Preeclampsia (pre-eclampsia) is a serious medical condition in an expectant mother that can cause serious harm to both a mother and child.
Doctors and medical professionals must recognize this condition and take action to prevent injury.
When a mother or child is harmed by medical negligence, it gives rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. For injuries that occur before during birth, a parent can file a birth injury lawsuit.
These cases demand compensation for the parents and child for harm caused by medical errors. An experienced attorney will help get a top settlement for the family.
- What is preeclampsia?
- How is preeclampsia diagnosed?
- Can I sue my doctor for not diagnosing preeclampsia?
- How much are settlement amounts?
- Preeclampsia lawsuit settlement example
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is when an expectant mother has hypertension or high blood pressure during her pregnancy. It is a potentially serious pregnancy complication that must be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. It can develop as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
The condition is most common in first pregnancies with young mothers. There are other risk factors for preeclampsia, which include:
- Pre-existing vascular disease, like hypertension and diabetes;
- History of blood clots and other clotting factors;
- Pregnancy for multiple births, like twins and triplets, and
- History in the family with close relatives diagnosed with preeclampsia.
A physician should be aware of these risk factors and monitor the mother accordingly. Without proper preparation and treatment, a serious birth injury can occur with the child. The mother is also at risk for permanent injury and even death.
How is the Condition Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of preeclampsia is generally made at or after week 20 of pregnancy. In addition to high blood pressure, there must also be one or more of the following complications:
- Protein in the urine
- Low blood platelet count
- Liver function problems
- Signs of kidney problems other than low protein
- Lung fluid, or pulmonary edema
- Sudden onset headaches or vision problems
When these symptoms or findings are present, the doctor should order specific tests to diagnose the condition. These include blood tests, urinalysis, and fetal ultrasound.
Many times, it is necessary to order a nonstress test to check the baby’s heart rate. Another test, called a biophysical profile, checks the baby’s breathing, movement, and other factors.
Can I Sue My Doctor for not Diagnosing Preeclampsia?
You can sue your doctor for failing to diagnose the condition if the signs, symptoms, and risk factors were present and treatment was not provided. Birth injury lawsuits also require that either the mother or baby suffer serious harm for not diagnosing the condition.
In addition to missing the diagnosis, it must be proven that proper treatment would have resulted in a better outcome. In most cases, the proper treatment is the delivery of the baby to prevent harm to both the mother and child. Or, at least minimize the potential damage.
Quite often, the negligence occurs because the mother was not admitted to the hospital. Hospital admission is often the best way to monitor and control the disease. The failure to admit the mother for preeclampsia is a common reason for filing a birth injury case.
In addition to proving a medical error, it must be established that the mother, child, or both suffered serious harm. This is the damage part of any case and is proven by medical records, school records, and the testimony of witnesses.
How Much are Settlement Amounts?
Settlements in birth injury cases are often the highest amounts for all medical malpractice cases. The main reason for these high awards is the future financial impact on the family and the baby. Many parents must stop working and give up their income to care for their child.
If the baby suffers from brain damage, neurological damage, or seizures, there will be a lifetime need for special education and medical services. Our lawyers perform a comprehensive life care plan to determine the total amount of money to care for the child over a lifetime.
These compensation amounts are in addition to the other losses, like pain and suffering, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. Preeclampsia settlements are frequently in excess of several million dollars and based upon the specific injuries and needs of the child.
Preeclampsia Lawsuit Case Study
An expectant mother went to see her OB-GYN for a prenatal visit at 30 weeks gestation. She had high blood pressure and her urinalysis showed high protein. She was diagnosed with gestational hypertension. However, she was not admitted to the hospital for delivery.
Several days later, the mother was experiencing headaches and her doctor sent her to the hospital. There was a delay in performing an emergency c-section. The child was eventually delivered but suffered permanent neurological problems.
A lawsuit was filed against the doctor for failing to admit the mother to the hospital earlier. The doctor denied liability and depositions were taken. Prior to trial, the case settled for $ 6 million dollars.
Get Help from a Top-Rated Michigan Lawyer
Contact our experienced preeclampsia lawyers now if you or your child suffered injuries from medical negligence. We charge no legal fees unless you win a settlement.
There are very strict time deadlines for filing lawsuits in Michigan. If you miss the deadline, your case will be lost forever. So, don’t hesitate, call us now for your free case consultation!
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