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How Wrongful Death Laws Apply to Stillbirths

One of the cases in which state law allows for people to file a wrongful death claim is in the case of a stillbirth. Parents of a deceased fetus have the option to file a wrongful death suit, in which the defendant would be the hospital or medical provider overseeing the birth. 

There are some states in which wrongful death laws do not apply to stillbirths, as the law does not consider fetuses to be people. Even in those cases, however, there are still options to file negligence claims against the hospital to receive damages based on emotional distress. 

To be successful in a wrongful death claim involving a stillbirth, you must be able to prove that there was some sort of negligent or intentional action that caused the death of the fetus. The death of an infant during birth is not the fault of the medical care provider in every case — sometimes, even the best care providers are unable to save a child’s life. The plaintiff must be able to prove that the provider was responsible in some way for the stillbirth. 

In other situations, such as when a pregnant woman is in a car accident and then suffers a stillbirth, the parents can sue the person who caused the accident on the grounds of wrongful death so long as they can prove that the defendant was negligent in the accident. 

There are a lot of variances in these laws, so be sure to speak to a La Plata wrongful death attorney from Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. for more information about the state laws surrounding wrongful death of stillbirths in Maryland and your legal options.

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