Recovery for Injury to an Unborn Child


February 23, 2013

A big question that comes up in law offices and courtrooms is "Does an unborn child have the right to sue a person for injuries the fetus sustains in an accident? There are pregnant women out there that sustain injuries to their fetus or even experience the wrongful death of their unborn child.

This is both devastating and often confusing for the victims. The state laws pertaining to the injury or death of an unborn child can vary, yet in Georgia the law does permit a right to recover for the wrongful death of an unborn child. The wrongful death of a child can occur when a fetus dies because the mother is killed or the mother survives but the fetus sustains injuries that lead to its dying while still unborn or it suffers a stillborn birth. This situation may arise in a motor vehicle accident involving a pregnant motor vehicle occupant.

If you or a loved one is pregnant, and you have experienced injuries, or your unborn child has experienced injuries or wrongful death due to an accident, call our office today to speak with one of our caring and compassionate personal injury or wrongful death attorneys. We can help you pinpoint who was negligent, and discuss your rights and options.

For a wrongful death claim involving an unborn child to be successful in most states, it must be demonstrated that the fetus was viable at the time of death. In Georgia, "viability" of the fetus is defined as the time of "quickening". As soon as the mother can feel the child moving in her womb, this is considered the "quickening". Georgia law recognizes that this "quickening" happens quite early on in pregnancy -- as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy. A Georgia wrongful death attorney is actually allowed to use testimony from an expert medical witness to establish that the baby was viable at the time of the accident if the mother is not able to testify.

The laws in Georgia concerning the wrongful death of an unborn child are very accommodating when compared to other states. This allows attorneys to win many wrongful death cases on the part of parents who have lost their unborn child. In many other states, the law requires that the fetus be born in order for the parents to recover for wrongful death. This is also true if the parents are trying to recover for any kinds of emotional distress damages.

When crimes of violence are involved, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a federal law that provides that any person who causes death or injury to an unborn child shall be charged with a separate offense, in addition to any charges relating to the commission of an already defined crime against the mother.

If you have lost an unborn child, contact us for a Free Consultation about your legal rights.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that no sum of money can truly compensate you for the loss of a child. However, we also know that you may face real emotional challenges, and that you might also face extraordinary medical bills. It is also important that conduct that causes wrongful death be discouraged. Where conduct is particularly aggressive or malicious, the court may even award punitive damages that can be substantial. The attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing families just like yours in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for 30 years.

Call Montlick & Associates today to see how our experienced Georgia wrongful death lawyers can help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and use our Free 24/7 Live Online Chat. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.