Miscarriage after an Accident
Have you suffered a miscarriage as a result of a car accident, trip and fall accident, slip and fall accident, or some other type of accident?
The miscarriage may have happened immediately after an accident, or it may have happened weeks later. Regardless of when it occurs, a miscarriage is an emotionally devastating loss to suffer, and one for which you and your partner may well grieve for the rest of your lives. You are legally entitled to be compensated for this loss.
Under California Law, the Death of a Fetus is not a Wrongful Death Claim
UnderCalifornialaw, the death of a fetus is not classified as a wrongful death claim. Instead, the mother has a claim for emotional distress over the loss of her unborn child.
Critical Evidence in a Miscarriage-Caused-By-Accident Case
In order to prove your case, it is critical that you have a medical expert who will give you “causation," i.e., who will connect the accident to the miscarriage. The medical expert must be willing to state that: (1) more likely than not, the accident caused the miscarriage, and (2) had the accident not occurred, the pregnancy would more likely than not have resulted in a live birth.
The further along in the pregnancy you were, and the closer in time the miscarriage was to the accident, the easier it will be to legally connect the miscarriage to the accident.
Some OBGYN’s do not want to get involved in a legal case and are unwilling to provide the critical medical testimony. If that is the case in your situation, then it’s important that you are represented by a personal injury attorney who can bring in a medical expert to review your records and provide the necessary causation opinion.
Defenses the Insurance Companies will Raise
You can expect that the negligent party’s insurance carrier will vigorously fight any attempt to connect your miscarriage to the accident. They will throw up as many defenses as they can raise, including:
- That you had a history of prior miscarriages
- That even in the absence of an accident, a significant percentage of pregnancies miscarry spontaneously
- That your advanced age increases the likelihood that you would have miscarried anyway
- That the pregnancy was very early on
- That the accident was very minor and the mechanism for a miscarriage wasn’t there
- That it was an unplanned pregnancy
- That you didn’t even learn about the pregnancy until after the accident
- That you are not married or are unhappily married
- That you had a history of abortions
- That you would likely have terminated this pregnancy
- That you have other children, so the loss is not that significant
Connecting a miscarriage to an accident is not easy. Insurance companies fight these claims vigorously. You will most certainly need an attorney if you are going to make this claim. If possible, you should be represented by an attorney who has handled miscarriage-caused-by-accident claims before.
If someone else’s negligence causes the loss of your unborn child, you should hire a Pasadena personal injury attorney with experience handling miscarriage cases and you should demand the compensation to which you are entitled.