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Maternal Death Lawyer New York City

The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm is here for you when the unimaginable occurs.

Home / PA / Birth Injury / Maternal Death

The birth of a child is a joyous time to be celebrated. Tragically, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and the mother does not survive the childbirth experience. Unfortunately, NYC medical malpractice is more common than you’d think. After a tragedy occurs, it’s important to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible so the details can be documented and the law firm can gather evidence.  

Every year, about 303,000 women worldwide die while giving birth. When a woman dies from anything relating to pregnancy, it’s called a maternal death. Sometimes maternal deaths are not preventable, with doctors doing everything they can to save their patients. Sadly, other women do not survive pregnancy or childbirth due to a mistake made by a doctor or other healthcare professional. Wrongful deaths, either before or after childbirth, should not happen if doctors and other healthcare professionals hold to the accepted standard of care.

If your wife, significant other, or daughter died while giving birth at a New York City medical facility, the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm is here for you when the unimaginable occurs. We understand nothing will replace the loss of your loved one, but we can help you receive justice for your loss and help prevent it from happening to someone else. Call our understanding and compassionate medical malpractice attorneys today for a free consultation at 212-869-3500.

Common Causes of Death During Childbirth in New York City

In the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 700 women die annually as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications. Racial and ethnic disparities also exist. Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women suffered more pregnancy-related deaths between 2007 – 2016 than white, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander women. These statistics showed racial disparities exist even in states with lower pregnancy and childbirth-related mortality ratios.

Furthermore, Harvard University reports in 1990; there were approximately 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 pregnant women in the U.S. Over the next 25 years, statistics showed a sobering trend. In 2015, more than 26 deaths per 100,000 pregnant women were recorded. To put it in perspective, Harvard writes, “Compared with their own mothers, American women today are 50% more likely to die in childbirth.” Statistics also show that black women’s risks are three to four times higher than for white women, regardless of education or income.

Even though maternal death rates in the U.S. are relatively low compared to other countries, we are in an age where medical knowledge and technology have far surpassed what was available in the 20th century. Yet, women still die every year to the following pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum complications:

  • Postpartum hemorrhage. About 27% of maternal deaths are caused by postpartum hemorrhage. It occurs from excessive bleeding and loss of blood after the baby is born. Skilled and knowledgeable healthcare providers have the ability to stop this bleeding, so the mother doesn’t die from losing too much blood after childbirth.
  • Infection. Women can get pregnancy-related infections in many ways, including but not limited to unsanitary deliveries, long labors, and unsafe abortions. Mothers who do not receive proper postpartum care instructions can develop a hygiene-related infection. About 11% of women die as a result of these types of infections.
  • High blood pressure (HBP) and eclampsia. Doctors today have the tools they need to monitor issues, such as HBP and pick up on conditions such as eclampsia. Statistics show 14% of maternal deaths are related to hypertensive disorders.
  • Pregnancy termination. Most of the deaths occurring from pregnancy termination occur outside of the United States. Still, the most recent statistics show six women were identified in 2014 by the CDC as losing their lives due to legal-induced abortion complications.
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a blood clot that forms in the lungs and can develop after delivery. Risk is increased with c-sections. Approximately 3% of maternal deaths occur due to PE.

In addition to these pregnancy complications, about 10% of mothers die from other direct causes, including placenta previa, ectopic pregnancy, and uterine rupture. Many of these conditions are diagnosed during pregnancy, but some doctors don’t heed the warning signs. With the tests and tools doctors have, there is no reason why medical providers should miss diagnosing many of the direct causes of maternal death. Indirect causes of maternal death (28%) are caused by conditions that develop or worsen during pregnancy. Many of these conditions are also usually addressed through routine monitoring by a healthcare professional. 

Medical Negligence and Maternal Death in NYC

It’s hard to believe, but medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In the childbirth environment, many people, OB/GYNs, midwives, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others, are involved with both a mother and her baby’s care. If one of them makes a mistake, a wrong decision, or fails to act, the result can be tragic. Examples of medical negligence include but are not limited to:

  • Failing to properly monitor a woman’s condition before, during, and after pregnancy
  • Failing to diagnose or detect complications with pregnancy or childbirth
  • Failing to identify warning signs of maternal distress
  • Failing to monitor or detect fetal distress
  • Failing to diagnose or recognize signs of a high-risk pregnancy which results in faulty prenatal care
  • Inadequate or lack of postpartum care
  • Incorrectly using childbirth delivery tools during the birthing process
  • Ignoring a mother’s postpartum complaints
  • Mistakes made during the administration of anesthetics
  • Mistakes made during the administration of labor-inducing drugs

Any of these errors, or others, can lead to a disastrous outcome for a mother and her family. In some cases, a birth injury, such as brain damage or cerebral palsy, can harm the baby. Both are examples of medical malpractice, and victims should seek legal advice from the birth injury attorneys at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm if they feel their healthcare provider breached the standard of care.

How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After a Childbirth-Related Death?

Experiencing the death of a loved one during what should be a happy occasion is devastating. Our law firm understands the pain you’re suffering as you try and process your loss, especially when circumstances suggest the death was preventable. In wrongful death situations, from a legal standpoint in New York State, there is urgency. New York State imposes a strict two-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a medical professional. If you file after this date, your claim to recover compensation is forfeited.

You probably aren’t going to be thinking of the future at this time, nor should you be. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney lawyer can handle these details for you. As you grieve and try to get through each day, the caring attorneys at the Jacob Fuchsberg law office can ensure you and your family’s rights are protected.

Compensation Available to Family Members Who Have Lost a Loved One During Childbirth

If a mother’s life is lost during pregnancy or after childbirth, under New York Law § 5-4.1, her spouse, parents, or children may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. State law allows a wrongful death suit to be filed against another party for a wrongful act, neglect, or default that led to a mother’s death.

The State of New York allows the representative of a mother’s estate to file on behalf of her surviving beneficiaries, which must be done before the two-year statute of limitations expires. Financial compensation can be pursued by the estate’s representative for:

  • Medical expenses occurring before the mother’s death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Mother’s wages and income lost
  • Any work-related benefits lost  
  • Any inheritance losses experienced by the family

New York State law does not typically issue monetary damages for pain and suffering. Still, a monetary award may be given for the pain and suffering the mother endured before her death.

The Jacob Fuchsberg NYC Injury Lawyers Are Here For You

Coping with the tragic loss of an important woman in your life is a challenging time, especially when the medical experts you trusted contributed to her death. At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, we understand and share your grief. For more than three generations, our compassionate and caring attorneys have been doing what they can to ensure NYC families receive financial security and the justice they deserve for the negligent medical care their loved one received. No one should ever have to live through this experience, and our law firm will work hard to ensure the party responsible for your loved one’s death will not harm anyone else.

NYC medical malpractice and wrongful death are more common than one would think. All it takes is a split second of inaction, a careless decision, or a failure to act that can devastate and change the course of a family that was expecting a joyous future. When the unimaginable occurs, the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm is here for you and will support you. We offer a free, confidential, compassionate consultation. Let us help you today; call 212-869-3500. Our service area includes Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Westchester, Long Island, and the greater New York City area.

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