Pregnancy is an exciting, but hectic time! A lot happens in the maternity period, after all a whole person is produced. The pregnant woman is especially vulnerable, trusting her obstetrician to provide her with accurate and necessary information regarding her pregnancy and perform tests as appropriate. Needless to say, she expects a level of care from her doctor and medical staff that gives her and her child the best outcomes possible, but what if she doesn’t receive that?
There is an expected level of medical care a patient should receive from her doctors called the “standard of care”. The standard of care is the level or skill, expertise, knowledge, and care possessed and carried out by physicians in a similar community under similar circumstances. A physician is considered negligent in providing the appropriate care when acting below this standard (breaching a duty of care) which directly causes a person injury or harm. Medical negligence can occur for any number of reasons: poor communication, high doctor-patient ratios, insufficient training, or human error. No matter the reason, medical negligence is unacceptable, notably against pregnant women. The effects of obstetric negligence can be catastrophic considering the vulnerability of multiple persons, at least one of which is at the very beginning of life. Injuries or harm occurring to someone early in life can be particularly severe due to the cost of lifelong medical care and emotional stress to the family.
Obstetric negligence can take a number of forms and result in injury, harm, or death to mother and/or baby…
- Failure to run appropriate test to diagnose a medical condition or disease
- Failure to inform of best practices while pregnant
- Administering harmful medications during pregnancy
- Failure to inform patient regarding risks, benefits, alternatives related to a procedure
- Unnecessary surgery (like C-section for doctor’s convenience)
- Failure to obtain proper patient consent for a procedure
- Failure to monitor mother or baby closely during labor process – can result in an unnoticed lack of oxygen for the baby or signs of preeclampsia in the mother
If you and/or your baby has been injured as a result of medical negligence, you can file a medical negligence claim and seek compensation. Damages that can be awarded as a result of a medical negligence claim include medical expenses, loss of income (current and future), physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment (like in hobbies, exercise, recreational activities), and loss of consortium (impact related to a spouse). In some cases, legal consequences for obstetric negligence can result in loss of operating license, civil fines, or even criminal consequences. Florida limits the amount of non-economic (unquantifiable) damages one can receive from a medical negligence claim: $150,000 from each physician and hospital in an emergency case, $500,000 from each physician, capping at $1 million for each claimant, in a non-emergency case, and $750,000 from each hospital/HMO/hospice/non-physician provider, capping at $1.5 million for all claimants, in a non-emergency case. Florida’s Statue of Limitation (time-frame) for filing a medical negligence claim is 2 years from when the patient (or guardian) knew or reasonably should have known that an injury occurred and there was a reasonable possibility the injury was caused by medical negligence.
In order to recover damages from medical/obstetric negligence claim, the claimant must prove there actually was medical negligence, which can sometimes be challenging to prove. The claimant must prove the care you received was below the standard of care expected by a medical professional and that this subpar care directly cause you harm or injury that would not have occurred otherwise. The most effective way to recover the damages you deserve is to gather your evidence (medical records, insurance claims, billing receipts, witness information and statements) and call an experienced personal injury attorney.
Franco Law is an experienced law firm, established in 1997, comprised of primarily female attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases. They understand that each case deserves the highest-quality representation and will give you the individualized attention you deserve. As female attorneys you can feel comfortable talking about the more intimate details of your case; the attorneys at Franco Law can provide a unique level of empathy regarding your case and will fight for you, making sure you are not undermined in any way. Call Franco Law now for a FREE consultation at (813) 873-0180.
All Female Legal Team
Christine Franco and her experienced personal injury team have been practicing law in Tampa, Florida since 1997. Franco Law Group represents only the injured and disabled. Our firm consists of personal injury lawyers, case managers, paralegals, and assistants that are all committed to managing your case efficiently and to protecting your legal rights. Christine Franco, Esq. has been practicing law ever since she received her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Megan Williams, a social security attorney at our firm, received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.
I highly recommend Franco Law Group. If you are looking for a professional friendly knowledgeable law group, Franco is it. Megan Williams is a great attorney with great communication skills and very detail-driven.
Hands down best attention to clients. The staff are like a family, and they referred me to the best chiropractor around.
I found Christine Franco to be a very professional, thoughtful, attentive attorney. She is very thorough and extremely patient explaining everything to me. She has taken care of five cases for my family and all with outstanding results. Her staff have been with her for quite some time and are always helpful as well. Tammy Baldwin is super to work with as well. I would not give it a second thought to use Franco Law Group for all your needs.