If you were injured in a car accident while you were pregnant, you may be able to bring a suit against the other driver. The strength of your case depends on a range of factors, and it's important to understand the laws surrounding this issue.
Here's what you need to know:
1. Claiming compensation for property damage and personal injury
If you or your car was injured in the accident, you can hold the other driver responsible, and in a civil lawsuit, they may be required to compensate you for your damages. They may have to pay for the cost of your car repairs, your medical bills and any time you lost at work. Unfortunately, however, you may not be entitled to compensation on behalf of your unborn child.
2. Claiming compensation for the wrongful death of a foetus
If someone dies in a car crash, their survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the driver who caused the death, but unfortunately, if you miscarried as a result of a car accident, you don't have to right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit forward on behalf of your baby.
However, it's important to note that many people have petitioned to have this law changed. For example, after a car accident with a drunk driver caused her unborn baby to die, one Australian mum advocated a law to grant human rights to fetuses over 30 weeks gestation. It's important to always check the current version of the law and work with a lawyer who keeps abreast of changes.
3. Negligent drivers may be responsible for your pain and suffering
Although you cannot bring a civil suit against someone for causing the death of your unborn child, you can hold negligent parties responsible for your pain and suffering. Did you develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of losing your baby? Did the onset of PTSD make it impossible to work? Did it hurt your personal life?
If you answer yes to questions like that, a lawyer may be able to help you bring a suit against the negligent driver.
4. Contributory negligence can reduce your claim
Unfortunately, even if the other driver was negligent, the amount of your claim may be reduced if you were also negligent. For example, imagine you were crossing the street, and you were hit by a speeding car driven by a driver with alcohol in their bloodstream.
The driver of that car is considered negligent because they were speeding and driving drunk. However, in this scenario, you were sending a text and not looking at the traffic around you as you walked. As a result, you contributed to the negligence, and that can reduce your claim.
If you want to learn more about holding a driver responsible for hurting you, terminating your pregnancy or harming your unborn child, contact a lawyer today.