Yes, you can sue your midwife in many states. Ultimately, most states require midwives to be licensed, and while these licensing requirements may vary between states, licensed midwives may be held to the same standards as licensed physicians. As such, if you decide to sue a licensed midwife, your lawsuit may operate under the same guidelines as a medical malpractice claim.
As licensed professionals, many midwives are required to provide a duty of care. If they breach this duty of care and you suffer injuries in the process, they may be held liable for your pain and suffering.
However, if you are considering whether you may be able to sue a midwife, you should know that specific states present unique challenges. Some states may not even regulate midwives or offer licensure.
Lastly, different states have various statutes of limitations on these cases, which may restrict the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Speaking with a birth injury lawyer may help you better understand these unique cases.
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What Are the Responsibilities of a Midwife?
According to MedlinePlus, a midwife is generally capable of serving women’s health care needs through prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care as well as other gynecological services.
Depending on the type of midwife, their services can include, but may not be limited to:
- Offering guidance to help the mother make healthy choices for her and her baby
- Providing personalized education, counseling, prenatal care, and hands-on assistance
- Ordering required lab work and other procedures
- Promoting women’s health and minimizing care risks
- And more
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Where Do Midwives Perform Services?
While many midwives deliver services through a hospital, they also may provide labor and delivery care in the home. When a birth takes place at home with a midwife’s assistance, there are a number of considerations about how the labor and delivery process may progress in these unique conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of situations where a birth at home would not be recommended. For multiple births, women who’ve previously had C-sections, and women who will not be able to make a headfirst delivery of the baby, these scenarios may call for the resources of a hospital.
If the delivery is arranged to take place in the home, there may be reasons to move the birth to a hospital after labor has begun. A mother may have high blood pressure and bleeding. The baby may also be showing signs of distress or may be located in a position that would not be appropriate for a home birth.
Midwives who assist in home birthing should still be expected to administer appropriate care. If a midwife acts negligently in either a hospital or a home care setting, they may be liable for their error or failure to administer care.
How Do Midwives Act Negligently?
Midwife negligence is often displayed when they overestimate their limited medical training or offer ill-advised medical advice that causes harmful side effects.
Common acts of midwife negligence include:
- Failure to prevent or remedy difficult childbirths
- Performing improper procedures on the mother after childbirth
- Failure to identify and seek treatment for potentially dangerous pregnancy complications or health conditions
- Administering dangerous medications
- And more
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What injuries are commonly caused by negligent midwives?
Negligent midwives may cause physical injuries to either the mother or her newborn child, such as head injuries or uterine tears. Further, they may allow dangerous health conditions to spread after leaving the conditions undiagnosed and untreated.
Birth injuries that may be caused by midwife negligence include:
- Infections or excessive blood loss, commonly occurring after an improper episiotomy
- Head injuries or nerve damage from prolonged labor, breech birth, or awkward positioning of the child in the uterus or birth canal
- Brain damage after allowing the umbilical cord to wrap around the child’s head or neck
- Skull fractures or intracranial bleeding
- And more
Complications that may be caused for the mother include blood loss after failing to address the mother’s injuries during childbirth, hypertension, amniotic fluid embolism, and more.
Negligent Midwife Lawyers Fighting for You and Your Loved Ones
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we believe in fighting for victims of medical negligence – no matter who the liable party is. No parent should have to wonder if they may need to sue their midwife.
Fortunately, if you have suffered physical, psychological, or financial losses after an experience with a negligent midwife, our firm can be there to help fight to protect your right to compensation.
In addition to providing legal counsel about your state’s unique laws, we can be there to investigate your claim, help assign a value to your case, work to prove liability, and more.
To get started with your free case consultation today, contact a representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.