Fetal lacerations are a type of birth injury that happens during cesarean section (C-section) delivery. According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), fetal lacerations occur in around 2 percent of C-sections and are more likely to happen during emergency C-sections.
Some C-section births are planned ahead, but the procedure is often ordered during labor due to complications—especially for first-time mothers. According to the Mayo Clinic, a health care provider may recommend a C-section because:
- Your labor is not progressing.
- Your baby is in an abnormal position, like breech or transverse.
- You are carrying multiple babies.
- Your baby is in distress.
- You have an obstruction in the birth canal.
- The umbilical cord is prolapsed.
- You have a health concern, such as a heart condition.
- You have had previous C-sections.
Worldwide, the number of C-section births is increasing. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that many C-sections are performed unnecessarily. In fact, WHO believes some C-sections may put the lives of women and babies at risk.
Fetal Laceration Facts
Fetal lacerations most commonly occur on the head, face, or neck, but can happen anywhere on the child’s body. Birth conditions that increase the risk of fetal laceration include:
- Emergent/urgent C-section
- Inexperienced surgeon or resident
- Ruptured membranes prior to C-section
- Active labor
- Low transverse uterine incision
Fetal lacerations can lead to more serious conditions, including facial nerve injury, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, Erb-Duchenne palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, and paralysis.
There are measures that health care professionals can take to prevent fetal lacerations. For example, doctors can minimize the chance of fetal lacerations by using blunt-ended or bandaged scissors. Moving the uterine wall away from the fetus prior to incision also reduces the risk of cutting the baby, as does removing abdominal wall retractors.
If your child suffered fetal lacerations during a C-section birth, it could be due to medical error. A Los Angeles fetal lacerations lawyer may be able to help you recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at 800-794-0444.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Sometimes, despite years of education and training, doctors make mistakes. When doctors behave negligently, patients suffer. If your child was harmed by a fetal laceration during a C-section, the health care provider should be held responsible.
California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 340.5 outlines the state’s medical malpractice laws. The statute defines professional negligence as “a negligent act or omission to act by a health care provider in the rendering of professional services, which….is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death, provided that such services are within the scope of services for which the provider is licensed…”
To prove malpractice, you need to show that you had a provider-patient relationship with the health care professional, and that the provider was negligent in carrying out their professional duties. You also need to show that the provider’s negligence caused your injuries, and those injuries led to specific damages.
Statute of Limitations
Also included in this law is the statute of limitations for bringing action in a medical malpractice lawsuit. California allows three years from the time you were injured, or one year after your injury was discovered.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice suits on behalf of a child under the age of six is three years, or prior to the child’s eighth birthday—whichever time frame offers the longest window for filing a case. If a parent or guardian, insurer, or health care provider committed fraud or colluded to prevent legal action, the statute of limitations will be “tolled” (or stopped) for that time period.
A Los Angeles fetal lacerations lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand more about how the statute of limitations applies to your case. If you decide you want to pursue legal action, you must do so before the statute expires. Do not delay—call us today for a free, no-obligation case review.
For a free legal consultation with a Fetal Lacerations Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
What You May Recover
A Los Angeles fetal lacerations lawyer may be able to help you prove the doctor, hospital, surgical team, or other medical professional was liable for your child’s injuries.
If so, you may be able to recover awards for:
- Medical costs. Fetal lacerations require additional medical treatment. You may be able to seek damages for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and more. If your child needs future care for more severe conditions caused by fetal laceration, you may be awarded a settlement for the costs of future care.
- Pain and suffering. You may be able to seek awards for mental anguish, stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Wrongful death. If your child died because of fetal laceration injuries, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. You may also be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages. If a health care provider behaved especially recklessly or maliciously, you may be awarded punitive damages.
Los Angeles Fetal Lacerations Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we have handled more than 10,000 cases, winning millions of dollars for clients across the country. Our legal team may be able to help you seek justice and win compensation for your child’s injuries.
A Los Angeles fetal lacerations lawyer can help determine who is responsible for your child’s injuries and gather evidence to support your claims, including:
- Medical bills
- Patient records
- Witness statements
- Expert medical testimony
- Insurance claims
Doctors, health care providers, and hospitals should be held accountable for mistakes that hurt their patients. Your child’s injuries are not your fault—those who are responsible should help with the costs of care, recovery, and any future medical expenses.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to help you throughout the entire legal process. We never collect a fee unless we win your case. To learn more, call us today at 800-794-0444 for a risk-free consultation.