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Why are medical malpractice lawsuits relatively common among OB-GYN practitioners?

Birth injuries can occur under a variety of circumstances and resulting in varying degrees of harm for the child and the mother. Some birth injuries result in more short-term injuries for child and mother, while others can result in serious, permanent injuries or death.

The costs of serious birth injuries can be significant, particularly when the injury involves lifelong impairment requiring ongoing medical attention and disability preventing a child from leading a normal life. For mothers, children and families harmed as a result of birth injuries, seeking compensation from those responsible for the harm is critical, both from the perspective of financial compensation and professional accountability. 

Different areas of medical practice involve unique risks, and different levels of risk, when it comes to medical malpractice litigation. Obstetrics and gynecology is an area of medical practice marked by relatively high rates of medical malpractice litigation. Although it is a common assumption that litigious women are responsible for the relatively high rate of litigation and the resulting practice of defensive medicine in obstetrics and gynecology, a recent article points out that there are actually good reasons for the relatively high litigation rates in the OB-GYN field.

1. High error rates create more opportunities for litigation

One reason obstetrics and gynecology practitioners are more prone to be sued is that there are more inherent risks than other areas of medical practice, and errors are commonplace. Not every error, of course, is the result of negligence, but the elevated rates of error create more opportunities for litigation to arise. Part of the reason for this is that medical practitioners and hospitals aren’t always forthright in providing information and explanations to patients about medical errors. This lack of transparency and trust increases the likelihood of malpractice litigation.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this important issue, and the importance of working with experienced legal counsel when pursuing medical malpractice litigation. 

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