Can I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit if My Child Was Stillborn in Maryland - A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Your Legal Rights
The birth of your child should be a joyous occasion. However, the joy of parents can be tragically shattered when an unborn child is stillborn. This devastating event often leads to grief and confusion, particularly when one wonders if medical negligence may have been at play.
For parents who suspect medical negligence, the first question that parents usually ask us here at Peter Angelos Law is, can I file a birth injury lawsuit if my child was stillborn?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide any concrete answers to that here, as these cases are extremely complex. In order for you to have a case against your medical provider, you will need to prove that medical malpractice occurred and that your baby's death was preventable.
This is a complicated task and one that is always best handled by a team of medical malpractice attorneys from a reputable law firm.
Peter Angelos Law - The Malpractice Attorneys You Can Trust
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have been fighting on behalf of victims in Maryland for many decades. During this time, we have handled countless medical malpractice cases, including a large number of stillbirth lawsuits against negligent providers.
Our passion lies in helping the victims of this state to pursue the justice and financial compensation they deserve. To allow this, we work on a contingency fee basis, taking cases on for no up-front cost and charging clients nothing if we cannot win their case. If we do win your case, we will take our fees from your settlement, removing the risk from your end.
We offer a free initial consultation to all potential and existing clients, opening a space for you to tell us your story, ask important questions, and receive some crucial legal advice regarding your case. We will evaluate your case based on what you tell us and inform you whether or not we think it is valid. Then the choice is up to you. There are no strings attached. If you decide to pursue the case, we will immediately spring into action.
Contact us today at 410-705-2405.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider deviates from accepted standards of care, resulting in injury or death. When it comes to pregnancy and birth, medical providers have a duty to monitor both the mother and unborn child closely for risk factors and complications. Failing to do so can lead to serious injuries or even death, potentially providing grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A stillbirth, or the death of an unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy, is heartbreaking, and according to data from The World Health Organization, stillbirths occur more frequently than people may realize, even in industrialized countries. When a stillbirth is caused by medical negligence, it's crucial for the bereaved family members to seek justice.
Pregnancy Complications and Medical Negligence
Medical providers should identify and appropriately manage pregnancy complications in a timely manner to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and the unborn child. One example is monitoring to identify intrauterine growth restriction, which, if left unaddressed, could lead to a stillbirth. Signs of fetal distress should be spotted as early as possible in order for the provider to have enough time to act.
From a medical standpoint, medical providers should be skilled at detecting signs of distress in an unborn baby during labor and delivery. Failing to respond swiftly to an issue, such as complications with the umbilical cord, could result in a stillbirth caused by medical malpractice.
Legal Implications - Medical Malpractice Claims and Stillbirth Lawsuit
If a stillbirth occurred due to the negligent actions of a medical provider, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim or a stillbirth lawsuit in Maryland. The law considers a stillbirth as a form of wrongful death if it was caused by negligence. To make a successful claim, you must prove that the medical providers' negligence was a proximate cause of the stillbirth.
Proving Medical Negligence in Maryland
In order to file a medical negligence claim in Maryland, you will be expected to prove the four elements of negligence have occurred. This will be one of the tasks your attorney carries out on your behalf.
They will need to prove that:
Element 1 - Duty of Care
The first element that will need to be proven is that the responsible party owed you and your unborn child a duty of care at the time. A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner that protects other parties from harm.
In the context of medical care, a duty of care refers to the obligation of a medical provider to provide patients with competent and reasonable medical treatment. This includes accurately diagnosing conditions, prescribing correct treatments, conducting procedures with due skill, and monitoring patients appropriately. Breaching this duty can lead to medical malpractice claims if it results in harm to the patient.
Medical providers automatically assume this duty of care to their patients when they are under their care.
Element 2 - Breach of Duty
The next element is proving that the medical provider breached their duty of care with their actions or omission of actions.
In order to prove that a breach of duty of care has occurred, your attorney may talk to medical experts to see if the actions of the medical provider were grossly substandard or deviated from the standards of medical practice in any way.
A medical provider could breach their duty of care in the case of a stillborn child by failing to adequately monitor the mother and baby's health during pregnancy, not identifying or properly addressing complications or risk factors, neglecting to perform necessary tests, or making errors during delivery, such as delaying a necessary C-section. These failures can potentially lead to preventable stillbirths.
Element 3 - Injuries Caused (Causation)
To prove the third element of negligence, causation, in a stillborn medical malpractice case, you must demonstrate a direct link between the medical provider's breach of duty and the stillbirth. This often involves presenting medical evidence showing that the provider's action or inaction led to the conditions causing the stillbirth.
Element 4 - Damages Suffered
In order to recover damages and pursue compensation, you will need to prove the fourth element, which is that the actions of the provider led to you suffering economic damages and non-economic damages.
Compensation and Emotional Distress
In medical malpractice cases involving stillbirth, you can seek compensation for funeral and burial costs and emotional distress. While no financial compensation can truly mend the heartbreak of losing a child, it can help alleviate the financial burden and contribute to the healing process.
Peter Angelos Law - Fierce Advocacy from Birth Injury Attorneys You Can Trust
Experiencing a stillbirth is exceptionally difficult for any parents, and navigating legal action during this period of immense grief can be overwhelming. That's where birth injury attorneys come in. At Peter Angelos Law, our team is experienced in handling complex medical malpractice cases, including stillbirth lawsuits.
We offer a free consultation and are ready to help you seek justice.
In Maryland, you can file a birth injury lawsuit if your child was stillborn due to suspected medical negligence from a medical provider. To do this, we recommend seeking competent legal representation, which is often vital in these cases. At Peter Angelos Law, we strive to provide the support, guidance, and representation you need during this challenging time.
Contact us today to discuss your case and understand your options at 410-705-2405