Childbirth is often a profoundly transformative, emotional, and joyful event. Unfortunately, many women experience mistreatment and negligence during childbirth, which can have devastating physical and emotional repercussions. Affected mothers may consider pursuing legal action against their medical care providers. Let’s explore whether a medical malpractice lawsuit can help you seek justice for maternal mistreatment.

When Is Maternal Mistreatment Medical Malpractice?

Maternal mistreatment during childbirth can take various forms, including neglect, unnecessary medical interventions, lack of informed consent, verbal or physical abuse, and failure to respond to emergencies promptly. These actions can lead to severe consequences, including birth injuries, emotional trauma, and maternal mortality.

Michigan law requires all medical professionals to provide treatment that meets the relevant standards of care for healthcare professionals in their practice area. When healthcare professionals deviate from this standard and cause harm, a patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

To establish a Michigan malpractice claim related to maternal mistreatment, a plaintiff must prove four elements:

  • Duty of care. The healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient.
  • Breach of duty. The provider breached their duty through action or inaction.
  • Causation. The breach of duty directly caused harm or injury to the patient.
  • Damages. The patient suffered physical, emotional, or financial damages as a result.

Many things that happen during labor and delivery can constitute medical malpractice. These include:

  • Inadequate prenatal care. Failing to provide appropriate care during pregnancy or respond to signs of potentially harmful conditions can lead to serious issues during and after childbirth.
  • Failure to monitor. Neglecting to properly monitor the mother or fetus’s vital signs during childbirth can result in undetected complications, leading to severe injuries or death.
  • Delayed C-section. Failing to perform a timely cesarean section when medically necessary can cause irreversible harm to both mother and child.
  • Unnecessary C-section. Performing a C-section against the mother’s wishes when not medically necessary increases recovery time and can cause permanent disabilities.
  • Inadequate pain management. Ignoring a mother’s requests for pain relief or providing inappropriate pain management can cause unnecessary suffering and complications.
  • Unwanted restraint or medication. Restraining or medicating a woman when not medically necessary can cause physical and mental trauma.
  • Improper use of forceps/vacuum. Misuse of these instruments during delivery can cause severe injuries to the mother and baby.
  • Unnecessary episiotomy. Cutting the vaginal area to widen the birth canal is often done preventatively against the mother’s will.
  • Verbal or physical abuse. Any form of abusive behavior or discrimination by medical staff during pregnancy or childbirth can contribute to a traumatic experience.

If your pregnancy or childbirth experience was marred by medical mistreatment, you may be able to bring a malpractice lawsuit. Legal action can hold the hospital, birth center, and medical care team responsible for their actions.

Importance of Seeking Justice for Maternal Mistreatment

Suing for malpractice due to maternal mistreatment is not only about obtaining compensation but also about holding healthcare providers accountable. The CDC began its Hear Her® campaign in 2023 to call attention to pregnancy-related deaths and empower pregnant and postpartum women to speak up when something does not feel right.

Maternal mistreatment during childbirth is a serious issue that can have lasting consequences for mothers and their families. Taking legal action sends a powerful message that mistreatment and negligence are unacceptable. It can bring about systemic changes in hospitals and medical practices, improving the quality of care for future patients.

Filing a lawsuit allows you to pursue compensation for the physical and mental injuries you sustained due to mistreatment. Successfully resolving a claim can also provide closure and validation. You deserve to be heard and treated with respect.

Contact a Michigan Malpractice Attorney To Pursue a Claim

Although an increasing number of women report mistreatment or discrimination during maternity care, it can be intimidating to pursue a lawsuit against a medical provider or hospital. An experienced Michigan malpractice attorney can help you understand whether what happened to you could support a lawsuit for medical malpractice and the options available to pursue your claims.

When doctors and hospitals fail to meet the standard of care, pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a way to seek justice and compensation. By understanding the legal process and the importance of holding healthcare providers accountable, affected mothers can take steps to reclaim their rights and ensure better care for future generations.

In Michigan, medical malpractice lawsuits have specific procedural requirements. They also usually involve expert testimony and complicated medical issues. If you or a loved one has experienced maternal mistreatment during childbirth, the experienced attorneys at Sommers Schwartz P.C. can guide you through the process and help you achieve the justice you deserve.