When A C-section Is Necessary (& When It’s Not)

Every woman wants an easy pregnancy. To enjoy her baby bump, daydream about her little one, and to have a smooth delivery. Complications are the last thing a mother wants to think about. 

Whether delivery is vaginal or via C-section, bringing a child into the world is an intense process. Doctors and midwives are wonderful and without their expertise, mortality stats would skyrocket. But every once in a while a healthcare professional makes a decision that’s more harmful than it is good.

In this week’s blog we’ll discuss some scenarios you should watch out for, and what you can do if you or your baby have experienced a birth injury.

When C-Sections Are Necessary

There are times when a C-section is absolutely necessary and is the only option for saving lives. Medical staff are highly trained and should understand which instances warrant an emergency surgery. Red flags include fetal distress, an irregular heartbeat, a tangled umbilical cord, and dangerous bleeding among other scary situations. 

In some cases, C-sections are even scheduled in advance. If the mother has certain health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension it may be safer to deliver the baby via C-section. Here’s a few more instances where a C-section may be the safest option:

►Problems with the placenta

►Delivery of multiples (twins, triplets, and more)

►The presence of a dangerous birth defect

►A baby that is too large or is in an unfavorable birth position

Whether a C-section is a last minute decision or scheduled ahead of time, your doctor is ultimately responsible for making the right choices and explaining things to you. Failing to act quickly can result in harmful injuries and in the very worst scenario, death.

A man wearing scrubs holds a newborn baby in his hands and is about to weigh her on a scale.

When C-sections Are Unnecessary

Sometimes C-sections occur when they’re not medically necessary. But why?

Every once in a while, a mother will elect to have a C-section for personal reasons such as fear of delivery or a busy schedule. That’s not generally the case though. The main culprit for unnecessary C-sections is long labor. Here’s what Neel Shah, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, had to say about it:

“When it comes to cost, on average C-sections are reimbursed at 50 percent more than vaginal deliveries in the US. Eighty percent of the cost of labor and delivery is staffing, and C-sections generally require a small staff working for fewer hours. So it’s not the additional money the doctor makes. A vaginal delivery, from a resource point of view, just costs more.”

There you have it. When a mother has a long labor and delivers vaginally, it costs the hospital more. More money and more time. Women are sometimes pressured into having a procedure they don’t want to because of a lack of patience. If your doctor is throwing in the towel because they want to go to the ball game, that’s a problem. Especially if their decision impacts you and your child in a harmful way.

What Complications Can Arise?

Most of us are so familiar with term “C-section” that we forget it’s actually a major surgical procedure. Incisions are made through the abdomen wall and uterus to deliver the baby. You’ll likely have a 4-6 inch scar, will be in the hospital for a few days, and will need to take it easy for a couple of months. And that’s if everything goes smoothly.

In the event of a medical malpractice error, or simply an unforeseen circumstance you may experience any one of the following:

►Lacerations to other organs 

►Need for an emergency hysterectomy

►Higher risk of blood clots

►Too much blood loss

►Infection at the wound site

If your physician made a risky call and harmed you or your baby, there are things you can do about it. In fact, you should probably consider legal action.

A woman stares out the window as she sits in a chair with her knees cradles against her chest.

Botched C-sections: How To Take Legal Action

Even the most trusted professionals make mistakes under pressure but that’s still no excuse for medical negligence. Mothers and babies deserve the safest method of delivery and care. Performing a risky and unnecessary C-section can endanger everyone and make a doctor liable for malpractice. It may be difficult to prove that your doctor suggested a C-section when it wasn’t necessary, but if you experienced a birth injury, you may want to fight back.

Factors like payment or time of day shouldn’t influence a baby’s birth. If an injury affected you or your child, you should contact a birth injury lawyer right away. It’s important to learn what legal rights you may have and how to move forward.  

How To Prepare For Your Meeting With A Malpractice Lawyer

Life is a journey. With each stage of our lives, we’re faced with new situations we haven’t learned how to navigate.

When you find yourself in the middle of a legal situation, it can feel a bit scary. You probably know contacting a lawyer is a good idea, but what about the rest? You may ask yourself questions like, “Which lawyer do I choose? What do I say? What documents do I even bring?”

This may be new territory for you, but don’t worry. In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks for communicating with your lawyer. A little bit of prep work can go a long ways and will definitely make for a stronger case.

Your First Consultation With Your Malpractice Lawyer

Every day we engage in professional conversations. Just think about it. You may have a conversation with your doctor, dentist, accountant, coworker, or boss on any given day.  Talking to a lawyer is a professional conversation, just like the rest.

Go into your consultation with confidence. There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable. This is a two way relationship, after all. Remember, you get to choose your lawyer, and they get to choose you. Pay attention to their experience level, body language, and personality. Are they paying attention to what you’re saying? Do they seem to care?

You want a medical malpractice lawyer who has your best interests in mind and will fight for you. If you get the feeling they’re not the right fit, move on. It’s  OKAY to choose someone else.

A man writes bullet points in his journal, to be help him remember everything he needs to communicate.

Provide Every Detail

One of the most important ways you can help both your lawyer and yourself is to always be honest. We’ll harp more on that later…but it’s important to share anything and everything that pertains to your case. Try to explain the events in chronological order. Also, try to make things as easy as possible to understand.

Tip: Jot down your thoughts and questions in a notebook, and bring this to your appointment. This can help you keep your focus and not forget anything important.

Talking about a medical mistake or negligence can bring on a lot of different emotions. Feelings such as sadness, anger, and confusion are normal.  A good lawyer knows and understands this, and will treat you with the respect you deserve.

Ask Questions

No question is a bad one, so don’t be afraid to ask anything. Before you select your lawyer, be sure to ask them many questions about their experience and career. You need a professional who is capable. Ask questions such as:

►How many cases have you won?

►How long have you specialized in medical malpractice? (This is a big one! You don’t want just any lawyer, but one who actually specializes in medical malpractice.)

►What are your biggest settlements?

►Why are you passionate about this area of law?

Like any other service, you hire a lawyer expecting quality care. If your lawyer isn’t patient and understanding, you might consider hiring someone else.

Paying Your Lawyer

Medical cases may seem expensive, but the good news is that most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you shouldn’t owe any money unless your lawyer wins the case. Good news! But don’t forget to nail down the specifics. You’ll want to know and understand each and every expense you may be responsible for. You’ll likely owe the firm a percentage of your winnings, and will need to reimburse any litigation fees.

Signing paperwork often means you’re committing to a firm so before you sign, make sure you feel confident and comfortable.

An older man and a younger woman sit at a desk with their laptops and have a professional conversation.

Assembling Relevant Documents

Bringing useful paperwork and records to your appointment is really important. Without these documents, you’re likely wasting your lawyer’s time as well as your own. We recommend bringing the following:

Medical records

X-Rays and other diagnostic images

Photographs of your condition

Medical bills

► Insurance information

► Pay stubs

Proof of lost wages

► W2’s

► Any relevant e-mails, letters, voicemails, or text messages

Gathering pertinent information will not only save your lawyer a lot of time, it will also give them a better understanding of how this medical error has affected your life. Medical malpractice can harm so many different areas of your life, so it’s important your lawyer has all documents to proof how much suffering you’ve experienced.

Honesty Is Key

Being honest is about more than just telling the truth, it’s about sharing everything and not holding anything back. Remember, your lawyer is here to help you and relies heavily on your transparency. Withholding any information can put your case at serious risk. A last-minute surprise in trial can be disastrous. It’s important that your lawyer knows every detail, so they can be as prepared as possible.

A good rule of thumb: It’s better to share too much rather than too little.

Conclusion

We hope this article was helpful and banished any fears you may have had about pursuing a case. Talking to a lawyer is like talking to any other professional and once you find the right lawyer you’ll feel at ease. If you have any questions or are dealing with a medical malpractice mistake, please reach out to our office.

Afraid To Sue For Malpractice? Don’t Be.

Let’s say you need major surgery. You prepare for it according to the hospital’s recommendations, you show up on time, and you leave the hospital soon after the surgery, as expected. When you get home, though, you notice an abnormality: The hospital clearly made a mistake—something you can hold them liable for.

As the weeks go by, you contemplate suing the hospital. You think about the financial stress, the lengthy legal proceedings, what your family and friends may think. 

In this article we’ll cover the most common reasons people don’t sue (and why they probably should). Suing isn’t bad, and it isn’t scary. Let’s dig in.

“It Was Probably Just A Mistake…”

When doctors commit malpractice, it can be challenging to tell them directly. Maybe you’re an exceptionally nice person, and you don’t want to ruin their day.  Plus, you’re thinking there’s a good chance your injury was an honest mistake. Nobody does stuff like that on purpose, and Dr. Schmo seems like a professional. Who doesn’t want to give second chances? 

But here’s the thing. Dr. Schmo’s intention isn’t the problem, the outcome is. If you were injured because of the doctor’s mistake, you deserve compensation. After all, the doctor’s negligence made you suffer physically, emotionally, mentally or all of the above. Think of it like a money-back guarantee. You didn’t get what you paid an arm and a leg for (hopefully not literally too), so you should “get your money back.” 

That’s why doctors have crazy expensive insurance that  you  ultimately have to pay for as the patient — to give the patients they wronged their “money back,” that is. “Sorry I couldn’t give you the smooth and successful surgery you paid for, here’s $X,XXX,XXX to cover what you paid plus the damages we caused and the years of nightmares, PTSD, and other troubles. If you didn’t get what you paid for, you deserve your money back.

A young woman stares out a window as she decides what to do.

“But I Like My Doctor!” 

Let’s say you’ve been visiting your doctor for years. You talk news, politics — they’ve seen your child grow up, maybe you’ve even shared a meal or two together. You don’t want to spoil a personal relationship. Who does? But listen: malpractice is malpractice. Whether or not your doctor is a likable guy is besides the point. If you believe your doctor is your friend, pay attention to how he or she navigates the situation. 

If they don’t sweep it under the rug, or try to hide their negligence, and they not only apologize, but insist that you deserve compensation, guess what? That doctor may actually be a friend, since they’re making sure you’re treated properly (at least the second time around). Fact is, making sure you’re compensated for the malpractice isn’t just good for you — it’ll make that doctor a better doctor too. 

“I Don’t Want Someone To Lose Their Job To Malpractice”

Many people resist suing for malpractice. Who wants to be the reason their doctor loses their job and respect as a medical professional? First and foremost, if you or a loved one has been injured, the medical professional responsible should be held accountable, or else they may cause the same harm to somebody else. But you should also know, doctors don’t really lose their license to practice because of one incident. Their behavior must go beyond ordinary negligence and into the reckless endangerment and a threat to society category. It usually takes two determinations. In fact, almost all doctors get sued for malpractice at least once during their career. 

Now that we’ve covered that, consider yourself. A lawsuit can help cover medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for physical and emotional suffering. Not only that, think about the last time you did something you got in trouble for. Maybe it was a parking fine, or a speeding ticket. Were you less or more careful afterward? The same applies to doctors and other medical professionals. Consequences make you think twice before making the same mistake, and that’s a great thing, for every patient that doctor has in the future. Therefore, it’s critical to hold medical professionals accountable for their actions.

“Malpractice Lawyers Cost Too Much!” 

Are you scared to hire a malpractice lawyer because you think you’ll lose and it’ll break your bank? That’s understandable, but I’ve got some good news for you. Most malpractice lawyers can offer you a free consultation to assess whether your case is viable. This allows you to explore the possibility of a lawsuit without leaping before you look. If a lawsuit isn’t feasible, no harm done. Even better, you can work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you only pay if you win your case!

A woman holds in the palm of her hands a pile of money.

“It’s Just A Little Mistake, That Can’t Be Malpractice, Can It?”

Just because your injury doesn’t seem big, doesn’t make it less likely to be a successful lawsuit. An injury is an injury and malpractice is malpractice. A doctor’s negligence — even a seemingly small error — can cause all sorts of unforeseeable future medical issues. Even if your injuries are small, your case should be successful as long as you can prove negligence. 

Why Suing Is Actually A Good Thing

The main benefit of a successful lawsuit is that it’ll help lift financial burdens, but medical malpractice cases serves another great purpose. For one, when patients bring their malpractice cases to court, it holds doctors accountable. Filing a suit teaches doctors to be more careful with their patients, which helps prevent future malpractice. Ideally, that doctor’s future patients won’t have to suffer from malpractice like you had to. Secondly, more doctors held accountable = less malpractice as a nation. You suing your doctor for malpractice contributes significantly to safer hospitals and medical centers across the nation. 

Filing a lawsuit can offer you a chance to find peace of mind, help others avoid negligent doctors, and receive the compensation you deserve.

Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases

As is the case with most personal injury lawsuits involving negligence, birth injury lawsuits must be filed within a specified period of time. Known as the statute of limitations, this time limit creates a strict deadline for pursuing a lawsuit against the party or parties that caused your child, or you, harm. Should that time limit expire, victims and families will be barred from pursuing legal action and recovering compensation for their damages.
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