When is a stillbirth caused by negligence?
A stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirths are devastating for parents and it is entirely natural that they will want answers as to how it could happen. Stillbirth cases often happen because the mother has diabetes or high blood pressure. In these cases it is likely that no one is at fault and it is just an unavoidable tragedy.
Stillbirth can also occur due to lack of oxygen or infection. In these cases parent’s will want to know the circumstances surrounding this. There are a wide variety of things that could have went wrong, either during the delivery or throughout the pregnancy. This may include, for example, a failure to diagnose irregular symptoms in the mother or treat appropriately.
A neonatal death is when a baby dies within 28 days of birth. Neonatal death can also occur naturally. However, they can also be caused by negligence before, during or after birth such as infection, high blood pressure and placental abruption.
Stillbirths will often be investigated by way of a Coroners inquest. This is a very useful way to establish the facts of what happened and confirm whether or the death was avoidable or not. While a Coroner’s inquest will not establish negligence against a medical practitioner, it is still often an effective remedy for families to gain some insight in to the circumstances of the stillbirth.
Can I make a medical negligence claim following a stillbirth?
A medical negligence claim can also be initiated following, or in conjunction with, a Coroner’s inquest. The findings of the inquest will often inform the facts of the negligence case and can assist in establishing liability against a hospital or health care Trust. If it is established that the stillbirth was the result of negligence the family will be entitled to be compensated for their loss.
No amount of compensation can alleviate the pain and trauma caused by a stillbirth. However, our specialised healthcare solicitors aim to ensure that the grief of the expecting parents is not compounded by financial hardship.
The amount of compensation that can be awarded for stillbirth claims will differ on a case by case basis. Factors that are taken in to account with a stillbirth compensation claim often include funeral expenses, loss of earnings for parents, future loss of earnings, travel costs and emotional pain/suffering caused.
Expert stillbirth solicitors
We have a strong reputation as expert medical negligence solicitors. Our healthcare team regularly represent clients in still birth cases in relation to Coroner’s inquests and medical negligence claims.
Our expert solicitors work in conjunction with highly specialised medical experts and barristers when preparing a stillbirth case for an inquest or medical negligence claim.
It is difficult to conceive of a more challenging experience than losing a child from a stillbirth. We understand that this can cause uncertainty and stress for parents who do not know what has happened and are seeking answers.
Our goal is to ultimately assist families in establishing the facts of what happened and ensuring they are able to recover any losses they may have suffered as a result of the stillbirth.
What is the time limit for making a stillbirth claim?
The Statute of Limitations for pursuing a stillbirth or neonatal death claim is generally three years from the date the negligence occurred.
Medical negligence stillbirth cases are often taken following a Coroner’s inquest. In these circumstances, a standstill agreement can be agreed with the proposed defendants on the negligence case whereby it is agreed that the medical negligence proceedings will not commence until after the conclusion of the Inquest.
It is often the case that the findings of an Inquest can raise concerns about the actions of medical practitioners. This may be the first time the family have become aware that the stillbirth was potentially the result of medical negligence. In these circumstances, a medical negligence claim can be brought within years of the Inquest’s findings – this is known as the date of knowledge.[:lt]Netekimo Priežastys
negyvo vaisiaus gimimas tėvams yra pražūtingas. Tai yra visiškai natūralu, kad jie norės atsakymų, kaip tai galėtų įvykti. Gimimo atvejai dažnai būna dėl to, kad motina turi diabetą arba aukštą kraujospūdį. Tokiais atvejais tikėtina, kad niekas nėra kaltas ir tai yra tik neišvengiama tragedija.
Negyvo vaisiaus gimimas gali atsitikti dėl deguonies trūkumo ar infekcijos. Tokiais atvejais tėvai norės sužinoti, kodėl tai susiję. Yra daug įvairių dalykų, kurie galėjo atsitikti tiek gymdimo metu, tiek nėštumo metu. Tai gali apimti, pavyzdžiui, nesugebėjimą diagnozuoti netinkamų motinos simptomų arba tinkamai gydyti.
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