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Can I Sue a Hospital for a Miscarriage?

Empty hospital bed in a hospital room in the daylight

A miscarriage can be a traumatic experience, leaving a mother suffering pain and emotional distress after the loss of an unborn child. A miscarriage can be more devastating when it was caused by the hospital or a careless doctor.

What options do you have after a miscarriage to file a lawsuit against the hospital or doctors?

Is a Miscarriage Considered Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit allows the family of the victim to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one. The lawsuit may be filed by a family member or representative of the estate of the deceased.

Parents may be able to file a wrongful death claim after the death of an infant. However, states differ on when they consider an unborn child to be eligible for a wrongful fetal death claim.

Many states require the child to be viable or be able to survive outside the womb to be able to file a wrongful infant death claim. Talk to a medical malpractice attorney about whether your state allows you to file a claim on behalf of an unborn child.

Can I Sue a Hospital After a Miscarriage?

If the hospital or doctor was negligently responsible for causing the miscarriage, you may be able to file a malpractice claim against the hospital for damages.

Damages may depend on the types of injuries and losses suffered after the loss of a baby. You may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of wages, and wrongful death.

What Causes a Miscarriage?

During a healthy pregnancy, the mother supplies the fetus with blood, oxygen, hormones, and nutrients, to help the baby grow. When something goes wrong, the pregnancy can unexpectedly terminate. A miscarriage is also known as a spontaneous abortion.

There are many possible causes of miscarriage including:

  • Abnormal fetal development
  • Severe infection
  • Health conditions
  • Malnutrition
  • Physical trauma

Most miscarriages occur within the first trimester, in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

There are ways a hospital, doctor, or healthcare worker could be the cause of a miscarriage. An example is a hospital-acquired infection introduced to the patient because of improper medical practices. It could spread to a pregnant patient, increasing the risk for miscarriage.

Failure to deliver proper treatment to a patient in medical emergency situations could also increase the likelihood of a miscarriage.

How Do I Know If the Hospital Was Responsible for the Miscarriage?

When a miscarriage occurs in a hospital setting, how can you know who was responsible? Medical malpractice claims are complicated and require medical expert testimony.

A hospital has a duty to provide a certain level of medical treatment to patients. If the hospital breached its duty of care and caused injury to the patient, then the hospital may be responsible for any damage.

Did the Doctor Misdiagnose My Medical Conditions?

Some of the most common medical malpractice claims involve a misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis in a pregnant patient can be very serious, and lead to pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.

When a 20-week pregnant patient reports to the emergency department with severe pain, large blood clots, abdominal pain, back pain, or bleeding, it should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, some doctors fail to listen to the patient and fail to take the necessary actions to make a proper diagnosis.

Can I Sue My Employer For Discrimination After a Miscarriage?

If an employer discriminates against an employee based on their protected class, the employee may be able to file an employment discrimination claim against the employer. Employers cannot penalize employees for being pregnant, including cutting hours or unlawful termination.

Employers may try to come up with a fake reason or pretext for terminating a pregnant employee. Because of this, many wrongfully terminated employees do not take their case to court because they don't have proof that the adverse employment action was based on their pregnancy. However, by talking to an experienced pregnancy discrimination lawyer, your attorney can let you know your options to recover financial compensation for your losses.

Can I Sue My Employer if I Can't Get Time Off After a Miscarriage?

There are state and federal employment laws that protect workers dealing with medical conditions. For example, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are guaranteed unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks to take sick time or to care for some family members. However, the FMLA only applies to certain employers and certain employees.

Many states and municipalities have their own sick leave laws that expand coverage or offer additional benefits. Your individual employment agreement may also provide protection when an employer refuses to allow time off to recover from a miscarriage or pregnancy complications.

There may be several legal remedies for a family leave violation claim. A lawsuit may require the employer to reinstate you if you want to return to the job. Money damages in an employment violation lawsuit may include:

  • Lost back pay
  • Loss of future benefits
  • Liquidated damages when the employer did not act in good faith

Talk to an employment lawyer about your rights and legal options after employer mistreatment related to a miscarriage.

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