Many mothers have extolled the virtues of midwives before, during, and after giving birth. And in the past few years, the number of expecting mothers using midwives has hit record highs.
The vast majority of births using midwives are healthy, for both mother and child. But if something does go wrong, can midwives be liable for malpractice?
In many states, midwives must be licensed, and the midwife licensing requirements and laws for each state can vary. As licensed professionals, midwives can be sued for malpractice if they are negligent in their care. Proving negligence during midwife care can be challenging. You will have to demonstrate that midwife was the cause of the injury.
A professional malpractice claim against a midwife will have many of the same elements as a medical malpractice claim. Just like licensed doctors, midwives owe their clients a duty of care, and if they fail to meet this standard, they can be sued if the failure results in an injury. And like any malpractice claim, there are time limits to filing a lawsuit, so the first steps in a malpractice case are essential.
All midwives are encouraged to carry malpractice insurance, which can cover them in cases of alleged malpractice. There are several options of malpractice insurance policies and sources or professional liability coverage available to midwives, depending on the size of their practice and relative risk.
Filing an injury claim against a midwife may mean dealing with his or her malpractice insurance company. Without malpractice insurance, a midwife could be liable for all legal expenses and money damages resulting from a malpractice claim.
If you or your child have been injured during birth with a midwife, you may want to discuss your legal options with an experienced injury attorney.
- Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury)
- Call the Midwife (The Atlantic)
- New Parent Checklist (FindLaw)
- Medical Malpractice: Documents Checklist (FindLaw’s Injured)