Florida Incompetent Cervix Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Losing a baby through miscarriage or having a baby born prematurely with serious problems can be devastating for parents. Your sense of loss and grief, coupled with questions about why this happened to your baby, can make coping with everyday life difficult. If you find out that the miscarriage or premature birth was preventable, that your physician should have diagnosed and treated what is known as an incompetent cervix, your grief may be compounded by a deep sense of injustice.
The experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger want you to know you are not alone. Other expectant parents have suffered losses due to miscarriage and premature births, and we have been able to help them achieve justice. We are committed to helping victims of negligent health care providers and have won multi-million-dollar settlements and jury awards to compensate parents for their loss pain, suffering, and other damages caused by medical negligence during pregnancy and the birthing process.
What is an Incompetent Cervix?
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects it to the vagina. It is normally closed and firm. During the late stages of a normal pregnancy as the body prepares to give birth, the cervix dilates or opens. It also softens and shortens (effaces), which allows the baby to travel through the birth canal.
An incompetent cervix, also called a cervix insufficiency, occurs when the cervical tissue is weak and, as a result, it opens too soon. It may happen suddenly without pain, since there are generally no contractions. The result is a miscarriage, a stillborn baby, or a premature birth. Approximately one in one hundred births involve an incompetent cervix, and 25 percent of all miscarriages that occur during the second trimester of pregnancy are due to an incompetent cervix.
How is an incompetent Cervix Diagnosed and Treated?
Although there is no definitive test to diagnose an incompetent cervix, there are known risk factors and symptoms that begin around 14 to 20 weeks of the pregnancy. These risk factors and symptoms should alert your doctor of the potential problem and need for close monitoring and care:
- A pressure sensation in the pelvic area
- A new backache
- Mild cramping
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Clear vaginal discharge
- Previous miscarriage due to an incompetent cervix
- Congenital conditions that impact connective tissues
- Trauma to the cervix
- A previous dilation and curettage (a “D&C”), which could have damaged the cervix
If the condition is diagnosed early enough, there are preventive measures that can be taken. For example:
- Regular prenatal care
- Gaining the right amount of weight
- Healthy diet
- Close monitoring of both the health of the mother and the baby
- Transvaginal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy
- Progesterone, if the mother has a short cervix and is carrying only one baby
- Cervical cerclage – a surgical procedure in which the cervix is stitched closed to prevent it from opening too soon. The stitches are removed between 36-38 weeks’ gestation to allow for a normal delivery.
What are the Consequences of the Failure to Diagnose and Treat an Incompetent Cervix?
An untreated incompetent cervix results in a miscarriage, a stillborn baby, or premature birth. A premature baby may spend weeks or months in the hospital to survive. The baby’s lungs are underdeveloped, often resulting in respiratory distress or pneumonia. Brain damage and cardiovascular problems can also occur.
How do I Prove My Miscarriage or Premature Birth Was Due to Medical Malpractice in Not Treating My Incompetent Cervix?
If medical negligence (malpractice) caused your miscarriage or the premature birth of your child, you may be able to hold the negligent health care provider accountable and obtain financial compensation for the damages you have suffered. To do so, you need to meet the criteria for a legitimate medical malpractice claim in Florida. That is, you must show that:
- You had a healthcare provider-patient relationship with the person you allege committed the malpractice.
- Your healthcare provider was negligent by failing to provide you the standard of care that similar, reasonably prudent health care providers would have provided when faced with similar circumstances.
- The provider’s negligence was the cause of your miscarriage, stillborn, or premature birth.
- You and/or your baby suffered damages due to the miscarriage, stillborn, or premature birth.
Medical malpractice cases are complex, and each case is unique. In order to prove the health care professional’s care to you was below the standard of care provided by other healthcare professionals who are in the same specialty, you need expert testimony from a healthcare professional who practices in the same area of medicine as does the healthcare provider you claim committed medical malpractice. You also need to conduct a thorough investigation of the medical record and facts of the case.
An experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger will be glad to review your case and advise you on your best course of action free of charge. We are committed to pursuing justice for victims of medical malpractice and welcome the opportunity to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Florida if We Can Prove Medical Malpractice Related to Incompetent Cervix?
If we can demonstrate that medical malpractice caused you to miscarry or to give birth prematurely and because of that, you suffered damages, you may be entitled to recover damages with a medical malpractice claim. The compensatory damages you may be able to collect for the harm caused to your baby include:
- All the medical expenses you have already incurred for the care of your baby and all you expect to incur in the future. Many premature babies who suffer from a brain injury need life-long medical care.
- All costs for therapy and rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy.
- Costs of special education, teachers, tutors, devices, and more.
- Your child’s pain and suffering.
- The pain and suffering you endure due to watching the suffering of their child.
- Lost wages for parents who need time off work to care for their child.
If your baby was stillborn, you may be able to collect damages for the baby’s wrongful death. The attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger will discuss that with you and explain to you all that is involved in proving your case and what damages may be available to you.
Florida Incompetent Cervix Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
If you believe you suffered a miscarriage, your baby was stillborn, or was injured at birth due to being born prematurely, you need the assistance of experienced and caring attorneys. At Paul Knopf Bigger, our birth injury malpractice attorneys provide exemplary legal representation for victims of medical malpractice and want to help you obtain the substantial compensation you deserve.
Attorneys from all over Florida and the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice cases. If you had a miscarriage or your child was born prematurely and injured due to medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the outstanding legal representation you need to win your case. We are passionate about pursuing justice and want to help you.
Please contact us online or at (855) 292-2111 (24 hours a day/7 days a week) to schedule a free legal review of your birth injury medical malpractice case.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). What is stillbirth?
The March of Dimes. (2021). Cervical insufficiency and short cervix.
Mayo Clinic. (1998-2021)Incompetent cervix