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  4.  – Can I file a wrongful death claim for stillbirth?

Can I file a wrongful death claim for stillbirth?

Losing a child is devastating and can cause trauma to surviving parents. Unfortunately, before some parents can even hold their children, they lose them at the hands of a negligent medical practitioner. This event causes economic and noneconomic damages, and it is understandable for the baby’s parents to want to hold the medical practitioner accountable.

Fortunately, wrongful death claims in Oregon include stillbirths.

What causes stillbirth?

Many possible factors could cause stillbirths, such as placenta or umbilical cord complications, birth defects, infection and the mother’s health history. However, if mothers are sure they are healthy and have no medical history concerns, the possible causes often narrow down to the medical practitioner’s actions or nonperformance. This may include any of the following:

  • Failure to attend to fetal distress
  • Failure to monitor the pregnant mother’s vital signs and condition before labor
  • Unsanitary premises and tools that lead to infection
  • Inappropriate use of force during labor
  • Misdiagnosis

One thing in common about these causes is that they can all be prevented if the medical practitioner applies the medical standard of care.

How can you prove negligence?

If parents believe that their child is a victim of medical malpractice, they have the burden to prove that the medical practitioner’s negligence caused their child’s stillbirth. While it is challenging to prove this, it is not impossible. Claimants can provide medical records and autopsy reports to back up their claims.

Take note of the requirements and time limit

Oregon requires that the child be at least six months of gestation before a wrongful death claim can stand. Otherwise, the claim will not stand. Moreover, the wronged party must file a wrongful death claim within three years of the date of the injury that resulted in the baby’s death.

Every record from pregnancy until the wrongful death is vital in building a strong claim. While no amount of compensation can cover the pain of losing a child, it can help lift the surviving parents’ financial burden and stress.