Characterized by a rapid elevation in blood pressure and protein in the urine, preeclampsia is a medical complication that could lead to strokes, seizures, organ failure, and even death of the mother and/or her child. While there is no cure for preeclampsia apart from giving birth, there are specific tests a doctor can perform to reach a diagnosis and monitor it throughout a mother’s pregnancy.
In situations where a physician fails to diagnose preeclampsia and thereby causes injuries or death to a patient, affected parties should speak with an accomplished birth injury attorney to discuss pursuing compensation for their losses. A Florida preeclampsia lawyer would work zealously to hold negligent medical providers accountable for the injury or death of a mother and/or her infant.
An Overview of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a leading cause of infant and maternal illnesses and fatalities around the world. The Preeclampsia Foundation estimates that this disorder is responsible for 500,0000 infant and 76,000 maternal fatalities every year.
A diagnosis of preeclampsia is typically reached during regular blood pressure checks at the mother’s prenatal appointments. Two blood pressure readings exceeding 140/90 that are taken at least four hours apart could indicate the presence of preeclampsia and would warrant a physician to carefully monitor the health of the mother.
There are numerous urine, blood, and ultrasound tests a doctor could perform to achieve an accurate assessment. If a doctor fails to identify the symptoms of preeclampsia, it could result in life-altering consequences for both the mother and the child.
Common Injuries Associated with Preeclampsia
When left untreated, preeclampsia could progress into eclampsia and cause maternal seizures. In some cases, a mother may also experience liver or kidney failure, blood clots, and nervous system disorders – all of which have the potential to be life-threatening. Preeclampsia may also lead to premature delivery, placental abruption, and insufficient blood and oxygen flow to the fetus.
Characterizing a Doctor’s Negligence
Doctors typically diagnose this condition during routine prenatal visits and take necessary steps to lower risks as part of their medically accepted standard of care. For example, properly evaluating a mother’s health during pregnancy to reach a diagnosis, monitoring her condition and its severity, inducing delivery or performing a C-section could all help mitigate preeclampsia.
When a healthcare professional fails to provide the same standard of care that a reasonable physician would have provided under similar circumstances, a Florida attorney could pursue a preeclampsia lawsuit for damages on behalf of the affected family members. Birth injury cases involving preeclampsia commonly stem from:
- A failure to diagnose preeclampsia
- A failure to appropriately manage high-risk mothers who have preeclampsia
- A failure to monitor the fetus and mother properly during pregnancy, labor, or delivery
- Induction errors, such as the incorrect use of labor-inducing drugs
- A delayed C-section or a failure to perform an induction or C-section
Filing a Lawsuit
In most medical negligence cases, Florida Statutes §95-11 provides claimants two years from the date of discovering their injury – or when they should have reasonably discovered it – to file a lawsuit. At the most, potential plaintiffs have four years from the date of the alleged malpractice to initiate a claim. However, cases involving a minor child who has suffered injuries as a result of a physician’s carelessness may be filed on or before their eighth birthday.
In a Florida preeclampsia case, the injured party may recover economic losses including past and future medical expenses, lost income, and loss of potential earnings. They may also be able to obtain non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional anguish.
Proving Essential Elements
To seek damages in a civil suit, a plaintiff must prove liability and causation. An attorney at Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa could show that the medical care provider was not only negligent in delivering the baby, but also that their negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Causation can be challenging to prove without seasoned legal counsel. For this reason, it is imperative to work with a skilled lawyer who could consult with trained experts and work to show the court how the medical professional’s negligence directly led to claimant’s losses.
Schedule a Consultation with a Florida Preeclampsia Attorney Today
A doctor’s mishandling of preeclampsia could form the basis of a successful lawsuit, but working to hold negligent medical professionals responsible for otherwise preventable injuries can be challenging without professional legal guidance. A Florida preeclampsia lawyer can help you learn more about your legal rights, whether you have a valid claim, and how to pursue compensation. Call today to speak with a dedicated lawyer about your claim.
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