If women didn’t sue, doctors and hospitals seem to reason, they wouldn’t be forced to do so many unnecessary tests and procedures, including defensive Cesarean sections — which would reduce the amount of permanent trauma that women suffer as the result of those botched or unnecessary procedures.
It’s a classic game of “blame the victim.” Hospitals and doctors who want to stop women from being able to sue so easily after a pregnancy-related injury point to the fact that there are more losers in court than winners. They conveniently ignore the number of cases that are settled out of court where the doctor or hospital was clearly in the wrong — or the fact that going to court is sometimes the only way a woman can get access to the records she needs to understand if what went wrong during her delivery was really an unavoidable accident or actually malpractice.
However, for all of the railing the doctors and hospitals do about how hard it is to be an obstetrician these days because of all the lawsuits, there’s a fact they all want to ignore: One percent of women are victimized during pregnancy and birth — that’s one out of every 100 women. Yet, only 2 percent of those victimized — that’s 2 out of 10,000 — actually sue.
Here’s another fact that you might find shocking: Only 11 percent of obstetricians who responded to a series of questions on the issue of malpractice thought that “making fewer errors” was a viable way to lower the malpractice claims they face.
The reality is that many women who suffer pregnancy-related injuries should sue — it may be the only way to hold their doctor or hospital accountable for what he or she did wrong during delivery — because the odds are high that neither the doctor nor hospital is going to accept accountability on his or her own.
If you’ve been the victim of a pregnancy-related injury — or your baby has suffered an injury — talk to an attorney today about preserving your rights and protecting your future. For more information about how our firm may be able to help you and to read more about our approach to these types of cases, please visit our web pages.