An increasingly popular birthing method is having a natural home birth. This method generally uses a midwife or doula. The birth takes places in the expectant mother's home and is assisted by the doula. Unfortunately, this home birth method can lead to damages and injuries that may not occur in the hospital setting. If you believe that injuries to your baby, or personal injury to yourself, occurred during a home birth, there are a few things you should know about filing the lawsuit and personal injury claim. Here are just a few of those basic key points:
Medical versus Midwife Malpractice
The first thing you need to know about filing a personal injury case dealing with home birth injuries is the difference between medical and midwife malpractice. You may think that your claim would fall under medical malpractice, since the home birth is medical in nature; the truth is, in most states, the malpractice would file under midwife or doula categories instead. Keep in mind that a midwife or doula is generally not trained in emergency medical or surgical procedures that would fall under medical malpractice.
One of the aspects to a personal injury claim for home birth and midwife-related injuries is to show that there were apparent issues. You will need to show that the midwife knew there was an issue, such as a lack of adequate dilation. If the midwife knew that you had not dilated enough, that this lack of dilation could cause injury to the child or yourself, and did not take steps to go with a different method of birth, then you may be able to make the claim. This situation would show that there was an apparent problematic issue that was not attended to.
It may seem like common knowledge that you will need to prove the medical issues that resulted from midwife malpractice. What you should know is that you will need current medical proof as well. You will need to have proof showing what occurred during the home birth that lead to the complication and injury; this may mean showing documentation of each visit with the midwife, and the summary of those visits. Depending on the injury, your lawyer can advise you on the exact paperwork and where it needs to come from.
By keeping these points in mind, you can prepare to take your personal injury claim a step further. Remember that you may need several doctor appointments. Make sure, before you get started, that either your insurance covers these visits or that you can pay the out-of-pocket expense. You should also make sure to discuss adding the medical bills from these appointments to the case settlement with your lawyer.