There is nothing more devastating than a pregnancy ending in a stillbirth. What was supposed to have been a joyous occasion quickly turns into a nightmare. While a stillbirth can happen before delivery even when your doctor has used the utmost care in your treatment, the reality is that sometimes stillbirths result from a medical mistake or negligence. If you believe that your baby’s stillbirth was caused by medical malpractice, you should reach out to a Baltimore birth injury attorney who can handle your case. At Arfaa Law Group, we can meticulously look into the facts of your case and help you determine your rights and options.Situations Involving Stillbirths and Negligence
A stillbirth occurs when a baby is delivered but shows no signs of life. Stillbirth is the death of the baby sometime between 20 weeks of pregnancy and birth. The loss of a baby prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy is called a miscarriage. Stillbirth is classified as either early, late, or term. An early stillbirth is a fetal death occurring between 20 and 27 weeks of pregnancy; a late stillbirth takes place between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy; and a term stillbirth takes place after 37 or more weeks of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stillbirth affects about one percent of all pregnancies in the United States. In fact, each year, about 240,000 babies are stillborn throughout the country.
In many cases, the exact cause of a stillbirth cannot be determined, but in other cases, the stillbirth can be attributed to a medical error. Possible causes of a stillbirth include umbilical cord complications, some sort of genetic abnormality in the fetus, multiple gestations, an infection in the mother or fetus, placental abruption, or a pregnancy-related form of high blood pressure. In cases in which a medical mistake causes a stillbirth, the at-fault physician can be held accountable through a medical malpractice claim.
A medical malpractice claim is appropriate when a stillbirth is a result of a medical professional failing to use the standard of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. The “standard of care” is the legal term used to refer to the threshold for what constitutes negligence in medical malpractice claims. If a court or jury determines that a medical professional failed to adhere to the standard of care, and that failure caused the stillbirth, the medical professional will be considered to have committed malpractice.
In the vast majority of cases, the standard of care is established through testimony from an expert medical witness. The expert witness is generally in the same medical field as the defendant. For example, if you are suing an OBGYN for malpractice, the expert witness will most often be another OBGYN who can offer an opinion as to the quality of care that reasonably prudent and qualified OBGYNs would have offered in the same situation.
Under Maryland law, victims of medical malpractice can recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Some examples of these damages include medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral and burial costs, emotional harm, and any other expenses stemming from the malpractice. While no amount of money can bring back your child, the compensation can help you deal with the loss. For example, a would-be parent may need ongoing grief counseling, which can become expensive. The money from the malpractice case can cover these costs.Discuss Your Potential Malpractice Claim with a Baltimore Attorney
A stillbirth is undoubtedly one of the most painful experiences in an expectant parent’s life. If you suspect that your baby’s stillbirth was caused by a medical error, it is imperative to contact a diligent Baltimore attorney without delay. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the devastating toll that a stillbirth can take on parents and other family members as well, and we will handle your case with the utmost compassion. We represent people in communities throughout Maryland. To speak to an attorney in more detail, feel free to call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.