The use of drugs during pregnancy can have critical consequences on the health and development of the fetus. Birth defects due to prenatal drug exposure are a major concern for parents and medical professionals. 

Navigating the legal system in such cases can be a daunting task. This article will provide six tips to help you navigate the legal system for birth defects due to prenatal drug exposure.

These tips will help you understand your rights and the available legal options to protect the health and future of your child. Then, with the proper guidance, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your child receives the care and compensation they deserve.

1. Get an Experienced Attorney Who Has Handled Similar Cases

An attorney with specialized knowledge and experience in this area can provide you with the best guidance and representation possible. They will understand the complexities of these cases and have a strong understanding of the relevant laws and regulations.

Additionally, an attorney who has successfully handled similar cases will have a network of medical experts, witnesses, and other resources that can be invaluable in building a strong case.

They will also have a good understanding of the compensation and damages in such cases. With these experiences, they can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the harm that has been done to your child.

It’s crucial to do your research when selecting an attorney. According to Statista, there were more than 1.33 million attorneys in the US in 2022, and it’s necessary to look for someone with a track record of success in these types of cases and who has received positive reviews from clients.

You can also ask for referrals from friends, family, or other professionals in the field. According to the Clio Legal Trends Report, of the clients seeking legal advice, 59% sought a referral from a familiar source like family or friends. In comparison, 57% conducted their search using other methods. Additionally, 16% combined both approaches.

These figures demonstrate that despite the evolving landscape, clients still heavily depend on personal recommendations when searching for a lawyer. With the right attorney by your side, you can increase your chances of getting the best possible outcome for your case.

2. Study Similar Lawsuits

Researching previous cases can give you a better understanding of the compensation and damages awarded. You can also view the strategies used by the attorneys and plaintiffs. This information can help you determine the best course of action.

In recent years, there have been several lawsuits related to using certain drugs during pregnancy and the subsequent development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child. These cases are increasing because, according to CDC, ASD is becoming common in children, with about 1 out of 44 children facing it in the US.

While the link between prenatal drug exposure and these conditions is still under research, the cases show the potential dangers of using certain drugs during pregnancy.

One reference to a similar case of a drug lawsuit is the Tylenol lawsuit. In this case, parents of children with birth defects blamed the use of Tylenol during pregnancy for their children’s health issues. While the outcome of this lawsuit varied, it is an example of the types of compensation and damages that you can seek in these cases.

Studying these lawsuits can give you an understanding of the types of birth defects associated with specific drugs and help you build a stronger case for your legal claims. In addition, staying informed and up-to-date on the latest legal developments can increase your chances of getting the compensation and support you need to care for your child.

3. Identify and Describe Your Child’s Birth Defects

Accurately identifying the specific birth defects your child is experiencing will help your attorney build a strong case and ensure you seek compensation for the right injuries.

A clear and detailed understanding of your child’s birth defects, including medical diagnoses, symptoms, and treatments or interventions that have been recommended or undergone, is necessary. You should also keep a record of medical appointments, treatments, and medical bills or expenses related to your child’s care.

You must also know the long-term impact of your child’s birth defects. It may include future medical treatments, special education needs, or your home or vehicle modifications.

4. Evaluate the Circumstances of the Mother’s Exposure to the Drug

It’s crucial to obtain any medical records, prescription records, and other relevant documentation that can help establish the details of the mother’s drug exposure. This information can help demonstrate that the birth defects were due to the use of prenatal drug exposure and can strengthen your case.

In some cases, it may also be necessary to investigate whether the drug was prescribed or used unprofessionally. For example, if the drug was not approved during pregnancy or the mother was not adequately warned of the risks associated with prenatal drug exposure, this could be a factor in your case.

5. Know What Kinds of Compensation You Can Get

You can seek various types of compensation in these cases, including:

  • Medical expenses: These can include the cost of past, present, and future medical treatments, as well as any expenses related to rehabilitation, therapy, and other interventions.
  • Pain and suffering: It can include compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as any other intangible losses your child has suffered as a result of their birth defects.
  • Lost wages: If the birth defects have impacted the mother’s ability to work or earn a living, she may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and benefits.
  • Loss of consortium: It can include compensation for the loss of companionship and support that the child’s parents have suffered due to their child’s birth defects.

It’s important to understand that the specific types of compensation you can seek in a case will depend on the unique circumstances of each case.

6. Take Action as Soon as Possible

The sooner you take action, the more time you will have to build a strong case and gather evidence. It will also give you a better chance of obtaining the compensation and support your child needs to address the harm done to them.

In many cases, a statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you are barred from seeking compensation for your child’s birth defects. Therefore, it’s necessary to take quick action and consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

To Wrap it Up

Filing a lawsuit can be a complex and overwhelming process. However, by following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting the compensation and support that your child deserves. These tips will help guide you through the legal process and ensure your case is handled effectively.

It’s important to remember that each case is unique and that the specific steps you need to take will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. However, by working with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome for your case and securing the future for you and your child.

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By SARAH