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Understanding What to Expect with a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit


The emotional, physical, and financial cost of raising a child is considerable even in the best-case scenario. Caring for a child with a serious medical condition can be an entirely different situation altogether. If your doctor failed to properly diagnose or inform you of a severe birth defect or medical condition during pregnancy, you may be able to claim compensation. We understand the delicacy of these often complex situations. Paul M. da Costa and his associates at Snyder Sarno D'Aniello Maceri & da Costa LLC can help you navigate the legal complexities of a wrongful birth lawsuit to ensure you the best chance possible at our Roseland practice.

Medical professional holding newborn baby up to patient

What is Wrongful Birth?

A wrongful birth lawsuit is a type of medical malpractice case in which a patient accuses their doctor of inadequate care during pregnancy. The suit typically rests on one of three claims:

  • Failure to diagnose: A doctor failed to diagnose a serious medical problem with a fetus.
  • Failure to warn: After diagnosing a serious medical problem, the doctor failed to sufficiently warn the parent of the risk tied to conceiving and giving birth to a child with such a condition.
  • Denial of informed decision-making: The doctor denied the parent the ability to make an educated choice about terminating their pregnancy. Oftentimes, this claim is closely tied to the failure to warn.

Birth defects or medical conditions such as Down syndrome, spina bifida, thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life – both the child and the parent’s. Failing to diagnose such a serious problem or inform parents can be horribly damaging. With the wealth of genetic screenings made available in the last few decades, it is also a major breach of the doctor-patient relationship.

What Makes a Successful Case?

Like many medical malpractice suits, proving a wrongful birth case can be difficult. Plaintiffs must establish four facts:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant.
  • The doctor violated that relationship with a misdiagnosis or failure to warn.
  • The patient suffered some type of harm or injury.
  • This harm was a direct result of the doctor’s violation of the doctor-patient relationship.

In a wrongful birth lawsuit, the patient does not have to suffer physical injury, such as trauma while giving birth. Oftentimes, the harm is emotional or mental: the result of not being given the chance to make an informed decision about the pregnancy or the stress of caring for a child with serious medical problems. In many cases, a competent physician is brought in to testify that, under the same circumstances, they would have been able to take a different course of action than the doctor in question.

In a wrongful birth lawsuit, the patient does not have to suffer physical injury, such as trauma while giving birth. Oftentimes, the harm is emotional or mental

Understanding Compensation

In New Jersey, damages for a wrongful birth case include compensation for the medical costs tied to caring for a child with a serious medical condition. For many cases, plaintiffs receive extra damages for the emotional stress involved, as well.

Contact Us Today

Paul M. da Costa and his associates at Snyder Sarno D'Aniello Maceri & da Costa LLC are dedicated to ensuring that their clients receive the compensation they deserve for the emotional turmoil surrounding wrongful birth cases. Reach out today to schedule a consultation and discuss your chances of success.

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"I was involved in a VERY complicated and tumultuous child custody, divorce, domestic violence case for two full years. I was fortunate enough to be represented by one of the top matrimonial teams in the state of NJ, and the outcome in my case exceeded my every expectation." - Former Client

"Paul personally stood by my side and represented me throughout my injury case. Whether it was business at hand, advice, or a late night phone call to help me understand what was going on; he never took a step back towards helping me. I knew that I could call on him at any time . My case was very successful and I attribute that to Paul's dedication . He even came to me during a snow storm when I could not make it to his office. I certainly would recommend him to anyone." - Former Client

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