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Fairfax birth injury lawyers

Fairfax Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers

Baby in hospital

At the Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates, we advocate for those suffering from medical negligence. Our multidisciplinary experience uniquely positions us in addressing shoulder dystocia cases, ensuring our clients receive the justice they deserve for their suffering. When seeking legal recourse for birth injuries resulting from medical malpractice, our team strives to give clients a clear understanding of their rights and options and answers to the following questions.

How Can Medical Malpractice Cause Shoulder Dystocia?

Medical malpractice can contribute to shoulder dystocia during childbirth through various factors, including improper management of labor, inadequate monitoring, failure to recognize risk factors, and errors in technique during delivery. Here are some ways medical malpractice can lead to shoulder dystocia:

  • Failure to assess risk factors: Healthcare providers may fail to identify risk factors that increase the likelihood of shoulder dystocia, such as maternal diabetes, fetal macrosomia (large size), maternal obesity, or a history of previous shoulder dystocia.
  • Improper labor management: In some cases, medical malpractice can involve mismanagement of labor, such as inducing labor too early or allowing labor to progress too quickly without adequate monitoring or interventions.
  • Incorrect fetal positioning: Improper handling of the baby’s position during labor and delivery can contribute to shoulder dystocia. For example, if the healthcare provider applies excessive force or incorrect maneuvers during delivery, it can lead to the baby’s shoulder becoming trapped behind the mother’s pubic bone.
  • Inadequate training or experience: Healthcare providers lacking sufficient training or experience in managing complicated deliveries like shoulder dystocia may inadvertently make mistakes contributing to the condition.
  • Delayed response: Medical malpractice can occur if healthcare providers do not respond promptly and appropriately when shoulder dystocia is suspected or identified during childbirth. Delays in performing maneuvers like the McRoberts maneuver, suprapubic pressure, or other techniques can worsen the situation.
  • Negligent use of medical devices: Improper use of instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery can increase the risk of birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia.
  • Failure to communicate: In some cases, medical malpractice related to shoulder dystocia can involve a breakdown in communication among healthcare providers. This can lead to delays in decision-making or inadequate coordination of efforts to manage the condition effectively.
  • Lack of informed consent: If healthcare providers fail to notify the patient of the risks associated with shoulder dystocia and the available management options, it can lead to legal issues related to informed consent.

When medical malpractice contributes to shoulder dystocia, it can result in serious complications for both the baby and the mother. These complications may include brachial plexus injuries, fractures, hemorrhage, and other birth injuries that can have long-term consequences. Therefore, healthcare providers must adhere to established guidelines, continuously update their skills and knowledge, and prioritize patient safety to minimize the risk of such complications during childbirth.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Shoulder Dystocia Medical Malpractice Case?

In Virginia, damages that can be recovered in a shoulder dystocia case typically depend on the case’s specific circumstances, including the severity of the injury, the impact on the individual’s life, and the evidence presented to support the claim of medical malpractice. Damages that may be recovered in a shoulder dystocia case in Virginia can include:

  • Medical expenses: This can include past and future medical expenses related to treating shoulder dystocia and any resulting complications. It may cover hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medication costs, rehabilitation expenses, and other necessary medical care.
  • Lost income: If shoulder dystocia and associated injuries result in the inability to work or loss of earning capacity, the injured party may be entitled to recover lost wages or income. This can include both past and future lost earnings.
  • Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering compensate the injured party for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by shoulder dystocia and its consequences. This can be a significant component of damages in cases involving serious injuries.
  • Punitive damages: In some instances involving egregious conduct or gross negligence on the part of the healthcare provider, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar misconduct in the future.

It is important to note that Virginia has specific laws and guidelines regarding medical malpractice claims and damages. Additionally, the amount of damages awarded can vary widely based on each case’s unique circumstances, including the injury’s severity, the strength of the evidence, the skill of the legal representation, and the decisions of judges and juries. If you believe you have a shoulder dystocia case in Virginia, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Fairfax shoulder dystocia lawyer.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Shoulder Dystocia Claim?

In Virginia, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim, including a claim related to shoulder dystocia, is governed by Virginia Code ยง 8.01-243. This statute establishes the time limit for a lawsuit to be filed after the cause of action accrues. For medical malpractice cases in Virginia, including those involving shoulder dystocia, the general statute of limitations is two years from the date the cause of action accrues.

What Role Do Medical Experts Play in a Shoulder Dystocia Case?

Medical experts play a crucial role in a shoulder dystocia case by providing specialized knowledge, opinions, and testimony regarding medical standards of care, causation, and the extent of damages. Their input is essential in helping to establish whether medical malpractice occurred and in supporting the plaintiff’s case.

What Steps Should I Take if I Suspect Medical Malpractice Caused Shoulder Dystocia During Childbirth?

If you suspect that medical malpractice contributed to shoulder dystocia during childbirth, it is essential to take specific steps to protect your rights and gather evidence for a potential legal claim. Here are the recommended steps to take:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: If you or your child experienced complications related to shoulder dystocia during childbirth, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Document everything: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, procedures, diagnoses, and communications related to the childbirth and any subsequent complications.
  • Consult with medical experts: Consult with medical experts, such as obstetricians or other healthcare professionals specializing in childbirth and shoulder dystocia.
  • Consult with a Fairfax shoulder dystocia lawyer: Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can evaluate your case, review your medical records, and advise you on your legal rights and options.
  • Gather evidence: Work with your lawyer to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements, photographs, and other documentation relevant to the case.
  • File a lawsuit if necessary: If negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods do not lead to a satisfactory resolution, your lawyer can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties.

Contact Our Fairfax Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers at the Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates Today

Shoulder dystocia resulting from medical malpractice can have devastating consequences, but you do not have to face the challenges alone. Our Fairfax shoulder dystocia lawyers at the Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates are committed to providing compassionate and skilled legal representation. For a free consultation, call 202-223-4488 or complete our online form. Located in Washington, D.C., we help clients in the surrounding areas, including Northern Virginia and Maryland.

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