The United States Centers for Disease Control estimates that out of every 100,000 live births, nearly 24 of them involve maternal death. Furthermore, Johns Hopkins University researchers estimate that acts of medical negligence are the third leading cause of death in the country, so it is not surprising that maternal deaths contribute to this number.
If you lost a loved one through maternal death, a medical malpractice attorney can help you seek compensation. Families who have experienced a maternal death should consider reaching out to a compassionate West Palm Beach maternal death lawyer to review the circumstances of their case and explore their legal options.
Negligence and Maternal Death
Even though pregnancy and birth are natural processes, quick intervention is sometimes needed to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and the baby. Obstetricians and nurses are trained to recognize the signs of a problem and how to best help the patient at that time.
However, for various reasons, sometimes these professionals either fail to recognize a developing problem or fail to act on the problem in accordance with their training, skills, and current medical standards of practice. If these negligent actions result in maternal death, the affected patient’s surviving family could file suit for resulting damages with the help of a West Palm Beach maternal death attorney.
Proving Negligence by a Healthcare Provider
Negligence is a legal premise with the burden of proof resting with the plaintiff. To win a case, the plaintiff’s maternal death lawyer in West Palm Beach must prove the presence of several key factors.
When the doctor-patient relationship commenced, the doctor owed the patient a duty to act in a way that other reasonable doctors would act. A doctor who assumes care for a patient also has a legally established relationship with them.
Breach of Duty
The doctor failed to uphold their duty. Perhaps they failed to perform an emergency cesarean section, did not recognize the signs of eclampsia, or did not order Pitocin when needed to stop heavy bleeding.
If a physician breached their duty but no harm or injury occurred, there is no case. However, if the patient suffered an injury directly because of the breach, their behavior could constitute legal negligence.
In addition to an injury, the plaintiff or their family members must have incurred damages. Damages are typically financial in nature, but they may also be non-economic such as the loss of companionship or emotional pain and suffering as per Florida Statutes §766.202(8).
West Palm Beach Maternal Death Settlements
Often, maternal death cases are settled out of court prior to a formal trial. Settlements may be beneficial for both the plaintiff and the defendant. The defendant may not pay as much to the plaintiff as they would if a jury were to decide the case, and the plaintiff does not have to go through the emotionally grueling process of a trial.
Plaintiffs should discuss what a fair settlement might be in their case with their maternal death lawyer in West Palm Beach. Ultimately, though, the final decision is up to the plaintiff and not their attorney.
Call a West Palm Beach Maternal Death Attorney for Help
Maternal deaths can be uniquely traumatizing, as well as both financially and emotionally burdensome, to the family members involved. When the death occurred due to the negligence of a health care provider, the turmoil can run even deeper.
An experienced West Palm Beach maternal death lawyer can work alongside your family and help you fight for justice during this difficult time. Call today to learn more about your legal options after a maternal death has occurred.