Posted on:May 23, 2020

Can you Sue for the Wrongful Death of an Unborn Child

HomeBlogCan you Sue for the Wrongful Death of an Unborn Child

The wrongful death of an unborn child is a traumatic experience for expecting parents. With the loss of a fetus comes lost hopes and dreams, and a wealth of unanswered questions. Laws vary with each state, so this article will cover the law as it pertains to Arizona.

Can parents sue for wrongful death in Arizona?

Parents can indeed sue for the wrongful death of an unborn child in Arizona. Although a lawsuit won’t ease the pain and grief associated with loss, it will bring those responsible to justice.

Car accidents, medical malpractice, and pure negligence are some reasons why an accidental death happens. Due to the different categories that the death may fall under, grieving parents should seek the counsel of a skilled attorney to ensure their representation in the best possible manner.

Arizona recognizes that a viable fetus is a person. The term “viable” means that the fetus has developed enough to live outside of the womb. It does not matter if the child needs medical assistance to live. Parents who have experienced the loss of an unborn child are “real parties in interest” by the court and can sue accordingly.

Is the wrongful death of an unborn child a crime?

In Arizona, the wrongful death of a fetus is punishable by law if the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The United States passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2004 that protects fetuses from 60 federally-listed crimes of violence. Known as Laci and Connor’s Law, this Act charges the assailant if an act of violence injures or kills a baby in utero.

Parents can take the defendant to court if the death of the fetus was due to negligence, failure to act, or wrongdoing. The parents of the unborn fetus have the right to sue and receive monetary compensation that covers expenses associated with the loss. If the parents are killed at the same time as the fetus, another party can take the defendant to court.

Suing for the wrongful death of a viable fetus

Wrongful death is when a person or party is legally responsible for the death of another person. Usually, this type of lawsuit is filed by the family members of the deceased. It can also be filed by those who have suffered as a direct result of the loss. A skilled wrongful death attorney determines the cause of action that led to the loss of the fetus and brings the evidence to the court.

Wrongful death claims apply in cases where the mother and the fetus die during birth. Another is when the mother remains alive, but her fetus has died either before or during delivery. Based on the case, an attorney can sue for punitive and actual damages.

People file lawsuits for the wrongful death of a fetus for reasons other than compensation.

Some of these reasons include:

  • Accountability: The court should address negligence or wrongdoing that results in the death of an unborn child. Accountability plays a role in the healing process and serves as a clear warning to others
  • Recognition: Arizona recognizes the viability of the fetus. If a viable fetus dies due to malpractice, an accident, or negligence, the court considers the deceased as a person and prosecutes based on that
  • Acknowledgment: A viable fetus is a person in Arizona courts, like a newborn baby that dies shortly after birth. Some states do not consider the fetus a person at any stage of development, even a week before birth
  • Justice: Nothing can bring an unborn child back to its parents. Yet, bringing the person or entity responsible for the death to justice can bring some consolation that can help with grief

When to hire an attorney for a wrongful death case?

Family members of a person who has died due to another party’s negligence usually have strong grounds to sue. However, it is not always a simple or clear-cut process when it has to do with the death of an unborn fetus. Can you sue for the wrongful death of an unborn child? Yes, but you will want an attorney to help.

An attorney can identify if parents have a case. They then can ensure that grieving parents receive justice and fair compensation for the loss of their unborn child.

No lawsuit or financial amount can compensate for the loss of a child. With the frustration and stress that comes with navigating the legal process, it’s best to work with a law firm that understands the nuances of the system. An attorney works in the best interests of families, making sure that they receive the compassion, respect, and compensation they deserve after their traumatic loss

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