Under California law, the death of a fetus isn’t the same as a fully developed person dying. As such, rather than it being a case of wrongful death (like it would have been had the person been born) it is instead a case of emotional distress -compensating you for all the hurt and loss that was described above. Because of this distinction, these cases can be much more difficult to litigate and so require a skilled attorney to look at all the facts and hold the right people accountable.
In order to prove the case, it is extremely important that you seek out a medical professional and have that person diagnose your suffering as being adequately severe and connected directly to the miscarriage and causally to the accident which likely precipitated it. This is what creates “causation” in the eyes of the court – a legal requirement for getting financial relief- through showing that “more likely than not” the accident caused the miscarriage and had the accident not happened the pregnancy would have resulted in a birth, and the emotional distress you endured would have been prevented. This means that the closer you were to a live birth, the easier it will be for the court to make this determination. For this reason, first trimester miscarriages are more difficult to litigate than pregnancies that are further. The closer you are to giving birth, the easier it is for your attorney to show that in your case the miscarriage was “proximately caused” by the accident (meaning it was a direct result of the accident) and otherwise would not have happened.
This can get tricky, as some doctors don’t want to get involved in this type of legal cases or are unable to give good testimony that will actually help. In situations like this, it is more important than ever to have an attorney who has relationships with skilled doctors who know not only how much someone suffers when they lose a child like this, but can draw accurate connections between that pain and the person(s) who cause an accident resulting in a miscarriage like the one you suffered.
To make matters even more difficult, the insurance company of the person(s) responsible will use a number of legal defenses to avoid compensating you for your suffering. They may claim that you had miscarriages in the past (and so were more likely to have one regardless), that the baby may have died in the womb, that you may have had an abortion anyway, that the accident wasn’t the actual cause of the miscarriage but they just happened around the same time, and even that the loss wasn’t that painful for you because of a number of other factors (such as the existence of other children of yours, or that the pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted).
To protect you from these offensive tactics of the insurance company and to ensure that you are able to recover financial compensation for your loss, we at Slatter Law Firm are prepared to bring our 30 years of experience and determination to bear on your case. If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage due to an accident, please call us today for your free consultation at (310) 444-3010 or toll-free at (888) 293-0404.