The loss of a child is universally recognized as the most devastating loss a person or family can suffer. When a pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, dreams of a promising future and untold potential are replaced with crushing and inescapable grief. What’s more, while many stillbirths happen even when your doctor has done everything right, others are directly attributable to some medical mistake or negligence. Knowing that you’ll never get to bring your baby home because of a doctor’s avoidable mistake is a burden no one should have to bare alone. If your family has been injured by a doctor’s negligence resulting in a stillbirth, our dedicated and caring staff of personal injury attorneys is here to help you through this time in any way we can. Please call our offices at (312) 236-2900 or continue reading to learn more.
Stillbirth and Its Causes
A stillbirth is when a baby is delivered that shows no signs of life. A stillbirth is not the same thing as a miscarriage which occurs earlier in pregnancy. In the US, the 12th week of pregnancy generally separates a miscarriage from a stillbirth. There are many possible causes of a stillbirth, including complications during pregnancy, disease of the placenta, some sort of genetic or structural abnormality in the fetus, an infection in the mother or fetus, abnormality in the umbilical cord, and high blood pressure or other medical condition of the mother. While many stillbirths happen despite excellent medical care, some are preventable if a doctor recognizes and treats risk factors before they become deadly. Common risk factors for stillbirth are a pregnant mother over 35, obesity, a mother carrying multiples, other medical disorders, and smoking.
Legal Remedies for Stillbirth
Legally, your doctor owes you a certain level of care, called a “standard of care.” For a medical professional, this means he or she acted with the same level of care and diligence as most other doctors would in a similar circumstance. If your doctor missed the opportunity to treat a risk factor and a stillbirth resulted, and most doctors would have identified it and treated it appropriately, that would be a breach of the standard of care under the circumstances. When a breach of duty occurs and harm results, a doctor may liable for damages.
Wrongful Death and Stillbirth in Illinois
Illinois law recognizes an unborn fetus as a person, allowing next of kin to collect damages in a wrongful death action for the death of a fetus. Wrongful death of a fetus allows for the injured party to recover an amount based on the “loss of society” that the parent suffered due to the death of the fetus.
For a wrongful death action to succeed, the elements of medical malpractice must first be met. That means you must prove your doctor breached his or her duty to provide the relevant standard of care, and that that breach caused your injury.
We’re Here to Help
We know how traumatic the loss of a loved one is and that you can’t begin to heal while you’re drowning in the complicated legal waters of a medical malpractice or wrongful death claim. It’s our job to take that burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on your family while we focus on getting you the compensation you deserve. Please don’t spend another day going through this alone, and call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for your free consultation with a trusted personal injury attorney at (312) 236-2900.