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Understanding Ohio’s Laws on Obstetrical Negligence and Liability

April 19, 2023

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Bringing a baby into today’s world is an occasion of joy for couples. However, a mishap leading to death or severe health issues can turn what would have been a joyous event into great distress and sorrow. The casualty may have occurred because of a birth injury caused by obstetrical negligence.

What is Medical Malpractice and Obstetrical Negligence?

According to Ohio Code Section 2305.113, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide medical treatment in line with the required standard or neglects to take the right action. This malpractice entitles the patient to sue the healthcare provider for injury resulting from the malpractice.

Obstetricians are responsible for a woman’s reproductive well-being. They are also responsible for keeping an unborn child in good health right from conception to delivery. Thus, medical malpractice concerning obstetricians refers to negligence leading to severe health conditions for the pregnant woman or baby.

Types of Obstetrical Negligence and Malpractice

Obstetrical negligence can occur in different ways and cause serious health issues. These include:

Misdiagnosis concerning pregnancy

Obstetricians must be able to spot crucial pregnancy markers and carry out necessary tests to ensure the health of the pregnant mother and the unborn child. Failure to carry out these tests can lead to a wrong diagnosis and failure to apply the necessary treatment, which may cause death or injury.

Fatal Surgical Errors

A pregnant woman may have to undergo surgery to safeguard her health and the unborn child. Different types of surgery associated with pregnancy, including cesarean section and tubal ligation. While surgeries typically follow a routine procedure, they have certain risks.  A single error during the surgical operation may prove fatal to the mother and child.

Mistakes Associated with Medicines

Medical errors along this line include prescribing the wrong medication or dosage to the patient or not prescribing any medication at all. Before medication is prescribed, the physician considers the patient’s medical history and must watch for any complications after recommending a new medication.

Other Forms of Obstetrical Malpractice

  • Not monitoring the mother for gestational diabetes
  • Failure to test for group B streptococcus
  • Not reading ultrasounds correctly
  • Failure to diagnose hypertension caused by pregnancy
  • Failure to check the infant for fetal distress before and after delivery
  • Not performing cesarean section early enough
  • Anesthesia errors

Compensation for a Birth Injury

Parents whose child suffered an injury during or after birth may claim compensation against the healthcare provider who caused the injury. Such parents must prove that the harm suffered by the child is directly linked to the medical personnel’s negligence.

A compensation claim, if granted, typically covers expenses incurred due to the child’s injury. These may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical costs
  • Travel costs for treatment
  • Therapy
  • Assistive equipment
  • Lost income due to the injury
  • Damages for emotional pain

With the help of a birth injury attorney in Ohio, residents can find out more about their personal injury claim.

How to Prove That Medical Malpractice Took Place

Below are the legal elements of a medical malpractice claim:

Existence of a Patient-Doctor Relationship

In proving medical malpractice claim, the claimant must establish that the healthcare provider owes a duty of care. The responsibility of care mandates medical professionals to exercise reasonable care in treating patients and providing medical advice. Generally, the law holds that a duty of care exists where a doctor-patient relationship exists and may be proven.


To establish a case of medical malpractice or negligence, the claimant must prove that the treatment provided fell short of the average standard of medical treatment. Medical experts may be called to testify to establish that the medical professional’s actions amount to negligence or malpractice.


The claimant must show that the actions or omissions of the medical professional caused the injury. The claimant must also show that the harm suffered was reasonably foreseeable in medical practice, and it would not have occurred if not for the professional's negligence.

How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

To file a medical malpractice claim, speak with a team of lawyers with quality experience in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. These lawyers will file your claim and represent you in court. However, it is essential to file the claim as soon as possible. Provisions contained in the statute of limitations put a limit to the time you can file malpractice claims. This limit is usually set at three or four years.

The Benefits of Working with a Birth Injury Lawyer

Working with an experienced birth injury lawyer, Ohio parents of an injured child can be assured their case is in the hands of a professional well-versed in Ohio law. Our lawyers will use their experience to fight your claim in court or be of great help if you opt to accept a settlement.

Contact Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Personal Injury Lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio, for a free case assessment. Your consultation is confidential and we are standing by to help you 24/7.

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