Do Wrongful Deaths Apply to a Stillbirth Case?
If a person sustains an injury due to the negligence of another, there is almost always grounds for the injured individual to file for a personal injury lawsuit. Similarly, if the injured member becomes deceased as a result of those injuries, the surviving estate may file for a wrongful death case instead. In these cases, unusual circumstances can arise that bring into question the process of filing for a wrongful death case. Once such of these is how stillbirths are treated under the law.
When considering if wrongful death claims apply to stillbirths, or the death of a fetus, the law varies from state to state. The constant across the board is that it must be proven that it was the negligence of medical professionals or another injuring party that led to the stillbirth. Unfortunately, this kind of tragedy can happen for many different reasons, some natural, some not. If fault can be proven, then yes, a stillbirth is grounds for a lawsuit, although, as mentioned, the exact law varies from state to state.
In Florida, a fetus is not considered to be a “person” under the laws governing wrongful death civil lawsuits. Therefore this kind of claim could not be filed by the parents in this state. That being said, a negligent stillbirth is considered to be a personal injury against the body of the carrying mother and therefore a claim can still be filed against the injuring party. Claims for emotional distress may also be filed along side of this, however only in very rare cases does this apply to the father as well.
A stillbirth is a tragic event for an expectant parent, but there is a way to claim justice if another person is responsible for the death of the fetus. If you are the victim of such a circumstance, we at the Franco Law Firm are here to help. By using our experience and expertise, we would be honored to help you file your claim and restitution won. To learn more about our services and to schedule a free consultation, please feel free to call us at (813) 872-0929.