Can You Sue for Fetal Death in Washington State?

Can You Sue for Fetal Death in Washington State?Expecting a baby is supposed to be a joyous time in a person’s life. However, when an expectant mother finds out that her unborn child’s heart is no longer beating and she will not be bringing them home from the hospital, it can cause overwhelming amounts of grief.

If this is the case for you, you may not know what to do or where to turn to get the help you need. While nothing will bring back your baby or take away your pain, a Seattle wrongful death attorney may ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for the death of your unborn baby.

What is fetal death?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fetal death is the death of an unborn baby during the pregnancy. This can happen at any time. However, when a fetus dies at 20 weeks of gestation or more, it is also commonly called a stillbirth.

Can you sue for the loss of your unborn baby in Seattle?

In Washington, the viability standard is often used to determine liability for the loss of a fetus. To pursue a wrongful death suit, you may need to provide proof that the fetus reached the point of viability before it was lost. A fetus is generally considered viable after it reaches approximately 24 weeks of gestation, which is usually when a baby can be born and survive with proper medical attention.

If something happened that caused your unborn child’s death after reaching the viability stage, consult with a Seattle wrongful death lawyer right away. They can evaluate your case and help determine the best way to proceed.

Who can I file a wrongful death claim against for the death of my unborn baby?

There are several parties you may file a wrongful death claim against for the death of your unborn baby, including:

  • A hospital
  • A doctor’s office
  • A clinic
  • A physician
  • A nurse
  • A medical staff member
  • A manufacturer
  • A pharmaceutical company or pharmacy
  • A person whose action caused you to lose the baby

What can cause fetal death?

Some of the most common causes of fetal death include:

  • Errors made by surgeons, doctors, nurses, or other medical providers
  • Using defective medical devices
  • Taking the wrong or improper dose of prescriptions
  • Misdiagnosed or delayed diagnosis of infections, illnesses, or complications during pregnancy
  • Birth defects, genetics, or issues with the placenta
  • Violence committed by another person
  • Falls

What are the symptoms of fetal death or stillbirth?

If you believe that you may be at risk of fetal death or stillbirth, there are certain symptoms to look out for, such as:

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain, discomfort, or pressure
  • Fever
  • No longer feeling the baby move or kick
  • No sign of heartbeat

Some people have no symptoms. If you are worried about your unborn baby’s health, visit or contact your local medical provider even if there are no symptoms present.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

In Washington State, the statute of limitations gives you three years to file a wrongful death claim. While this may seem like plenty of time, these cases are often complex. If you think you may have a wrongful death claim, it’s important to contact a Seattle wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.

Why should I consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

Losing a baby during pregnancy is traumatizing and devastating. While no amount of money can ever bring back your baby, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be the first step to getting the justice you and your family deserves. A wrongful death attorney can handle the challenges of the legal process, which lets you focus on what matters: grieving for your loss and caring for you and your family. A wrongful death lawsuit can:

  • Achieve justice for you and your family
  • Obtain compensation to cover medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering
  • Prevent other families suffering the same loss
  • Give you the closure you need

If you recently lost an unborn child due to another party’s negligent or wrongful acts, get in touch with the Seattle wrongful death lawyers at Smith McBroom as soon as possible. Our team is based in Tukwila, and is here to give you the emotional support and legal guidance necessary to get through this challenging time. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation and find out how we can pursue justice for you.