Medical negligence during pregnancy or delivery can lead to fetal death (stillbirth). Fetal death may also be caused by something other than medical malpractice. Accidents, defective products, and negligence, for example, may lead to miscarriage or other fetal death.
If your baby was stillborn or miscarried due to medical malpractice, a defective product, or someone’s negligence, child-injury and fetal-death attorney Jeff Killino can help.
As an experienced fetal-death lawyer, attorney Killino understands that legal damage awards can never compensate parents for the loss of a child. By taking legal action, however, you can obtain a measure of justice from those responsible. Call attorney Jeff Killino today at 877-875-2927 for compassionate and experienced assistance in pursuing your legal rights.
Causes of Fetal Death
Not all instances of fetal death are preventable – but many are. If a doctor or nurse fails to recognize signs of fetal distress, he or she may be liable for the resulting stillbirth of a child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published reports on risk factors for fetal death, including maternal obesity and the consumption of certain foods (such as raw milk and milk products) during pregnancy. Your doctor has a duty to monitor your weight during pregnancy and to advise you on proper nutrition. A failure to do so may lead to liability on the part of an obstetrician if the failure is found to have been a cause of your child’s stillbirth.
- Fetal deaths may also result from
- Fetal Asphyxia
- Delayed C-section
- Fatal Birth Complications
Timely, effective care from medical professionals is crucial to your baby’s survival. If medical personnel fail to provide you and your unborn child with reasonable care during pregnancy and delivery, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible for your child’s death.
Defective products used during pregnancy or delivery, and accidents, such as falls or vehicle collisions, may also result in injury to and death of a fetus.
Legal Liability for Fetal Death
Medical malpractice can result in fetal death. If a doctor’s negligent prescription to a pregnant woman of medication that is dangerous to a fetus results in the death of that fetus, for example, the doctor may be found liable for the fetus’s death in an action for medical malpractice. If the negligence of a doctor or other medical personnel during a woman’s pregnancy, labor, and/or delivery results in the death of the fetus she was carrying, the medical personnel involved as well as the hospital that employs them may be held liable for the death of the fetus if the negligence is found to have been a cause of the fetus’s death.
If a pregnant woman is injured on someone’s premises and the injury is found to have been a cause of the death of the fetus she was carrying, the owner, operator, or manager of the premises may be held liable under the law of premises liability for the death of the fetus. Premises liability law varies from state to state so that the liability of the owner of premises on which a pregnant woman is injured may depend upon whether the woman was a licensee, invitee, or trespasser at the time of the accident.
Negligence in many forms may result in the death of a fetus and resulting liability for the death on the part of those whose negligence was a cause of the death. The negligence of a driver involved in a vehicle accident that results in injury to and resultant death of a fetus, for example, may be held liable in a negligence action for the death of the fetus. A fetal death that results from a fall sustained by a pregnant woman as a result of someone’s negligence may also lead to liability for the fetus’s death on the part of the individual whose negligence was a cause of the fall and resulting death.
If a defective product is found to have been a cause of a fetus’s death, the manufacturer of the product and anyone in the chain of the product’s distribution may be found liable in a product-liability action for the fetus’s death. Such liability can occur, for example, if a product, such as a car that is involved in a vehicle accident, contains a defect in manufacture or design and the defect is found to have been a cause of a fetus’s death. It may also occur if a product is found to be defective as a result of a manufacturer’s or seller’s failure to warn of the dangers of a product and a fetal death results from the failure to warn.
Wrongful Death of a Fetus
Most states allow actions for the wrongful death of a fetus, though most of these states require that the fetus be at a certain level of development at the time the death occurs before a wrongful death action will be permitted.
In some states that do not allow wrongful death actions for the death of an unborn child, actions may nevertheless be maintained by the mother for the emotional distress she suffered as a result of the fetus’s death. These actions often involve accidents, negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional acts that result in miscarriage or fetal death and allow for recovery by the mother for the extreme emotional distress she suffered as a result, without any concomitant physical-injury requirement.
If you have lost an unborn child as a result of medical error, a defective product, or someone’s negligence, contact child-injury and fetal-death lawyer Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal rights.