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Can I Sue a Hospital for a Miscarriage?

Empty hospital bed in a hospital room in the daylight

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

What options do you have after a miscarriage to file a lawsuit against the hospital or doctors? This article will address these options.

Is a Miscarriage Considered Wrongful Death?

wrongful death lawsuit allows the family of a victim to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one. A family member or representative of the deceased's estate may file the suit.

Parents can file a wrongful death claim after the death of an infant. But, states differ on when an unborn child is eligible for a wrongful fetal death claim.

Many states require the fetus 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 personal injury 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 depend on the types of injuries and losses suffered after the loss of a baby. You may 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.

Miscarriages are not abortions. Until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, women had the right to make reproductive decisions that included abortion of fetal remains, subject to the state's interest in protecting life post-viability. Some states, such as Texas, have since enacted abortion bans. But other states, such as New York, still protect women's reproductive health decisions. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other nonprofit organizations continue to bring lawsuits challenging state laws that restrict abortions.

There are many possible causes of miscarriage, including:

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

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

There are ways a hospital, obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN), or health care 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 woman, increasing the risk of miscarriage.

Failure to deliver proper treatment to a patient in medical emergencies where a woman is at high risk could also increase the likelihood of a miscarriage. Health care providers must take women's health seriously.

How Do I Know If the Healthcare Provider Caused the Miscarriage?

When a miscarriage happens in a hospital setting, how can you know who failed to provide proper medical care? Medical malpractice claims are complicated and need expert testimony from medical professionals.

A hospital must provide a certain level of medical treatment to patients consistent with the standard of care. 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 severe. It can lead to pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.

When a 20-week pregnant patient reports to the emergency room with severe pain, large blood clots, abdominal pain, back pain, or bleeding, the hospital should take it 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 can't 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 cases to court. They don't have proof that they got fired because they were pregnant. But, 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?

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

Many states and municipalities have their own sick leave laws that expand coverage or offer more benefits. Your 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 force 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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