Did My OB/GYN Commit Malp…

Your relationship with your obstetrician or gynecologist is a professional one, but given the nature of the care you receive, it's important that you feel personally comfortable and have a deep level of trust in your doctor. While your relationships with other care providers may change, you may continue to see the same OB/GYN for decades.

That's why it can be so painful to realize that your OB/GYN may have broken your trust by doing something that harmed you or your baby. If you're like many women, you may not want to believe it, and you may be reluctant to take action against a trusted doctor. It may also be less than clear-cut that the injury to you or your child was the doctor's fault. If you're haunted by suspicions of malpractice by an OB/GYN, though, you need to act, or you will always wonder what could have happened differently.

What should I do if I suspect OB/GYN malpractice?

Just because you've suffered an injury or complication, it doesn't necessarily mean your OB/GYN committed malpractice. Malpractice means that the doctor was somehow negligent, that he or she did not act as a reasonable doctor would in the same circumstances. The harm you suffered must have been a foreseeable result of those negligent actions.

If you think there's a possibility that your doctor acted negligently, you should contact an experienced Portland medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and most personal injury attorneys are not equipped to handle them. Oregon law gives you only a limited amount of time to file a claim for malpractice against a doctor. If you don't pursue your claim in time, no matter how strong it is, you will not be able to recover for your injuries.

There are many ways in which an OB/GYN can commit malpractice, including:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of gynecological illness
  • Failure to accurately diagnose a pregnant woman with preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, gestational diabetes or other conditions
  • Failure to identify an ectopic pregnancy
  • Failure to anticipate foreseeable birth complications, such as those due to a tangled umbilical cord
  • Failure to properly diagnose birth defects
  • Failure to adequately monitor the fetal monitor
  • Failure to pick up on and respond to signs of fetal distress
  • Negligent use of vacuum extractor or forceps leading to birth injuries
  • Failure to perform a Caesarean section when medically indicated
  • Sexual impropriety with a patient

If you've experienced any of these events, it's worth discussing with a qualified attorney whether you should consider taking action against your care provider. You are not being disloyal to your doctor. If you don't have a legitimate case, a knowledgeable and ethical attorney will never encourage you to pursue a lawsuit. If there is a reason to believe your doctor did commit malpractice, you are not betraying your doctor; rather, he or she has already betrayed your trust by treating you negligently.

What happens after I contact an OB/GYN malpractice attorney?

The attorney you contact should schedule a consultation with you, either by phone or in person, to understand your needs and begin evaluating your case. Remember that this meeting isn't just for the attorney to tell you whether your case worth pursuing. It's also an opportunity for you to decide how comfortable you are working with this attorney. Your attorney should have the legal qualifications to handle your case, of course, but even the best qualified attorney isn't right for you if you don't trust them or feel comfortable with them.

A good attorney will not pressure you. He or she will listen to you and develop an understanding of what you need to get out of your case before going further. A reasonable attorney will also lay out your options for you, help you understand how they relate to your goals, advise you, then let you decide. An attorney who steamrolls you and tells you what to do is probably not the effective advocate and supporter you're looking for to guide you through the legal process. The right attorney for you will restore to you a feeling of control that your injury may have taken away from you.

To learn more about what's involved in an OB/GYN malpractice case, and whether pursuing one is right for you, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.