Posted on 04/27/2022

5 Things To Know About Obstetric (Birth Injury) Malpractice

5 Things To Know About Obstetric (Birth Injury) Malpractice

A significant percentage of medical malpractice, or negligence, occurs at the hands of obstetricians and gynecologists. 

Their negligent mistakes and errors can cause detrimental lifelong injuries to mothers and newborns.

We’re going to review the five most important factors to know about OB/GYN medical malpractice and how you can speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at no-cost.

If you’d like to skip ahead to set up your free consultation, you can fill out this intake form.

1. What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is defined as when a medical professional fails to uphold their ethical duty and acts in negligence or with intent of malpractice. 

Medical professionals receive the same education regarding specific treatment plans and protocols and these are accepted as the standard level of care. 

This can range from prescribing specific medications for colds, for example, to ordering a specific lab test to rule out a diagnosis.

Any error, or mistake in treatment throughout the pregnancy, puts the expecting mother and newborn at risk to develop further health complications.

Serious health conditions as a result of malpractice can be lifelong and cause grievances for not only the injured, but the family as well.

2. The most common cases of obstetrics malpractice

Even though it happens every day, giving birth is a very delicate procedure. 

Obstetricians must act quickly and thoroughly in an effort to reduce the risk of damages during and post-labor.

Unfortunately, many birth injuries that are associated with medical malpractice cause severe and lifelong health complications. 

In the most tragic cases, the following malpractice mistakes can cause death.

The most common types of obstetric negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Failure to interpret lab work
  • Failure to interpret diagnostic testing
  • Delayed c-section
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Surgical errors during a c-section
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
  • Prescribing incorrect medication pre, during, or post-labor
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress
  • Oxygen deprivation during labor
  • Failure to properly sterilize tools and equipment

Some common birth injuries caused by malpractice include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Umbilical cord complications 
  • Erbs Palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Organ damage
  • Developmental delays
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Paralysis
  • Further health conditions, like diabetes or hypertension
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Wrongful death

A skilled medical malpractice attorney would review the details of your claim to determine if your injuries were caused by medical negligence.

3. Can you sue your obstetrician and the hospital they provided care under?

The simple answer is yes, you can sue your obstetrician and the healthcare provider.

To prove malpractice, or negligence, your lawyer will need to prove the following four factors:

  1. An established relationship between you and your obstetrician, and the hospital they were providing care under
  2. Your obstetrician, or the hospital, acted in negligence or malpractice
  3. You and your baby suffered an injury due to the negligence
  4. You and your baby sustained damages due to the injury

Your medical malpractice attorney will need to investigate and organize all evidence of your medical malpractice claim to prove your case.

This can include reaching out to other health care professionals as witnesses, researching the standard level of care for your condition, and reaching out to the necessary entities for evidence of your claim.

Supporting evidence can include office visit notes, treatment plans, medical bills, receipts, proof of lost wages, tax returns, photos and any videos related to your injury.

These efforts can be tedious and time-consuming, which is why a good medical malpractice attorney, like those at Grover Lewis Johnson, will have an entire team devoted to fighting for you.

4. Reasons to file an obstetric malpractice lawsuit 

Your medical malpractice lawsuit will benefit from hiring an experience malpractice team to help you get the compensation you deserve.

The malpractice team at your chosen law firm will put together your case and help navigate all legal proceedings, such as court sessions and any depositions.

Some court proceedings and depositions require more prepping than others. The law firm will explain each of the scheduled court proceedings and what is to be expected. They can also help prepare you if you need to do a deposition.

A huge benefit to hiring a medical malpractice attorney is that you are giving yourself the best possibility of receiving compensation for you and your baby’s injury.

If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, then you may receive financial compensation for the following:

  • Physical pain endured
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Mental and emotional pain endured
  • Loss of enjoyment from life
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Counseling
  • Future office visits
  • Prescription costs

The average payout for obstetric/gynecologist procedural claims is 27% higher than that of all medical specialties combined.

There are, however, caps on the total amount of damages you can receive. An attorney will be able to review your damages and assess your best possible outcome.

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5. How to file your malpractice lawsuit

If you and your baby have suffered an injury due to malpractice, file an obstetric malpractice lawsuit.

It’s critical to understand when you’re pursuing your case, that all legal battles have a set of guidelines that must be properly followed. 

One of the laws you must meet is called the statute of limitations, which is the time frame you have to submit your lawsuit.

In Michigan, you typically have two years to file your malpractice lawsuit — however there are exceptions to this rule that can alter your deadline.

It’s best to review your situation with an attorney so they can determine if you have a case and if you’re in accordance with the statute of limitations.

Review these tips before you speak with an attorney and get the most out of your meeting.

If you and your baby have been a victim of medical negligence and have sustained injuries, contact an experienced medical malpractice immediately.

The attorneys at Grover Lewis Johnson have provided legal expertise for the last 25 years in Michigan and have a proven track-record of helping their clients.

Don’t wait any longer to get the compensation you deserve — call Grover Lewis Johnson today.