Childbirth is surprisingly dangerous. Although millions bravely go through this process each year without issues, maternal birth injuries are very common. These range from minor bruising or tearing to severe complications and even death. Unfortunately, the United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in all developed nations. 

What Is the Maternal Mortality Rate?

According to the definition used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the maternal mortality rate is a statistic representing the number of women who die within 42 days of giving birth. The maternal mortality rate includes deaths “related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management,” including infections or complications. The measurement does not include deaths from accidental or incidental causes.

The U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate

Each year in the United States, hundreds of women die from pregnancy or labor-related complications. According to the most recent data from the CDC, the number of women who died from pregnancy-related complications increased from 658 in 2018 to 754 in 2019. 

This escalation is part of a decades-long trend. The U.S. maternal mortality rate has risen yearly since 1987, when it was just over seven deaths per 100,000 births. As of 2019, there were 17 deaths per 100,000 births in the United States.

Some of the most common causes of maternal deaths during pregnancy, labor, and delivery include:

Sadly, many of these deaths are preventable. Families who have lost a loved one during pregnancy or the labor and delivery process may be able to hold a physician or medical provider legally responsible for negligence or malpractice. 

What Can Grieving Families Do After a Fatal Birth Error 

Families who lost a loved one in a fatal birth injury may be able to pursue financial compensation through a Michigan medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit. This type of legal action is appropriate if a person’s death was caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or fault” of a healthcare provider. 

A wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim, except the claim is initiated by the victim’s family rather than the victim. Under Michigan law, a wrongful death claim can be brought by any of the following parties:

  • Surviving spouse.
  • Children.
  • Parents.
  • Grandparents.
  • Siblings.
  • Children of the deceased person’s spouse.
  • Anyone else who inherits property in the victim’s will.

Those who successfully pursue a Michigan wrongful death case can obtain monetary compensation for their loss. The damages awards issued by courts vary significantly and depend on the specifics of each case. Generally, family members can recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs.
  • Burial expenses.
  • Lost wages, including what the victim would have earned throughout their lifetime. 
  • The pain and suffering of the deceased. 
  • The pain and suffering of the surviving family members.
  • The loss of care, companionship, and other intangible benefits family members enjoyed through their relationship with the deceased.

Wrongful death claims must be timely filed, or the claim will be barred. Determining that time period can be confusing and difficult to compute, so you should not delay seeking legal advice to preserve the right to recover compensation for your loss.

Contact a Michigan Medical Negligence Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation 

If you have recently lost a loved one during pregnancy or labor and delivery, contact Sommers Schwartz, P.C. for immediate assistance. Since starting our firm more than four decades ago, our attorneys have fought for the rights of hundreds of injured individuals and their families. Our team of experienced medical negligence lawyers handles all types of medical malpractice and wrongful death cases in Detroit and across the state, helping our clients obtain the compensation they need to move on with their lives. 

While nothing can lessen the grief of losing a loved one, holding the responsible parties accountable can help families overcome the financial burdens associated with their loss. To learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation, call us today at 800-783-0989 to schedule a free consultation.

Richard D. Fox

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Richard D. Fox

Richard Fox handles personal injury cases, including birth trauma, medical malpractice, and motor vehicle negligence. Throughout his career, which has spanned over 45 years, Rick has successfully represented clients in medical negligence and other personal injury claims.