A wrongful life claim allows a parent of a child born with severe medical problems to sue the hospital or health care provider who provided treatment.
How Does a Wrongful Life Lawsuit Arise?
A wrongful life claim arises after an infant is born with severe birth defects. The child with birth defects was only born because of a medical professional’s negligent diagnosis.
What Is the Duty of Care Regarding Wrongful Life?
Medical professionals have a duty to inform patients about any known complications, dangers, or risks involving a pregnancy. When there is a failure to provide the level of care a medical professional would in same or similar circumstances, duty of care is breached. The patient to whom the breached duty was owed can sue for medical malpractice.
Does Every State Allow Wrongful Life Lawsuits?
No, not every state permits for wrongful life lawsuits. This is in part due to the fact that it is often complicated to calculate how much a parent or the child is owed because the child was not born defect-free.
However, many courts have awarded parents money in wrongful life claims. Currently, a wrongful birth plaintiff cannot receive compensation strictly for pain and suffering.
Is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit the Same as a Wrongful Life Claim?
No, in a wrongful birth claim the alleged health care provider or hospital is accused of:
- Misdiagnosing the fetus’ current condition
- Negligently providing genetic counseling about the chance of the fetus developing abnormally
As a result, the infant is born with one or multiple medical conditions requiring medical treatment that is both:
What Are the Available Defenses in a Wrongful Life Case?
A medical professional does have defenses available to them to fight a wrongful life claim. These defenses include:
- Patient negligence
- Wrong party being sued
- Uncertain damages
- No breach of duty
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Wrongful Life Lawsuit?
A wrongful life lawsuit is complicated because it requires proving specific elements to win or disprove liability. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to understand more about filing for this type of medical malpractice claim.