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What are the elements of a wrongful death of a mother lawsuit?

The wrongful death of a mother is a terrible thing; a child is left without a mother to care for him or her, and family is left to pick up the pieces. If a mother dies during pregnancy or labor because a doctor was negligent, then the family, including the child, may sue for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

The idea behind this lawsuit is that the surviving members of the family are affected by this loss financially, socially and emotionally. For young people, like the child or children of the mother, that could mean suing for the loss of a parent and the financial support a parent provides. For a husband or wife, it means suing for a loss of consortium.

There are three elements in a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a mother. The main factor is that the mother died or was killed. The death must have been caused by recklessness, negligence or intentional misconduct. For example, delaying a mother's Cesarean-section and surgery despite signs that the mother was bleeding internally would be a case of negligence or recklessness. It could be intentional misconduct if the doctor intended to injure the woman.

The third element is that some kind of financial loss must have occurred. Usually, that loss comes from the mother not being able to work, from a parent having to obtain child care or other financial concerns. Once all three of these elements are noted, the family can choose to pursue a lawsuit against the medical team or hospital responsible for the mother's death.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death of the Mother," accessed Sep. 28, 2016

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