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If you lose a baby due to somebody else’s negligence or even violent actions, you may wonder where to turn or what to do next. A dedicated legal professional can walk you through the legal process as we help you recover damages you deserve during this trying time.

Are you looking for help with the wrongful death of an unborn child case? The statute of limitations clock starts as soon as a death occurs. Contact Swor & Gatto to learn how we can help you build a case.

How Minnesota Pregnancy Laws Protect Unborn Children

In 1949, Minnesota became the first state to create laws protecting unborn children and pregnant women. After Minnesota enacted these laws, thirty-four states moved to make similar laws, making waves across the nation. 

Here in Minnesota, residents have both civil and criminal penalties at their disposal to hold a person or entity responsible for an unborn child’s death. Minnesota pregnancy laws define such a child ” as “the unborn offspring of a human being conceived but not yet born.” This definition is true even for those in the early stages of pregnancy.

Minnesota Statutes § 609.205 and § 609.266 explain the penalties for the assault on a pregnant woman and harm to an unborn child. Additionally, there are laws defined as the murder of an unborn child. A prosecutor can charge a perpetrator with a criminal offense in the first, second, and third degrees, with harsh penalties.

There are also specific penalties for the death of an unborn child who dies due to a vehicular accident (e.g., a drunk driver who hits a pregnant woman can be charged with criminal penalties if she loses her baby.)

Civil Laws for the Death of an Unborn Child

Minnesota Statute 573.02, subdivision 1, explains the circumstances in which an independent party is held responsible for the death of an unborn child. Here’s a breakdown of what the laws say about wrongful death as it applies to this instance:

  • You can sue to recover damages from negligent professionals. This civil penalty extends to doctors, surgeons, dentists, hospitals, jails, and sanitariums. The state licenses these professionals, and many of them take professional oaths, which makes it distressing when their actions are a cause of death. The statute of limitations for this type of case is three years from the time of death.
  • Sometimes, such a death occurs because of an individual’s or a corporation’s actions or inactions. Incompetence, negligence, omission, and other wrongful acts by these parties can cause the death of others, and it’s your right to hold them responsible. Here are just a few examples: 
  • A driver may have been on medication or otherwise negligent and caused an accident resulting in a miscarriage.
  • Your landlord may have known there was a defect in the stairs, causing an accident that led to an injury. 
  • Your car might have been faulty and involved in a recall, but the manufacturer didn’t contact you to fix the problem. 
  • Your doctor could administer a medication that caused you to miscarry. In this case, you may be able to hold them responsible for medical negligence.

These people may not have meant to cause harm, but their injuries led to a loss of life and hardship in the family. Our attorneys can help articulate what actions caused the death. If multiple people or actions caused the death, the court helps hold them all responsible.

  • To qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll also need to prove that the fetus was viable and would have been able to survive outside the womb if carried to term. To do this, provide medical evidence, including doctor’s notes and ultrasounds, prior to the incident.

Losing a child can throw a family’s life into turmoil. You may feel scared, angry, and overwhelmed by the issues you now face as a family. Find a competent personal injury lawyer to work hard on your behalf.

Building a Successful Wrongful Death Case

In these cases, there are both criminal and civil penalties. Sometimes, an employer will be held liable in a civil court while their employee faces criminal charges for the actions that caused the death of a baby. 

To create the strongest case possible, document the financial or emotional loss that you suffered because you lost your unborn child, including medical, funeral, or grief counseling. Save police reports, medical reports, bills, and even funeral expenses. Keep a folder of receipts and copies of credit card bills. Your attorney will use these documents to help prove your case. In many cases, there will be more than one family member who suffered due to the sudden loss of the baby, so be sure to catalog costs for each family member.

If you document your expenses clearly, you can help begin to build a case. Your claims will need to have solid evidence of your pain and suffering, especially if you suffered lost wages or job problems. If the party who injured you is held criminally responsible, they will likely pay civil penalties as well.

Our attorneys can work with you to try to make sure you receive compensation that helps you recover from the physical and emotional trauma through an infant wrongful death settlement or by taking your case to trial.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Helps 

If an outside party caused your loss, Minnesota pregnancy laws help protect you and specify which damages are available.

After reviewing your case, our attorneys can potentially file a lawsuit and work to prove the traditional elements of a wrongful death lawsuit: that a wrongful act, negligence, or omission of a person or corporation caused or significantly contributed to the cause of death. 

We’ll also work to prove that you suffered pain and damages, including expenses such as funeral, loss of work, and even medical costs. Our job is to take on the complexities of such a case so you can focus on rest and recovery. 

Turn to Swor & Gatto 

Getting justice is often an important moment of closure for a family. If you’ve lost an unborn child through the actions of another person or company, contact our trusted St. Paul legal team. We’ll schedule a time to talk through what you’re going through and answer any of your questions.