Is My Midwife Liable for a Birth Injury?

As more and more people turn to midwives to assist with the childbirth process, many expecting and new mothers may be left to wonder: Can I sue my midwife if my baby or I suffer a birth injury? While the short answer is “yes,” it’s important to understand the basic differences between midwifery and traditional obstetrics in the state of California, as the two professions are not treated equally under the law.

Whether you suffered a birth injury because of your doula or your doctor, our team at Habbas & Associates can provide the seasoned help that you deserve. It’s our goal to ensure that you receive fair compensation to account for medical expenses and lifelong treatment needs, no matter what specific injury you’ve suffered. Skilled at interpreting and navigating the laws, we can help you pursue a claim against a licensed midwife.

How Is Midwifery Regulated in California?

Although it’s a valuable practice with ancient roots, midwifery is not fully accepted as an alternative to obstetrics in the United States. As a result, “direct entry” or traditionally-trained midwives are not licensed to practice in all 50 states. While Certified Nurse Midwives or CNMs can practice everywhere, these medical professionals must receive nursing training in addition to a specialized midwifery education from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) – and in most places, they must be supervised by a licensed physician, especially if their patient needs a prescription.

In California, both direct-entry midwives and CNMs can practice midwifery throughout the state, provided that they maintain a license with either the Board of Registered Nursing or the Medical Board of CA. Whether your midwife is treating you at home, at a birth center, or in the hospital, they have a clear obligation to uphold the medical standards required by these institutions – or risk losing their license altogether.

How Is a Midwife Birth Injury Claim Different?

Because most midwives are not qualified to perform life-saving surgical procedures such as C-sections, there is a limit to what even a Certified Nurse Midwife can do during a difficult birth. That means licensed midwives must be exceptionally careful to consult with doctors throughout your pregnancy, as well as during the labor and delivery process. They must also be able to make quick and accurate assessments about patients who need more intensive medical care.

When your midwife causes a birth injury by failing to uphold these duties, you have a right to hold them legally accountable for your injuries and financial losses. While these cases can become complicated due to the unique nature of midwifery licensing requirements, our attorneys at Habbas & Associates have the skill and experience to help you navigate a challenging birth injury claim. Bringing over 175 years of experience to the table, we’ll help you understand your legal options and choose the right path for your family.

Contact us today at (888) 387-4053 for a free consultation.

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