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Can I Recover Damages for Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect that can affect a child’s spine and leave them with disabilities for the rest of their lives. Parents and guardians may be able to recover compensation if their child’s spina bifida was caused by the careless or negligent actions of a doctor or obstetrician or if there were complications due to poor delivery preparations.

If these medical professionals fail to properly diagnose spina bifida prior to delivery, there may be severe complications during the birth of the child. Here, our personal injury lawyers want to look at whether or not individuals may be able to recover damages if their child was born with spina bifida.

What is Spina Bifida?

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects a person’s spine. Usually, this is a congenital disability that occurs if a fetus’s neural tubes fail to develop or close properly. The neural tube is a structure that develops early in the womb and eventually becomes a child’s brain and spinal cord. Typically, the neural tube closes after approximately one month of pregnancy.

If the neural tube does not close or suffers from improper development, a child could develop problems with their spinal cord and the bones along their spine. Spina bifida will result in symptoms that affect a person’s daily life. Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that approximately one out of every 2,700 births result in a child born with spina bifida. The CDC says that the lifetime costs of caring for a person with spina bifida can reach more than $791,000.

Recovering Damages for Spina Bifida

When a mother is evaluated by a doctor or obstetrician, she should be treated with an adequate medical standard of care. Usually, medical professionals are easily able to diagnose spina bifida while the child is still in the womb. There are various ways to diagnose this medical condition and other birth defects through ultrasounds, AFP screenings, and amniocentesis procedures. Radiologists can examine the fetus in these different scans and look for certain symptoms that could indicate spina bifida, including dilated ventricles or clubfeet.

Medical professionals have a responsibility to test for and attempt to diagnose various types of possible birth injuries or illnesses, including spina bifida. Obstetricians do this so that they understand any possible complications that could arise during the delivery process. Failing to do so could result in complications during delivery that affect the health of the mother and child.

If the medical team does not prepare appropriately for a spina bifida delivery, or if they are not aware that the child has spina bifida, this could result in further injuries for mother or child, or even a fatality.
In the event medical professionals do not properly diagnose spina bifida in your child, you may be entitled to compensation. This is particularly true if the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis led to complications during the delivery process that caused injuries for you or your child. You may be entitled to coverage of medical expenses, the cost of future medical care, lost wages, and various types of pain and suffering damages.

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John Torgenson

After high school, John attended the University of Utah, graduating in 2001. John then attended his dream school, Notre Dame Law School, where he graduated, with honors, in 2004. John is licensed to fight in court for real people in the State of Arizona, the United States Federal District Court of Arizona, and the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before establishing what is now Torgenson Law, John practiced in the litigation group at Fennemore Craig, the oldest law firm in Arizona, and one of the largest firms in the Southwest. Having practiced at Fennemore Craig in both the defense and plaintiff’s practice areas gives John a complete perspective of the litigation process, and valuable insight into how to efficiently and effectively advance his clients’ interests. His unique and balanced background enhances his credibility with defense lawyers, insurers, and defendants as well as with judges and arbitrators.