Washington, D.C. Attorneys Handling Claims for Wrongful Death of Newborn
Advocating on behalf of parents whose children were stillborn because of medical negligence
There is no pain greater than the pain of losing a child. Your grief is acutely personal, and seeking answers is a natural response to such a tragedy. We believe you deserve those answers as quickly as possible.
Paulson & Nace, PLLC, looks after your best interests while you look after your family in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Our father-and-sons team of lawyers provides a safe and stress-free environment in which to express your rage, your frustrations, and your pain. We offer clients in Washington, D.C. some hope for their families after the wrongful death of their child.
I have found the firm so far to be very compassionate and understanding, something that seems to be rare in companies these days, let alone in attorneys. Chris Nace offered to help us when no one else would. That goes a long way in my book.
Did medical negligence lead to wrongful fetal death?
A child who is stillborn, a medical term reserved for children born without any signs of life who are delivered after 20 weeks of gestation, may have been subject to unexplained risks; lead in the water in Washington, D.C., increased the number of stillborn babies, and we still do not know what effects the Elk River chemical spill will have on pregnant mothers in West Virginia and other parts of the country. In other cases, an act of medical negligence could have led to the death of your child, such as:
- Inadequate prenatal care, such as failing to monitor the fetus for signs of distress or illness during gestation
- Improper labor and delivery practices
- Misdiagnosis of infections and illnesses in the mother that may or may not pose a risk of transmission to the child
- Failure to identify fetal distress during labor and delivery, which can be caused by insufficient oxygen levels when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck
- Failure to diagnose or properly monitor the condition placenta previa where the placenta’s position presents a risk of rupture that can end in stillbirth
- Failure to monitor fetal movement and decreased levels of activity
- Failure to diagnose conditions such as ectopic pregnancies, congenital defects, preeclampsia, or placental abruption
- Failure to warn expectant mothers about higher risk of birth or pregnancy complications from certain factors and behaviors, such as age, smoking, obesity, or the risks associated with gestational diabetes
- Failure to advise an expectant mother entering a high-risk pregnancy of the steps to take to minimize the risk of a stillbirth
- Improper or negligent induction of labor causing fatal complications for the baby
At Paulson & Nace, we are aware that there is little we can do to ease your heartbreak, though we would stop at nothing to do so. What we offer our clients is an opportunity to alleviate the stress that comes from lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and funeral costs. We champion their right to answers about their loss and fully hold the responsible parties accountable under the law. We allow them to focus on the healing process, as opposed to the complicated process of a lawsuit. We do what we can to help our clients move forward.
How does a wrongful death lawsuit work in Washington, D.C.?
Stillbirth is a horrifying experience for any parent to endure and sometimes getting truthful answers is the only comfort you can hold onto. This also often means having to pursue a lawsuit to get to the bottom of what happened – and why – because doctors are often prevented from providing detail the family deserves to hear when a mistake has been made.
In these cases, parties who have suffered such as loss in the District of Columbia who choose to pursue litigation are governed by the Wrongful Death Act. What this means under the law is that the child’s parents have a right to file a lawsuit against the parties believed to be at fault for the death of their baby.
There is a statute of limitations in Washington, D.C. giving parents of a stillborn child two years to file the lawsuit or the opportunity to obtain answers and justice for your child will be lost.
What damages are awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington, D.C.?
We know that money cannot bring your child back, but when there has been wrongdoing that senselessly took your son or daughter away from you, it’s the only form of justice available. It tells every medical professional who contributed to the loss of your child that they caused catastrophic harm that can never be undone.
Washington, D.C. does not place a limit on the amount of damages you can recover, which means a judge or jury can choose to award any sum that seems fair for the circumstances and hardship you have endured and will continue to heal from for a long time.
Some of the factors that will be taken into consideration in assessing a proper award for damages include:
- Medical expenses. This is often a significant amount when you and your child have received emergency care during labor once fetal distress was discovered. There will also be expenses related to caring for your stillborn child once labor and delivery have concluded.
- Lost wages. As parents, you take the death of your child very hard so it can take time before you’re able to return to work. You are mourning the loss of not only your baby but of what he or she could have been and of the life you were robbed of.
- Funeral expenses. You are permitted to make a claim for reasonable funeral expenses, including fees for the service, transportation, a casket or cremation services, printed programs, and other related expenses.
The level of negligence that led to the stillbirth is another factor that will be assessed.
Supporting Washington, D.C. families who have suffered the ultimate tragedy
The compassionate attorneys of Paulson & Nace, PLLC, have spent over 40 years protecting new parents and newborns in the greater Washington, D.C. metro. If you have lost your child to a negligent stillbirth, we may be able to help you hold those responsible accountable for your baby’s death and obtain the financial support you will need to move forward in your own time. Schedule your free case evaluation in our Washington, D.C. or Charleston, WV office by calling 202-463-1999 or by reaching out to us through our contact page.