When is a Doctor or Medical Facility Liable for an Infant’s Death?
The birth of a child should be one of the greatest days of a person’s life. However, when something goes wrong during the birth and the infant passes away, it can become the worst day of the parents’ lives. Losing a child under any circumstances is heartbreaking, but when that death could have been prevented, the heartbreak is even more excruciating. If medical negligence contributed to the death of an infant, the parents may bring a medical malpractice claim against the medical staff or the facility itself.
Who Is at Fault for the Death?
Sadly, sometimes a baby dies during or shortly after birth and there is nothing that could have been done to save him or her. Not every infant death is the result of medical negligence or wrongdoing. Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional does not fulfill his or her “duty of care.” Medical staff members have a legal obligation to provide competent medical attention that meets the “medical standard of care.” This standard of care is defined as the level of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional of similar education and training would have provided in similar circumstances. For example, consider a scenario in which an infant passes away because the delivering doctor failed to address the fact that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. If a reasonably competent doctor of similar training would have noticed the problem with the umbilical cord and taken different steps to save the infant’s life, this may mean medical negligence has occurred.
Collecting Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case Involving Wrongful Death
If medical negligence leads to the death of a baby, a wrongful death lawsuit may help the parents receive compensation. The parents may be able to receive compensation for:
- The medical expenses incurred before the infant passed away such as hospital bills and surgical costs
- The costs associated with the funeral and burial of their deceased infant
- Their emotional distress and grief counseling
Contact a Joliet Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When a doctor or other medical professional makes a serious mistake that leads to the death of an infant, the parents of the infant may bring a wrongful death claim against the professional or the medical facility in which the death occurred. The loss of a newborn is not only tragic, but it can also burden a grieving family with extraordinary expenses. If you have lost a baby and you have reason to believe medical negligence contributed to the death, contact an Illinois wrongful death attorney from Schwartz Injury Law to discuss your case. Call us at 815-723-7300 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.