Becoming pregnant is a wondrous occasion filled with many moments of hope, anticipation, and joy for lots of adults. Parenthood is often planned for as it is a major milestone that will affect the rest of a person’s life so when something devastating happens that takes away the opportunity to become a parent through a miscarriage the repercussions of the loss can resound for the rest of their life.
Miscarriage can be the result of many factors, but when the death is the result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, the aftermath of a miscarriage can be particularly challenging to face. As experienced accident attornies, we’ve worked on cases representing clients in Arizona for the wrongful death of their fetus after a car accident. Our blog explores this highly sensitive topic, why the location of your accident would matter as well as what to expect when filing a case.
Does Arizona recognize the Wrongful Death Cases of a Fetus?
In short, yes as a state Arizona recognizes the right to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a fetus. having reviewed the law in 1985. The state had previously said parents couldn’t maintain an action for the wrongful death of a viable fetus. It was revised after the Arizona High Court represented a case called Summerfield vs. Superior Court Maricopa Cty that first involved the Summerfield parents suing a Doctor for medical malpractice before that case was thrown out in favor of a wrongful death case.
By recognizing a fetus as a living being, as a state Arizona became the 33rd state in the US to recognize that a lawsuit for wrongful death could be maintained on behalf of a fetus. While all 50 states have since passed laws recognizing certain individual’s right to maintain an action for wrongful death, in instances where parents lose an unborn child, the courts across the United States differ as to whether the parents can maintain a wrongful death lawsuit for the unborn fetus. Whilst the majority of states allow an action for the wrongful death of a fetus, they vary as to the question of whether the fetus had to be viable in order for the action to be maintained.
Some states hold that the fetus must have been moving in the womb before the miscarriage, while others recognize the right regardless of fetal viability. In states that don’t recognize an action for the wrongful death of a fetus, such actions as intentional or negligent infliction of emotional trauma on the mother and father may be recognized as alternative legal means to pursue compensation for harms suffered as the consequence of the miscarriage.
Science has shown that the fetus is not as reliant on its mother for the whole pregnancy period as people previously thought, but that at some point in gestation, prior to birth, a fetus could be viable. In fact, it’s now recognized that a fetus could survive outside of the womb before natural birth and with such advancements in birthing techniques, the meaning of natural birth had changed.
When death is caused by another party’s negligence or failure to act, and the deceased would have been able to maintain a lawsuit against the wrongdoer themselves “had death not ensued”. In the case where you’ve been involved in an accident and as a result had a miscarriage, you’re perfectly within your rights to recover monetary compensation for your loss.
Losing a child before you even had the chance to get to spend time with them can be devastating. The physical and emotional trauma from the loss can be difficult and when your unborn child’s loss was due to another party’s negligence, the situation can become even more challenging to bear.
Understanding the law, and fighting for justice and compensation can be complicated and frustrating during a time when you should be focused on healing. Contacting an experienced attorney can help as they know the law and can help ensure that your rights are protected. You don’t have to go through the difficult process of seeking a legal remedy for the death of your unborn child alone. Contact our experienced and compassionate Phoenix area attorneys at Thompson Law Firm, today.
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