All states cover wrongful death statutes that permit a plaintiff to receive a monetary recovery for a close relative’s death. Also, some states have wrongful death laws that provide parents with the right to get damages for a stillborn infant’s death.
This article talks about how wrongful death cases for stillborn infants work at large.
Wrongful Death Claim
A claim for wrongful death is based according to a statute, a few versions of which remain in all states, which allows the relatives or heirs of a deceased individual to receive compensation when the death resulting from the defendant’s negligent or wrongful act.
Before making the survivor and wrongful death statutes in the 1800s, the heirs and family of an individual killed by another are deliberate or negligent act couldn’t sue for damages as the tort (legal claim) could only be filed by the harmed person – essentially, the claim expired once the plaintiff died.
The survivor and wrongful death laws were made by state legislatures to pay close heirs and family members for their family member’s death, including compensation for lost monetary support, the pain and suffering of the decedent before death, funeral costs and other damages based on the case context and the statute.
The remedies offered by wrongful death laws are only accessible if the defendant negligently or intentionally caused the death.
In the case of a stillborn infant, it isn’t always the medical provider’s fault. Somehow the provider must’ve been liable for the stillbirth. Keep in mind that numerous states don’t permit medical malpractice claims for neglectful stillbirth, but do apply such statute to deliberately or negligently caused stillbirths.
And in those states, usually, the plaintiff will have to follow all the litigation procedures of a medical malpractice claim to establish liability prior to the wrongful death statute can be applied.
Now, if a defendant caused the stillbirth beyond the medical setting, for instance, a car crash, then that defendant should actually be proven responsible for negligence prior to the wrongful death lawyer will be applied.
Not All States Utilize Wrongful Death Laws to Stillborn Fetuses
Most states make use of the wrongful death law to stillborn fetuses, yet many don’t. And in those states that don’t, the basis under the statute is that the fetus isn’t a “person.” Loads of those similar states, on the other hand, do permit other kinds of cases based according to a stillbirth, for instance, negligent infliction of distress.
Many of those similar states, on the other hand, do permit other kinds of cases based according to a stillbirth, for instance, negligent infliction of distress.
In Some States, The Fetus Must’ve Been Viable (Moving in the Womb)
In most states that use the wrongful death law to stillborn fetuses, the fetus must’ve been viable the moment that caused the stillbirth. The term “viable” essentially means the infant may survive out of the womb by itself, or with medical assistance. At present, the earliest stage at which a fetus is viable is approximately 24 weeks. If the careless act that ultimately caused the stillbirth was done before viability, the wrongful death law wouldn’t apply.
At present, the earliest stage at which a fetus is viable is approximately 24 weeks. If the careless act that ultimately caused the stillbirth was done before viability, the wrongful death law wouldn’t apply.