the complex, heart-rending issues associated with prenatal injuries. We represent clients dealing with the aftermath of prenatal injuries and help them hold the responsible parties accountable. Our medical malpractice attorneys will make every effort to obtain reasonable compensation for our clients, whether the child and/or the parent(s), based on the circumstances of the case either through settlements or litigation.

If you have a child suffering from a prenatal injury, we’re here for you. Call us at (305) 279-4740 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.