Washington, D.C. Labor and Delivery Negligence Attorneys
Fighting for victims of poor maternal care and birth injuries
“Labor” is called “labor” for a reason: It is hard work, and mothers can use all the help they can get from their OB/GYNs, midwives and attendants. When an error is made during the delivery process, however, the entire family can feel the lifelong effects. Paulson & Nace, PLLC, offers you the legal guidance and support you need when you or your child was injured during labor and delivery. For more than 40 years, our skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys has been helping families across Washington, D.C. take back control of their lives after a catastrophic injury during birth. If your family needs support, our family is ready to help.
I have found the firm so far to be very compassionate and understanding, something that seems to be rare in companies these days, let alone in attorneys. Chris Nace offered to help us when no one else would. That goes a long way in my book.
We handle negligent labor and delivery in the District of Columbia
When a doctor fails to provide the standard level of care during labor so that it endangers the health and lives of mother and child alike, that doctor is negligent. At Paulson & Nace, we review the evidence and investigate your experience thoroughly to determine whether you and your child suffered harm because of negligent labor and delivery practices.
Some of the cases regularly referred to us include:
- Physical injuries to the baby, including skull fractures, from the excessive or wrongful use of forceps and vacuum extractors
- Delaying a C-section, thus endangering the life of the child and the mother
- Failing to diagnose or treat a mother’s preeclampsia, which is potentially life-threatening
- Administering the wrong dosage of drugs, or failing to correctly administer labor-inducing drugs such as Pitocin, or antibiotics needed to control a missed infection
- Mistakes involving epidurals
- Anesthesia errors made on mothers requiring a C-section or emergency surgery
- Failure to monitor the child for signs of fetal distress
- Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice
- Failure to notice the umbilical cord is wrapped around the child’s neck, leading to permanent brain damage from oxygen deprivation or even fetal death
- Use of excessive force, leading to shoulder dystocia
A healthcare provider’s failure to perform at the standard level of care, including monitoring mother and child throughout the labor and delivery process, can have devastating consequences for your family. At Paulson & Nace, we hold negligent medical personnel and institutions responsible when their actions have led to injury or harm. When those actions lead to the tragic loss of your baby, we are by your side. We focus our efforts on your case, so you can focus on the healing and grieving process with your loved ones.
Can a Washington, D.C. Hospital turn you away if you’re in labor?
Expectant mothers typically work with their OB/GYN to put a birthing plan in place that includes arriving at the medical center where your doctor has hospital privileges. Particularly in high-risk births, they should know well ahead of time what you may need to safely carry you through the labor and delivery process. Whether or not a particular delivery is high risk, sometimes mothers who enter labor cannot make it to the intended hospital in an emergency. The fact that they were not expecting you does not mean the hospital you do arrive at can refuse to admit you or that they are able to provide a lower level of care regardless of your medical history.
In fact, according to the federal Emergency Medical and Labor Treatment Act, emergency rooms are not allowed to turn away a woman in active labor. This means that expectant mothers who experience emergency situations that may require going through labor and delivery in a different hospital with a different doctor are owed the same duty of care as if your baby were being delivered by your OB/GYN.
You and your baby deserve:
- A bed in the labor and delivery unit if you cannot be safely transferred to the intended hospital
- Monitoring just as any other mother in labor would be
- Informed consent about procedures or precautions that may become necessary so that you have a say in your care
- Access to the same medical care you would have received at your scheduled hospital or birthing center
If you or your baby experiences trauma due to the negligence of your emergency labor and delivery at another medical facility, you do not have to accept the outcome because the treating physician or nurse was unfamiliar with your pregnancy.
What procedures can you refuse during labor and delivery?
There are certain aspects of your care during labor and delivery that you have a right to refuse. If you believe something may pose a risk that you are not willing to take with yourself or your baby due to arrive in the short term, those measures cannot be forced on you. If they are, or your wishes are ignored and they cause harm, medical negligence has played a role in injuring you or your newborn and you have a right to seek justice.
Just some of the procedures you can refuse are:
- Having your water broken. This can increase your risk of infection and removes the protection against umbilical cord compression. Putting pressure on the umbilical cord can decrease heart rate and require an emergency C-section, which comes with its own set of risks.
- Early induction of labor. This may not be a medical necessity and instead more a method of controlling an OB/GYN’s busy schedule. Unnecessary induction can lead to complications such as needing an epidural, which carries a risk of infection and could make pushing more difficult. This could require use of forceps or other delivery aids that can cause harm to your baby.
- Constant fetal monitoring. Unless you are in a very high-risk group that could cause your baby to experience distress at any moment, requiring you to be bed-ridden throughout labor can create other risks. Lack of movement can increase the likelihood of needing a Cesarean section.
It’s almost unfathomable that doctors and nurses helping to bring your child into the world could behave carelessly and cause traumatic injury to you or your newborn. If it happens, you need to seek the advice of legal professionals who can help determine where the fault lies whether it’s with the medical staff or medical facility where you gave birth.
Providing aggressive help for mothers and babies injured during labor
The dedicated attorneys of Paulson & Nace, PLLC, have spent over 40 years protecting new parents and newborns in the greater Washington, D.C. metro. If you or your baby have experienced injury due to negligent practices during labor and delivery, we may be able to help your family hold the at-fault parties liable for the harm you have suffered by obtaining the financial support you will need to recover. Schedule your free case evaluation in our Washington, D.C. or Charleston, WV office by calling 202-463-1999 or by reaching out to us through our contact page.