Nearly one out of every three children born in our country is delivered through a Cesarean section, or C-section, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. However, in many cases, these complex procedures go wrong. For instance, a doctor may wait too long to perform one, or the doctor may make mistakes while carrying out the actual surgical procedure. The results of this medical malpractice can be devastating for children and their families.
At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, our attorney has more than 15 years of experience in protecting the rights of birth injury victims and their families in Indianapolis and communities throughout Indiana. We understand the tremendous physical and emotional pain that medical errors can cause families to suffer. We also realize the financial burdens that families face as a result of medical negligence. If you believe that a C-section error occurred during the delivery of your child, we want to help you. Contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What Is a Cesarean Section?
A Cesarean section is a surgical procedure in which a doctor makes an incision in the abdomen, cuts through the uterus and manually removes the baby. The incision is usually about six inches long and runs parallel to the mother’s waist line. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor will use general or regional anesthesia such as a spinal or epidural to carry out the procedure. Generally, a C-section will take between 45 minutes and an hour to complete. However, it can take significantly longer if complications arise.
If a vaginal delivery poses a risk to the health of the mother and/or child, a doctor may choose to perform a C-section. Some of the common situations where doctors perform the procedure are:
- The baby’s head passes through the vagina, but the baby’s shoulders become stuck inside the mother’s body (shoulder dystocia)
- The baby is at risk of being born feet first (breech position)
- The baby’s umbilical cord passes through the vagina before the baby (cord prolapse)
- The mother experiences a lengthy and challenging labor
- The baby shows signs of distress
- The mother is giving birth to more than one baby
- The mother has undergone previous C-sections.
Before a doctor performs a C-section, the doctor should fully discuss the matter with a mother and explain the benefits and risks.
What C-Section Risks Do Mothers and Babies Face?
In some situations, a doctor may delay performing a C-section – even when all signs point to the need for immediate action. In other cases, a doctor may fail to perform a timely C-section because a nurse failed to detect or tell the doctor about signs of fetal distress. The delay can cause the baby to be deprived of oxygen for far too long and cause permanent brain damage or even death.
A C-section is a complex surgical procedure. It carries all of the normal risks associated with surgery such as the risk of infection or risk of clotting, but also unique risks such as a retained placenta. These normal risks associated with a C-section are rarely the result of malpractice. However, some of the other problems that can arise in a C-section due to medical negligence include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Ruptured uterus
- Lacerations to the baby
- Unnecessary delays resulting in fetal distress
In addition to causing a birth injury, a negligently performed C-section procedure can put the mother at risk of experiencing complications in future pregnancies.
How Can an Indiana C-Section Lawyer Help You After a C-Section Error?
At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, our attorney works closely with our clients to help them understand the birth injuries that have impacted their lives. The steps in the process include:
- Case evaluation. Our attorney and you need to get a clear picture of what happened during the C-section. We will obtain all of the information that we need in order to decide whether to investigate further. This step in the process will involve an open and honest conversation between you and our legal team. For many different reasons, we may decide that we will not take on a case. For instance, we may not have enough time to complete an investigation before the statute of limitations passes, or the statute of limitations may have already passed. We must also be able to prove not only that there was negligence by the healthcare provider but also that the negligence was the cause of substantial, permanent harm to you or your child.
- Medical records review. If we believe that your potential medical malpractice claim may have merit, our legal team will obtain all of the medical evidence, including your medical records. We work with highly knowledgeable legal nurse consultants who can review these records and provide valuable insights about what may have gone wrong during the C-section. We will advance any expenses in pursing your case at no cost to you unless we are successful and ultimately obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf.
- Consultation with experts. If our legal nurse consultants indicate that medical malpractice may have occurred during the Cesarean delivery of your child and that the malpractice resulted in substantial permanent harm to you or your child, our next step will be to consult with medical experts who can weigh in on the case and offer additional expertise. We work with experienced obstetricians and other physicians who understand the unique medical issues in these cases. They can help us to determine whether a doctor or other medical professional failed to follow the recognized standard of care and, in turn, caused injury to your child.
- If we determine that your birth injury case has merit, will discuss the matter in detail with you, review all of your legal options and explain the process that may lie ahead, including how much time it could take to resolve your case.
- Pursuit of your claim. If you decide to move forward with your C-section error case, we will handle all of the necessary paperwork for filing your medical malpractice claim, including filing a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance Division of Medical Malpractice. The Division will appoint a medical review panel to review your case and issue an opinion. After the panel reports its opinion, and with an expert opinion supporting the claim, we may proceed with filing a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court. We will pursue your case on a contingency basis, meaning you will not owe us any attorney fee or reimbursed expenses unless we win your case.
Even though many medical malpractice claims are resolved through a settlement, our legal team will be ready to pursue your claim at trial. We will always discuss any settlement offers that you receive and make sure that you understand that the decision of whether to accept the offer is yours – and yours alone – to make. Our ultimate goal will be for you to get the answers you deserve and to recover full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm that a C-section error has brought into your life.
Contact Our Indiana C-Section Malpractice Attorney
If you suspect that the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional caused you or your child to suffer injury during a C-section delivery, your best course of action is to seek immediate help from an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we can put more than 15 years of legal experience on your side as well as a passion for helping injured patients and their loved ones to seek the justice they deserve. Call or reach us online today to get started with a free and confidential consultation.