The death of a child is a difficult experience for any parent to endure. It is even tougher when that death is caused by the negligence of someone else. But what if the child has not been born yet? It is no easier for the parents who are suffering the loss, but does it mean they cannot pursue damages?
Fortunately, the answer is no. In 1949, Minnesota became the first state to enact a law that holds negligent individuals accountable for the wrongful the death of an unborn child. Thirty-four states have since followed suit. While parents can move forward with an action to pursue monetary damages, it is important to keep in mind what needs to be done to ensure the claim is proven in court.
Proving Wrongful Death of an Unborn Child
Regardless of the age of the individual, there are certain elements that must be substantiated in every wrongful death case. First, it is extremely important to be able to determine the role of the individual responsible and how their behavior caused the death of the unborn child. For this, a fetal injury lawyer will turn to traditional methods to verify wrongful death.
To start, it must be proven that a human death has occurred and that the death was the result of a wrongful act or an act of negligence or omission by a person or corporation. An independent investigation will produce the evidence necessary to substantiate the matter in court. This could involve the collection of a number of items including ultrasounds, photographs of the incident, police reports, and more. It must also be shown that beneficiaries have suffered from an emotional or financial loss because of the death.
The one point of this law that differs from other wrongful death lawsuits is in regards to the child itself. In addition to the matters already mentioned, the parents also have to be able to prove to the court that the fetus was viable – meaning that it could have survived outside of the mother’s womb. This may seem a bit daunting at first, but it can usually be proven with the help of notes from doctor visits and ultrasounds that were taken prior to whatever caused the death of the child.
Building a Solid Claim of Death of an Unborn Child
When parents feel that another individual or corporation has acted in a way that caused the unnecessary death of their unborn baby, it is vital that they build a credible claim so that they can receive the financial compensation to which they are entitled. The first step is to locate and hire a good fetal injury lawyer. The attorney will examine the facts of the case and figure out which angle will provide the best approach. He will speak with the family doctor and other medical professionals and experts about the incident, the development of the fetus, and other facts that are important to the case. Investigators may be hired to look into the smaller details that could ultimately make or break the claim.
The ideal result is that the beneficiaries receive proper compensation for funeral expenses, the costs of therapy and medications, and emotional pain and suffering. Compensation could also be collected for lost wages if the parents had to take time away from work due to the wrongful death.
If you are a parent who lives in the Rochester, Minnesota, area and has suffered through the wrongful death of your unborn child as a result of another’s actions, please consider contacting one of our attorneys to schedule an initial consultation. We will examine your case and help you decide the best way to move forward.