When doctors fail to diagnose birth defects, they can be held responsible in a lawsuit. To recover the compensatory damages they deserve, parents need to be able to recognize a doctor’s failure to diagnose birth defects in Maryland.
Simply put, failure to diagnose birth defects means that a Maryland doctor did not do their job. During pregnancy, doctors perform various prenatal screenings to evaluate a baby’s health. If doctors then don’t offer diagnostic testing or fail to diagnose congenital disabilities properly, a child may suffer. Parents can recognize this by keeping track of screening and diagnostic testing results and speaking with an attorney. A lawyer can then help parents file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent Maryland doctor.
Our team is dedicated to helping Maryland parents and their children get the damages they deserve against a negligent doctor for failing to diagnose birth defects. For a free case evaluation, parents can call the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Bennett & Heyman today at (410) 429-7856.
What Does It Mean When a Doctor Fails to Diagnose Birth Defects in Maryland?
Maryland doctors are responsible for offering a standard of care to patients, including new children coming into the world. Suppose a doctor fails to uphold that standard of care and fails to diagnose certain congenital disabilities. In that case, that failure could result in a worsened quality of life for your child.
When Maryland doctors don’t appropriately recognize and diagnose birth defects in your child, whether while your child is in utero or after their birth, that’s considered a failure to diagnose. In these cases, it is not just that your doctor did not have enough information to diagnose your child with a congenital disability, but that their negligent care contributed to the failure to diagnose.
Unfortunately, failing to diagnose birth defects can have severe effects. When newborn children don’t get the medical care they need or parents aren’t prepared because their doctor didn’t inform them of likely congenital disabilities, it does a disservice to the child. Certain birth defects, like spina bifida, can have disastrous consequences if left untreated or undiagnosed.
When discussing a doctor’s failure to diagnose birth defects, it’s important to distinguish between birth defects and birth injuries. Birth defects are genetic conditions or results from pregnancy complications that a child is born with. A doctor’s negligence during delivery causes birth injuries that are otherwise avoidable. Through prenatal testing, a doctor should be able to diagnose birth defects so parents can plan for the proper care. If doctor does not, that’s an example of failure to diagnose.
How to Determine Whether Your Maryland Doctor Failed to Diagnose Birth Defects?
When pregnant, parents can request a variety of prenatal tests. The goal is to test for common birth defects so that parents can give their newborns the proper care they need. If you requested a certain prenatal test and received it, and your doctor failed to diagnose your child with a congenital disability, that is how you know a doctor did not uphold the standard of care.
During your pregnancy, you will likely receive screening tests throughout each trimester. These tests will look for things like cardiac or chromosomal complications. If screening tests are abnormal, they may call for additional diagnostic tests. Parents can choose to receive diagnostic tests that can be more invasive than a screening. Suppose you opt for a diagnostic test, and your doctor doesn’t report back about potential congenital disabilities. If your child is then born with a birth defect that was tested for, that may mean your Maryland doctor failed to diagnose a congenital disability. Should that happen, parents can call a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to get justice for their child.
If, after birth, your Maryland doctor continues not to diagnose your child for congenital disabilities, that can jeopardize your child’s health even further. Doctors who fail to offer prenatal testing to patients or blatantly miss obvious signs of birth defects have disserved their patients. Parents can recognize failure to diagnose congenital disabilities if their child is born with a birth defect that their doctor didn’t alert them of.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Maryland Doctor for Failure to Diagnose Birth Defects?
Failure to diagnose birth defects is considered medical malpractice in Maryland. That means parents have the right to hire a Maryland medical malpractice attorney and file a lawsuit against a negligent doctor.
In Maryland, parents can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor for failing to diagnose their child’s congenital disability. According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-109, the statute of limitations for parents to sue for failure to diagnose is five years from the date of injury or three years from the date of discovery. With these cases, the date of discovery will often be the date of the child’s birth or soon after, meaning that three years is the more applicable deadline to file.
When infants and their parents suffer because a medical professional failed to uphold the standard of care, they are entitled to compensatory damages. A Maryland medical malpractice attorney can help parents recover economic and non-economic damages in a lawsuit against a negligent doctor.
During your pregnancy, it’s wise to keep track of all prenatal test results in case a doctor fails to diagnose birth defects. For example, suppose your baby was screened for cystic fibrosis during the first trimester. If your doctor either failed to suggest diagnostic testing or failed to diagnose based on further testing, that’s considered medical malpractice. Your newborn child with cystic fibrosis will likely need medical care immediately so that they can get the nutrients they need. If your child suffers because a doctor failed to diagnose, that warrants litigation. Keeping test results can support your claim against a negligent doctor and strengthen your chances of recovering compensatory damages.
If you’re unsure whether or not a doctor failed to diagnose congenital disabilities in your child, reach out to a Baltimore birth injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you learn if you can sue a doctor for negligence on your child’s behalf.
Call Our Attorneys About Failure to Diagnose Birth Defects Today
Parents and their children deserve proper testing and diagnoses for birth defects from their doctors. For a free case evaluation, call the Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at Bennett & Heyman today at (410) 429-7856.