A midwife is a type of healthcare provider who renders medical care for expecting mothers and newborns. Midwives can offer care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and initial postpartum care. Midwives frequently assist when mothers choose alternative birthing arrangements, such as at-home births or water births, although they can also assist with deliveries in hospital settings. Midwives also tend to offer holistic care, such as assisting pregnant women with nutritional or exercise needs or prescribing medications as necessary.
In New Jersey, midwives typically enter consulting agreements with licensed physicians, although they frequently work with women with low risks for birth complications, especially women who choose alternative birthing methods that might be contraindicated by complication risks. However, even in low-risk pregnancies, there is still the possibility for errors to lead to birth injuries for the mother or baby. If a midwife makes a negligent mistake while caring for a mother or her child, it may constitute midwife malpractice.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
As a medical professional, negligent care by a midwife may constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is defined as a healthcare provider’s failure to render treatment to a patient that complies with the accepted standard of care. While the specifics of the standard of care are unique to each patient’s case, generally the standard of care is considered to be the treatment decisions and actions that other healthcare providers of similar training and experience would make in identical circumstances. Therefore, medical malpractice law looks to see if a healthcare provider’s actions are the same actions that their colleagues would have undertaken in the same situation, even if those actions ultimately led to an adverse outcome for a patient.
However, if a provider deviates from the standard of care, their patient may have a medical malpractice claim if they suffered some form of foreseeable harm as a result, such as a physical injury or the development of a harmful medical condition.
Common Types of Midwife Malpractice
Examples of errors that can lead to midwife malpractice include:
- Improper administration or prescription of herbs, supplements, or medications, including administering substances contraindicated by a mother’s medical history
- Failure to consult with or notify a physician of complications during pregnancy, labor difficulties, or fetal distress during delivery
- Failure to refer a patient with risk factors for pregnancy or delivery complications to an obstetrician
- Failure to properly monitor delivery for signs of fetal distress
- Improper or aggressive methods of assisting delivery, such as improper positioning of the fetus or improper use of forceps
Financial Recovery for Birth Injuries Caused by Midwife Malpractice
If you or your child suffered a birth injury due to midwife malpractice, you may be entitled to pursue a legal claim to recover compensation for expenses and losses you suffered due to the injury, including for:
- Medical expenses to treat or rehab a birth injury
- Costs of long-term care for permanent impairments or disabilities resulting from a birth injury
- Loss of wages or income if a mother cannot work after a birth injury or loss of future earning capacity due to a mother or child’s permanent disability from a birth injury
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life caused by disabilities, disfigurement or scarring, loss of childbearing ability, or reduced life expectancy
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Midwife Malpractice Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield midwife malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Audubon, and Cherry Hill. Call us today at (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Hwy. E., Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.