Chicago midwives can be held liable when their negligent actions cause injuries to mothers or babies. If the midwife was working for an agency, birthing center, or hospital, that entity may be able to be held liable for injuries as well. An Illinois medical malpractice attorney may enlist the help of medical experts to determine whether the midwife provided substandard care that caused preventable injuries.
Midwives Owe a Duty of Care to Their Patients
Midwives are trained healthcare providers and, as such, they owe a duty of care to their patients. If they fail to uphold that duty of care, they may be held liable for the injuries or deaths that result. Midwives may breach their duty of care when they do things like fail to recognize the signs of a problem or delay consulting with a doctor or specialist when complications arise. The most common midwife medical malpractice lawsuits occur when midwives fail to spot fetal distress.
Midwives may provide their services in hospitals, birthing centers, or private homes. About one in eight women who give birth opt for a midwife experience at home. Regardless of where the midwife’s services are provided or whether they were performed before, during, or after the child’s birth, the midwife is responsible for providing quality care.
Some midwives are self-employed, while others work for agencies or medical facilities. If a midwife works as an independent practitioner, his or her liability insurance will be responsible for paying medical malpractice claims. If the midwife is employed by an organization, agency, or medical facility, however, that entity and its insurance may also be able to be held liable for negligence.
Determining Whether a Malpractice Case is Viable
A medical malpractice attorney will need to prove the following elements existed for a medical malpractice case against a midwife to be successful.
- The midwife owed the patient a duty to provide an accepted standard of care
- The duty of care was breached
- The midwife’s negligence more likely than not caused preventable harm to the mother and/or baby
- Significant injuries were suffered
If the above elements can be proved, medical malpractice victims may be able to recover compensation for resulting medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.