Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers Rising Stars
Maryland State Bar Association
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
DC Bar
Maryland Association for Justice
American Bar Association
Prince George's County Bar Association

Midwife Malpractice

Prince George’s County Attorneys Advocating for Victims of Midwife Malpractice

In recent years, there has been an increase in home births attended by midwives due to expectant mothers seeking a more personalized and intimate birthing experience. When a midwife is in charge of the birthing process, though, any negligence or oversight could potentially result in devastating birth injuries, turning what should be a joyous and celebratory occasion into a nightmare. If you suspect that you or your child suffered harm due to the actions or inactions of a negligent midwife, you may have grounds for pursuing a midwife malpractice lawsuit, and you should seek the advice of an attorney. At Foran & Foran, P.A., our dedicated team of Prince George’s County medical malpractice attorneys is committed to assisting families in navigating the complexities of midwife malpractice claims, and if you engage our services, we will help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Grounds for Pursuing Midwife Malpractice Claims

While midwives are not doctors, they are nonetheless considered healthcare providers under Maryland law. As such, they are held to specific standards of care when providing prenatal and delivery services to expectant mothers.

Generally, midwives fall into two main categories: direct-entry midwives and nurse-midwives. Direct-entry midwives are authorized to supervise and provide care during childbirth, particularly in home birth settings. However, they are constrained in their medical interventions, such as the use of forceps or vacuum extractors, and they cannot induce labor. Instead, they must rely on natural methods and techniques to support the mother through delivery. Moreover, direct-entry midwives are required to maintain communication with physicians and promptly inform them if the expectant mother exhibits any concerning conditions. In the event of complications during a home birth, direct-entry midwives are mandated to swiftly arrange for an emergency transfer to a hospital, either at the request of the mother or if specific conditions arise during labor and delivery.

On the other hand, nurse-midwives are registered nurses who have undergone additional training in midwifery. This additional medical training equips them with a broader understanding of maternal and neonatal care. Despite their enhanced medical knowledge, nurse-midwives are largely subject to the same restrictions and responsibilities as direct-entry midwives.

Establishing Liability in Midwife Malpractice Cases

Despite not being physicians, midwives can still be held accountable for malpractice if they deviate from the standards imposed on them and subsequently cause harm. In Maryland, similar to other malpractice cases, the plaintiff must first establish the standard of care expected of the midwife. This standard is typically demonstrated through statutory laws and expert testimony, explaining the accepted practices and protocols in midwifery. Subsequently, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the midwife breached this standard. For instance, if the midwife failed to recognize signs of distress in the mother or child and did not initiate a transfer to a hospital, it could be considered a breach of the standard of care.

Once a breach of the standard is established, the plaintiff must prove that this breach directly caused the alleged harm. This often necessitates additional expert testimony to establish a causal link between the midwife's actions or inactions and the resulting injury to the child. In many instances, the defendant midwife may dispute this connection, arguing that there is no clear correlation between the alleged breach and the harm suffered by the child.

The determination of fault in malpractice often hinges on the presentation of evidence and testimony from both parties' experts, as juries will assess the credibility and persuasiveness of the evidence presented, and ultimately decide which party's expert testimony is more compelling.

Recoverable Damages in Midwife Malpractice Cases

Victims of midwife malpractice may be entitled to various forms of compensation for the injuries and losses they have endured. These damages can generally be categorized as economic and non-economic. Economic damages typically include medical expenses, such as hospital bills, physician fees, and the cost of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. They may also encompass lost wages or earning capacity if the mother or child is unable to work due to their injuries. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective in nature and may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Consult a Proficient Prince George’s County Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe that you or your child were harmed as a result of midwife malpractice, it is essential to seek legal representation from a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. The proficient Prince George’s County medical malpractice attorneys of Foran & Foran, P.A., understand the complexities of midwife malpractice cases and are dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate and effective legal advocacy. Our office is located in Greenbelt, Maryland and we frequently represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits who reside in Hyattsville, Bowie, Upper Marlboro, Waldorf, La Plata, Silver Spring, Rockville and other cities in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Charles County and all counties in the State of Maryland. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at (301) 441-2022 to arrange a confidential and free conference.

Client Reviews
“John Foran is very knowledgeable, thorough, and kind. He takes time to explain legal terms and the process of your case. I'm happy that I found him.” Chauncey
“Ryan Foran is an excellent attorney, responds to his emails and communicates to the point. Mary is also an excellent paralegal secretary. Thanks Foran and Foran.” Gee M.
“Five star review. Great team to work with. Highly recommend” Susan R.