Stillbirths and Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims are lawsuits that are filed by the family or heir of the deceased against the people responsible for the death of the victim. The plaintiff on this case is usually the immediate family who has the legal right to file a case against the defendant for their negligent or reckless actions that resulted to the death of the victim. Majority of these cases are made in order to demand damages following the wrongful death and get compensation in place of financial support, pain and suffering of the victim before the death occurred, expenses paid for the funeral services, and other damages that would apply. The plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer will be the one to determine the extent and coverage of the compensation depending on the state statute and context of the case.

In cases of stillbirths, in order to have a personal injury case there must be negligence or intentional motives that caused the death. In order to have a strong case you and your personal injury lawyer should follow the procedures listed in the medical malpractice procedures that would eventually prove the liability of the defendant. Stillbirths are a complicated case because there are states where wrongful death statutes do not apply for stillborns, while there are states that require fetus to be alive and moving in the mother’s womb. For states that do not view stillborns as wrongful deaths, parents can still file a number of cases depending on their circumstance, such as negligent infliction of emotional stress.

Wrongful death claims for stillborns require the defendant to have acted negligently or with intent of causing stillbirth. In order to prove this, the plaintiff should establish that the infant have a great chance of survival outside the womb, or through the help of medical aids. Infants in and over the age of 24 weeks are generally considered viable or alive, therefore should the negligent or intentional act was committed before the “viable “stage, then there will be no wrongful death case. Because of the complications of stillbirths in wrongful death cases, it is important to consult with a lawyer to determine the chances and legal aspects of the case.


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