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Washington, DC Stillbirth Lawyer

Did Negligence Cause Your Baby's Death?

Parenting is arguably one of the most fulfilling jobs in this world. Sadly, not everyone gets to experience this joy. When complications during pregnancy or delivery result in the baby's death, it can be devastating; but when the complications could have been prevented, it can be heartbreaking. Although many stillbirths are a result of natural causes, there are situations where medical negligence is a contributory factor. You will need the experience of a stillbirth lawyer from Regan Zambri Long PLLC to help you get compensation so you and your family can move on from such a tragic event.

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Can You Sue for a Stillbirth?

If malpractice caused your child to be stillborn, a Washington, DC stillbirth lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help you hold the negligent parties accountable. We have obtained justice for families like yours for decades.

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The medical malpractice lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have been helping families for decades as they come to terms with the loss of a newborn. We will listen to your story, examine the facts of the case, and determine whether the medical professional had acted in a negligent manner to cause the stillbirth. If we discover negligence, we will fight for you and your stillborn baby, negotiating with the insurance company and representing you in the courtroom if needed.

Our stillbirth lawyer offers a free consultation to determine the cause of how your baby died and whether it was the result of medical negligence. Contact us today for a free, confidential case review. There is no fee unless we win you compensation.

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What is Stillbirth?

Though both miscarriage and stillbirth describe the loss of a baby before or during birth, they differ based on the stage of pregnancy they occur. The loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy is referred to as a miscarriage, which usually occurs within the first three months of pregnancy.

If the baby is lost beyond the 20th week, it qualifies as a stillbirth. It can happen any time before, during, or right after delivery. If the baby dies within 28 days of birth, it is considered neonatal death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stillbirth can be classified as either early, late, or term:

  • Early stillbirth occurs between weeks 20 and 27 of the pregnancy
  • Late stillbirth is fetal death between 28 and 36 completed weeks of the pregnancy
  • Term stillbirth occurs past 37 completed weeks of pregnancy

Over the last few decades, accepted medical safety procedures and medical technology have improved significantly. As a result, the survival rate of babies has increased considerably. Even still, such occurrences are more common than ideal.

Compared to birth injuries sustained by the mother or baby during pregnancy or delivery, seeking legal recourse when a baby dies is challenging. The argument behind this is that an injured baby or mother still requires continued care and resources, whereas the situation for a deceased one cannot improve. However, if negligence had played a part in the death of your child, you may seek compensation for the stillborn baby. A birth injury lawyer in Washington, DC will help with this.

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When is a Fetal Death Considered Medical Malpractice?

Though sudden stillbirths can occur, there are often signs during the pregnancy that indicate the fetus is in distress. Part of a doctor’s duty of care is to notice such signs and take the necessary steps to safeguard the mother’s and baby’s life. If you strongly believe or have reason to suspect that your doctor did not act in accordance with the standard of care, reach out to a Washington, DC stillbirth lawyer. We will review the medical records with the help of medical experts in order to determine whether negligence played a part in the loss of your child.

Some of the possible situations where medical malpractice may be applicable are when:

For example, during one of her checkups, a mother told her doctor that her baby was barely moving and she was concerned that something may be wrong. Instead of checking to see if there was a problem with the baby, the doctor assured the mother that the baby was fine and nonmovement is normal. However, the baby was born stillborn. The mother learns that the baby had died between the sixth and seventh month of pregnancy due to insufficient blood flow to the placenta.

Since the medical professional in the above example failed to act and run tests after the mother brought up her concerns, they are in breach of their duty of care. They failed to protect their patient from harm, causing the baby to die. Since the baby died, the mother is now dealing with damages such as medical bills, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Therefore, this could be a case of medical malpractice.

However, to determine whether your stillbirth was a result of medical malpractice, you will need the help of a medical malpractice lawyer who has the experience and the knowledge to determine if the fetal death was the result of negligence. Contact our medical malpractice attorney today to schedule a free consultation.

What Can Cause a Stillbirth?

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the exact cause of fetal death. A complete examination will be needed by a medical expert. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), common causes of stillbirth include:

Was Your Baby Stillborn Because of Medical Negligence?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of every 175 births is one stillbirth. In total, there are 21,000 stillborn babies in the US each year. During pregnancy, women are required to go for routine checkups. During these sessions, the doctor inquires and performs assessments to ensure both the baby and mother are progressing well. If your healthcare provider fails to observe signs that the baby is in distress, they may be held accountable for negligence if that failure results in death.

Some of the causes of stillbirth cases where there is medical malpractice include:

Failure to Act on Reduced Fetal Movement

Anywhere between weeks 16 and 25 of pregnancy, the developing baby will begin moving. At first, the movements are subtle, and you only feel them when lying down or seated. As time goes by, such movements should increase in frequency and become more evident.

However, doctors’ failure to act on reduced fetal movement is one of the most common causes of stillbirth. Unfortunately, it may be a sign that the placenta is failing, and you need to take appropriate medical action.

Failure to Identify Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

Intrauterine Growth Restriction, now referred to as Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR), is another potential cause of stillbirth that’s often not identified. This is a condition that slows down the baby’s development in the womb, thus exposing it to risks during pregnancy, delivery, and even after birth. They include:

The most common cause of FGR is placental problems. Health conditions such as advanced diabetes and heart disease may also contribute. At its worst, FGR results in long-term growth problems or stillbirth.

During antenatal appointments, your doctor can detect FGR by performing fundal height measurements. Failure to do so or failure to plot the growth of the baby correctly increases the risk. Should your doctor suspect FGR, they may recommend an ultrasound scan to confirm. Failure to take such steps makes the doctor liable if stillbirth or any other effects of stillbirth occur.

If detected, the only way to address FGR is by inducing labor and delivering the baby early. There should be a comprehensive plan to care for and monitor the baby’s progress regularly.

Failure to Spot Placental Abruption

When the placenta comes off the wall of the womb, it may result in a condition known as placental abruption. As such, the baby will not have the necessary support it needs to grow. Placental abruption is strongly linked to FGR and pre-eclampsia.

Some of the signs of placental abruption include pain in the back, abdomen, and womb, bleeding, and painful contractions. Unfortunately, doctors at times fail to take symptoms displayed during pregnancy with seriousness, allowing the abruption to cause more damage.

How Can a Washington, DC Fatal Birth Injury Lawyer Help?

A reliable and experienced birth injury stillbirth lawyer in Washington, DC will take care of all litigation matters and allow you to grieve peacefully. At Regan Zambri Long, we have attorneys with ample experience in medical malpractice and birth injury cases. Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience, and we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

To us, there is nothing more important than seeing our clients get the justice they so rightfully deserve. Have you been a victim of medical malpractice resulting in death or injuries to your baby? Reach out to us today to get in touch with a Washington, DC wrongful death stillbirth lawyer you can count on for a free case review.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Stillbirths

What is The Stillbirth Law in Washington, DC?

In most U.S. states, including Washington, DC, stillbirths can qualify for wrongful death claims.

In states where you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, the baby’s age is a factor. Despite the prevailing circumstances of the case, the baby must be considered viable for you to be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The term “viable” refers to the infant’s ability to survive outside the womb when the negligent act occurred. In most cases, the viability of a baby begins at 24 weeks. It is only after that stage that an infant’s death may be considered wrongful death.

However, in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland, there is no distinction between a miscarriage and stillbirth. In the eyes of the law, all fetal deaths, regardless of the duration, are equal. This means you can file for a wrongful death claim even if your baby was less than 24 weeks old.

How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work in Washington, DC?

As a parent, having the joy and expectation of having a baby taken away is a horrifying experience. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit cannot compensate for your loss, but it can achieve some measure of justice and hold those at fault responsible for their negligence.

With the help of an experienced birth injury lawyer in Washington, DC, parties that have such a loss are allowed to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Washington, DC. Such litigation will be pursued in accordance with the Wrongful Death Act.

As per the Act, the statute of limitations gives you two years to file the lawsuit. Contact a stillbirth lawyer at Regan Zambri Long as soon as possible to begin the recovery process. We will guide you through the entire process and be your resource for whatever you may need during this difficult time.

What Damages Can You Recover from a Birth Injury Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Upon succeeding in your stillbirth wrongful death claim, you may receive different types of damages. The goal of such compensation is not to bring back or replace your child but to cushion your transition thereafter. It is also about justice and accountability to protect other families from such anguish by ensuring the guilty parties are more diligent next time.

Your birth injury lawyer will guide you on the type of damages to pursue, depending on the specifics of your case. There is no cap on how much you can receive as damages in Washington, DC. The judge or jury will assess the case and award an amount depending on the hardship you have and will continue going through.

Some of the things they will consider include:

Medical Expenses

More often than not, complications resulting in stillbirth often require emergency medical attention. Such procedures come with additional costs and risks. The mother may have to undergo an unplanned surgery for which there may also be complications for her. Any medical cost incurred, including subsequent ones, in relation to such emergency treatments resulting from the negligence will be considered in the damages.

From the time parents realize that they are expecting a baby, they begin loving it. This is more so when the child begins to take shape and move around in the mother’s womb. As such, the pain of losing an unborn baby and that of a loved one you’ve known for years is similar. Due to grief and trauma, it may take some time for a parent to resume work. Any lost wages resulting from the time you take off work will contribute to the damages awarded.

Funeral Expenses

In Washington, you are allowed to make a reasonable claim for funeral expenses. It may include costs such as cremation services or casket, fees for the service, transportation, printed programs, and other relevant expenses.

Level of Negligence

With such cases, it’s not just about determining whether the doctor was negligent or not but also knowing the level of negligence. This will influence the judge’s and jury’s decision when awarding damages.

Why Should I Choose Regan Zambri Long for My Fetal Death Malpractice Claim?

For decades, Regan Zambri Long has been handling birth injury and stillbirth cases throughout Washington, DC. Our medical malpractice team is headed by Partner Jacqueline Colclough, a nurse attorney whose practice focuses on medical negligence claims. During your free consultation, our personal injury attorneys will examine the timeline of events to discover where the negligence occurred and how it could have been prevented. She will explain what legal options are available to you and your family and will get to work filing a medical malpractice claim on behalf of you and your child.

If you lost your child as a result of negligence by a medical professional, we are here to help. Contact Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation.

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Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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