Obstetric Medical Malpractice
Obstetricians take care of women during a pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and immediately after a baby is born. When you go to see an obstetrician, you trust that he or she will care for both you and your baby. Unfortunately, like other professionals, obstetricians do sometimes make mistakes. They may fail to recognize a complication, misdiagnose a mother, or botch a C-section. If you or your baby has injured as a result of negligence by an obstetrician, you may be able to recover damages. The Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help you understand your legal options.Obstetric Medical Malpractice
When an obstetrician misdiagnoses, there may be an improper handling of an ectopic pregnancy or an overlooking of risk factors associated with gestational diabetes. A misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy could result in serious complications for a mother. Sometimes the misdiagnosis is of the fetus, such as where genetic defects in the fetus are missed. Obstetricians are supposed to use a professional degree of care throughout a pregnancy to determine whether the baby is developing normally, and whether the pregnancy is high risk.
Obstetricians are also supposed to monitor the fetus and the mother during labor. Among other things, they need to respond to alterations in heart rate and oxygen levels. They also need to monitor whether it's necessary to perform a C-section.
Sometimes errors are perpetrated in the course of delivery the baby, or in connection with minor procedures performed during the C-section such as tubal ligation, in which a woman's fallopian tubes are changed in order to stop any future pregnancies. A failed tubal ligation can result in a woman getting pregnant, and it may also be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. C-sections sometimes have complications as well. A birth injury to a mother or child during a C-section is not always malpractice.
In order to establish obstetric malpractice, you would need to establish: (1) there was a doctor-patient relationship, (2) breach of the professional standard of care that exists due to the relationship, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) damages. These are elements that would need to be proven whether an injury was done to the mother, the child, or both.
When a baby suffers birth injuries due to obstetric malpractice, the harm can be severe or even fatal. Birth injuries are any type of harm that happens to the baby due to physical pressure in the birth process, while a baby is moving through the birth canal. They can include nerve damage, broken bones, cerebral palsy, and shoulder dystocia. They can be the result of a difficult delivery, such as one in which the fetus must be pulled out of the mother using forceps.Expert Testimony on Obstetric Medical Malpractice
You will likely need to consult with a board-certified obstetrician even before you file your case. When filing a complaint, you need to simultaneously file a certificate under Rule 3012-a. The certificate must state that facts were reviewed and talked over with a health care expert licensed to practice medicine who you reasonably believe understands the medical issues related to your case. You will need to be able to state in the certificate that because of this consultation, you and your attorney believe it's reasonable to sue your obstetrician.Damages
Compensatory damages may be available for obstetric medical malpractice that harms the mother or baby. Compensatory damages are those damages meant to place you (or the baby) back in the position you would have been in had reasonable care been given and malpractice not happened. Economic damages can include amounts to cover medical bills, lost income, therapy, rehabilitation, and replacement services, depending on the nature of the injuries. Noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Syracuse
The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano provide legal representation to patients injured by obstetric malpractice in Syracuse and Rochester. We also represent those in Elmira, Auburn, Ithaca, Norwich, Binghamton, Herkimer, Delhi, Oneida, Lowville, Cortland, Watertown, Oswego, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Cooperstown, and Lyons. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.