Can You Sue for a Bad C-section?

May 17, 2021

A Birth Injury Lawyer Can Determine Whether You Are Able to Sue For a Bad C-Section

It is possible to sue for a bad C-section, if the injuries that resulted were caused by a medical practitioner’s negligence or fault. A birth injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case. While not all C-section injuries are the result of medical malpractice, if you or your child has suffered serious injury or someone has died from a botched C-section, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a birth injury lawsuit.

Injuries to a mother or child from a bad C-section can be devastating, leading to disfigurement, permanent disability, and even death. At what should be a joyful time, families may wind up facing emotional devastation, physical pain and suffering, medical and therapeutic expenses, and loss of income from being unable to work.

The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Wapner Newman understand what you are going through. We have helped families all over PA and NJ get the compensation they need to help pay for medical treatment and rebuild their lives. We hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for the harm they caused and fight to get justice and the settlement you deserve.

Understanding When You Can Sue for a Bad C-Section

C-sections have become more commonplace and now account for approximately 32 percent of all U.S. deliveries. A C-section is a surgical procedure where incisions are made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus to remove the baby, and are usually performed when the safety of the mother or baby is at risk. Often C-sections are done because of an emergency, and it becomes critical to handle them correctly to prevent serious injuries or fatalities.

You can sue for a bad C-section if you have been injured by medical negligence that occurred when a healthcare provider failed to meet the standard of care expected in their profession in performing the C-section. “Standard of care” is the basic level of acceptable treatment a patient should expect from their provider.

To adhere to this standard of care, medical professionals have a responsibility to recognize signs of danger before, during or after the birth of a child and act accordingly to ensure the health of both mother and child. If they fail to do so and the mother or infant is injured, providers can be accountable for the costs that result.

Common Causes of Botched C-Sections

Botched C-sections occur for many reasons. Some of the most common include:

Failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner. Women in labor should be closely monitored to identify and respond to any sudden changes and provide necessary emergency surgery before damage can occur. An immediate C-section is the reasonable standard of care for when circumstances arise such as:

  • Fetal distress, drop in fetal heartrate
  • Maternal distress or infection
  • Eclampsia or pre-eclampsia in the mother
  • Labor is not progressing after many hours
  • The umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck or is being delivered first
  • The baby is too large for vaginal delivery
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Anesthesia injuries. If anesthesia is administered at the wrong time or the wrong dosage is given, complications can develop, such as lack of oxygen to the mother or infant, leading to brain damage.
  • Surgical injuries. If the C-section is improperly performed, the fetus can be cut, causing serious permanent injury or death. The mother’s bowels, uterus, or bladder can be lacerated or perforated, causing infection, sepsis, kidney failure, blood clots or hemorrhaging.

A C-section should generally be done in 30 minutes or less after being identified as necessary. If it isn’t, the risk of birth injury increases and can lead to serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, brachial palsy, brain damage, and paralysis. In some cases, intellectual and developmental disabilities stemming from lack of oxygen at birth may not be obvious until years later, but negligent medical professionals can still be held accountable.

Can I Sue if I Didn’t Want a Caesarian?

Doctors must have a medically sound reason for a C-section, usually because either the baby’s or mother’s life is at risk, making a speedy surgical birth medically necessary. If a doctor recommends a C-section that you did not request or want, the doctor must explain the reasoning behind this suggestion with medically sound facts and also disclose known risks.

If the doctor does not get your informed consent, performs a C-section in order to charge more, or commits any type of fraud or omits vital information, the doctor may be sued and also may face criminal charges and lose their license to practice medicine.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You Get Compensation for a Bad C-section

In a successful lawsuit, our Wapner Newman attorneys can win a settlement award, called “damages” for both your economic or monetary losses and your non-economic damages, losses that do not have a specific dollar value.

Damages may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Ongoing care
  • Loss of future income or ability to work
  • Disability
  • Shortened life expectancy and diminished quality of life
  • Mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses.

Damage award amounts vary greatly, depending on factors such as the circumstances of the case and the extent and permanence of your injuries. Our birth injury lawyers will handle all aspects of your case to get you the best settlement possible. We will:

  • Talk with you to determine what happened and whether medical negligence was responsible, and find out who the negligent parties may be, such as the doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or hospital involved.
  • File all necessary paperwork and documents in a timely manner. According to Pennsylvania statute 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524(2), there is generally a statute of limitations, or deadline, to file most medical malpractice claims: two years from the time the malpractice allegedly occurred. If you do not file before this deadline, the courts most likely will refuse to hear your case.
  • Investigate your case and gather evidence such as hospital and delivery room videos, and medical records, documents, and reports.
  • Interview witnesses and take statements.
  • Consult and work with expert witnesses to provide testimony on your behalf.
  • Calculate what a fair settlement may be and negotiate with insurance companies, who are out for profit and will attempt to get you to settle for as little as possible.
  • Build your case to prove medical negligence should negotiations break down, by showing that the medical professional:
    • Owed you a standard of care
    • Breached this standard by performing a bad C-section
    • Caused injuries to you or your child
    • Led to your suffering damages as a result.
  • Take the case to trial if necessary and advocate for you and present evidence in front of a judge or jury.

Call Our Bad C-section Attorneys for Help

No amount of money can compensate for a serious injury or death, but a successful medical malpractice claim for a botched C-section can lighten the burden a family carries and offer financial security. For many families, these claims also represent accountability and justice for the harm their child has suffered.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died as a result of a bad C-section in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free initial consultation.

We understand that a strong relationship with every single client is essential. We will be there for you throughout the entire process, fighting for justice and the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (215) 569-0900.