Maternal Death & Injury

Maternal Death & Injury

Phoenix Maternal Injuries and Death Attorneys

Dedicated birth injury lawyers fighting for mothers and their families in Arizona

When giving birth, families trust doctors and healthcare professionals to provide an accepted standard of care for both mother and child. Parents may worry about the health and safety of their infant during delivery and too often, the cause for worry may be the health and safety of the mother. More than 50,000 women in the U.S. are severely injured during childbirth each year, and nearly 700 women die from it, per an investigation by USA TODAY. It’s estimated half of these deaths and injuries are preventable and the result of medical mistakes, poor care, and neglect that initially occurred in the hospital.

At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we fight for Arizona mothers and families whose intended futures have been altered due to labor and delivery negligence. We know that women have the right to enjoy the childbirth experience while receiving proper treatment in the hospital. When a lack of proper care and treatment leads to serious complications, women and their loved ones should seek justice. Our Phoenix birth injury attorneys have represented countless families in medical negligence claims, and have secured the compensation they need in order to protect themselves. Contact us today for honest counsel and practical guidance about your next steps.

Serious injuries to mothers during childbirth

While many injuries can occur during the labor and delivery process, not all of them will have long-term effects. Others, however, can lead to life-threatening and life-ending complications for the mother and her child. Among the most serious maternal injuries are:

  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Placental abruption
  • Hypertension
  • Preeclampsia
  • Excessive vaginal or perineal tearing
  • Rectovaginal fistula
  • Infections

Our Phoenix birth injury attorneys will not move forward with any catastrophic injury case until we get the facts of your case. To assist in this process, we may solicit the help of qualified healthcare professionals to review our potential catastrophic injury cases before bringing the claim to the courtroom.

Preeclampsia, hemorrhage, and maternal death in Arizona and throughout the US

USA TODAYs explosive expose on maternal deaths and injuries identified two primary causes of concern: undiagnosed and untreated preeclampsia and maternal hemorrhage. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related rise in blood pressure; hemorrhage is blood loss.

Approximately 90 percent of hemorrhaging deaths and 60 percent of hypertension deaths could have been prevented by active monitoring, tests, and care, the data shows. With proper monitoring, most of these scenarios could have been avoided.

Using data from more than 500,000 internal hospital quality records, researchers found that “fewer than half of maternity patients were promptly treated for dangerous blood pressure that put them at risk of stroke. At some of those hospitals, less than 15 percent of mothers in peril got recommended treatments, the records show.” Overall, the data showed that most hospitals in the U.S. have no clear protocol for tracking blood loss during and after delivery. This loss of blood can lead to strokes and seizures. Failure to quickly diagnose and treat these conditions is a form of postpartum negligence that negatively impacts the mother and possibly even her child.

In response to the expose, officials in Arizona launched their own investigation into maternal mortality. Per their findings, “Reviewers deemed 89% of the 37 pregnancy-related deaths [between 2012-2015] preventable.” It is easy to understand why the family members of the deceased would want to seek justice when the death was preventable in the first place.

Did medical negligence lead to maternal injury or death?

Childbirth is traumatic even under the best of circumstances, and for some women, that trauma will lead to permanent injuries and pain. When maternal death occurs, the woman’s family is left to grieve over her loss while suddenly having the responsibility to provide care for the new baby on their own.

The truth is, not all mistakes made during labor and delivery will rise to the level of medical negligence, and not all unwanted outcomes will, either. In order to make a birth injury claim based on the negligence, you must be able to prove the following:

  1. A doctor/patient relationship existed
  2. The doctor owed the patient a duty of care
  3. The doctor performed in a negligence manner, thus breaching that duty of care
  4. The patient sustained injuries as a result of that negligence
  5. Those injuries led to damages

If, for example, a woman suffers a placental abruption, and doctors work quickly to save her and the baby, no act of negligence has occurred. There is no way to determine whether or not a woman will suffer this complication (though there are some risks to be aware of, before birth), and the doctors in this scenario jumped into action.

If, however, that same woman has a placental abruption that goes undiagnosed, and the doctors fail to treat her and the baby, leading to the baby’s brain damage, the family could file a birth injury claim. If both mother and child die, the family could file a wrongful death claim.

What is my child’s birth injury claim worth in Phoenix?

There is no way to tell without looking at your case. Generally, catastrophic injury claims have higher awards because the costs are significantly higher, but there is no law that says this is the case. What we can say is that, under most circumstances, you could be entitled to:

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

Our Phoenix labor and delivery negligence lawyers can review your medical records and the events that unfolded, and discuss your best options for moving forward with a claim. All of our partners are State Bar of Arizona Certified Specialists in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation. We can give you an honest assessment of what to do next.

Call an experienced Phoenix injury lawyer about your maternal injury or wrongful death claim

Too often, debilitating injury or death to mothers during childbirth is preventable, but occurred because a medical professional was negligent. The Phoenix birth injury attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. fight for the rights and futures of Arizona families. Please call us at 602-783-8793 or complete the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Text Us602-266-2002