Obstetrician Malpractice and Negligence

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Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) owe professional duties to women during pregnancy and childbirth. Their primary responsibilities are to examine women, diagnose problems, and treat illnesses, infections, or diseases that could affect the mother or child. If an obstetrician makes a negligent error, harming the patient or her baby, the obstetrician has committed medical malpractice. Freedland Harwin Valori Gander is dedicated to exposing obstetrical errors and seeking compensation for families in Florida.

We might be able to help you file a claim if an OB/GYN’s negligence resulted in any of the following consequences:

Maternal Death

Maternal death can happen for a number of reasons, but the risk of death significantly decreases with proper medical care before, during, and after childbirth. The competence of the obstetrician in caring for the mother through all stages of pregnancy and delivery can be a factor in whether or not the mother survives. Although doctors cannot always prevent maternal death, they must do as much as reasonably possible to do so, within the accepted standards of the medical industry. The most common causes of maternal death during childbirth (accounting for the majority of all cases worldwide) are as follows:

  • Severe bleeding after childbirth
  • Infections after childbirth
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Delivery complications

It is the nurse and obstetrician’s duty to properly care for mothers at all times. This includes regular checkups and blood tests during pregnancy, a review of maternal medical history, and checking for any possible risk factors affecting pregnancy. Failure to adhere to the expected duties of an OB/GYN, resulting in injuries to others, may be grounds for a civil claim against the individual doctor and/or the hospital.

High Blood Pressure Not Addressed

Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious maternal issue that could harm the baby if left undiagnosed and untreated. Gestational hypertension can develop in women after week 20 of pregnancy. This is one of the earliest signs of an issue that an obstetrician should detect and address before it turns into something more serious and life-threatening.

Chronic hypertension can occur in women with high blood pressure before pregnancy, or with hypertension before the 20-week mark. Preeclampsia is a serious condition in which hypertension after 20 weeks of pregnancy causes damage to the organs. Failing to address high blood pressure during pregnancy can result in organ failure, seizures, and death of the mother and/or child.

Bleeding Complications

Bleeding complications during childbirth is one of the most common things that can go wrong. Excessive bleeding (usually after childbirth) can happen if the uterus does not contract enough to compress the bleeding in the area where the placenta had attached. Vessels can instead bleed freely, leading to hemorrhaging. Failure to predict, detect, and treat bleeding complications in the mother during childbirth can result in maternal death.

Placenta Accreta

Placenta accreta is a serious condition of pregnancy that can happen if the blood vessels embed into the uterine wall. In most cases, the placenta will detach from the uterine wall once the child is born. In cases of placenta accreta, this doesn’t happen. Instead, the placenta remains attached, potentially causing severe hemorrhaging after delivery. Placenta accreta doesn’t typically show signs during pregnancy, but OBGYNs can detect it using routine ultrasounds. If a physician notices signs of placenta accreta during childbirth, he or she must order an emergency C-section. Failure to do so puts the mother at risk of bleeding out.

Abrubtio Placentae/Uterine Rupture

In cases of abruptio placentae, or placental abruption, the placenta detaches (partially or totally) from the uterus before childbirth. Placental abruption can block the fetus’s supply of nutrients and oxygen as well as cause heavy maternal bleeding. This event is a medical emergency that can threaten the lives of mother and baby if a physician doesn’t act quickly. Uterine rupture is also a serious condition in which the contents of the uterus spill into the peritoneal cavity. Uterine rupture most often occurs during labor. Both issues need immediate medical attention or mother and baby can be in grave danger.


Preeclampsia is a condition that involves high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy, along with protein present in the urine. Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure) is usually the early sign of what can turn into preeclampsia. First-time mothers, those with hypertension prior to pregnancy, and women with histories of preeclampsia in their families are most at risk of this condition. It is an OBGYN’s duty to diagnose preeclampsia, including recognizing signs like high blood pressure, headaches, blurred vision, protein in the urine, water retention, nausea/vomiting, and shortness of breath.

Treatment for preeclampsia can include bed rest, lower consumption of salt, and drinking more water each day. Failure to treat preeclampsia early and properly can cause failure of organs such as the liver, heart, or renal failure. It can also turn into eclampsia that can cause seizures and death. If preeclampsia cuts off the blood supply to the placenta, it can also result in lack of oxygen to the fetus and low birth weight. Failure to treat preeclampsia can ultimately lead to the death of the mother and/or baby.

Call Our Florida OB Malpractice Attorneys for Assistance Today

If you suspect your obstetrician of committing any errors or acts of negligence that caused you or your child’s recent harm, contact Freedland Harwin Valori Gander for a medical malpractice consultation. Your family could receive financial compensation for your incident-related medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages with our assistance. If the incident resulted in wrongful death, we can also help you with this type of claim. Contact us online or call (954) 467-6400 for a free consultation.

Our legal team can help you understand an anesthesiologist’s duties toward you and investigate your case to find any evidence of a breach of the standard of care. We can also file your medical malpractice claim promptly and correctly for an efficient legal process. It’s our mission to help injured patients seek justice and recovery for negligence-related harms. 

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