Planning and preparing for the birth of a child is an important milestone in a family. When this child is lost, due to the malice or negligence of somebody else, it’s often devastating. If you’ve suffered this type of loss, you have our condolences. It’s a difficult thing to do through. Grieving is just one part of the equation, however. You need to protect the rest of your family and help them get through it, too. What can you do to hold somebody accountable for the pain you’ve suffered? How can you begin to get closure and rebuild?
Minnesota wrote laws to help you get justice if a third-party was at fault for the death of a child — whether it was an individual, corporation, or the fault of both of these combined. In fact, Minnesota was one of the first states to recognize wrongful death of an unborn child as a cause of action, allowing victims of such a loss file lawsuits
What Are the Rights of a Family Who Has Lost an Unborn Child?
If an outside party caused your loss, not through an abortion or other natural cause of death, Minnesota laws help protect you and specify which damages are available.
An attorney can file a lawsuit for you in court. He or she will need to prove the traditional elements of wrongful death lawsuit. They will work to prove that a human death occurred. A wrongful act, negligence, or omission of a person or corporation should have caused or significantly contributed to the cause of death. You should also have your attorney prove that the people filing the lawsuit suffered pain and damages.
In order to qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, you will also need your attorney to prove that the fetus was viable and would have been able to survive outside the womb if carried to term.
Losing a child to miscarriage during pregnancy is devastating, but it’s even harder when you know somebody else caused the loss. An attorney can file a lawsuit that will help you cover the expenses such as funeral, loss of work and even medical expenses attributed to the death of an unborn child.
Minnesota Laws Protecting Unborn Children
Many states don’t have a law on the books protecting pregnant mothers and their unborn babies, but as a Minnesota resident, you have options to hold a person or entity responsible for an unborn child’s death. This means if somebody causes the death of a fetus, you can legally hold the person or entity responsible for the death of the child.
Minnesota Statute 573.02, subdivision 1, specifically explains the law to hold outside parties accountable for actions that cause the death of an unborn child.
Holding Professionals Responsible for Death of an Unborn Child
This statute helps families that have been wronged recover damages from negligent professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, dentists, hospitals and other institutions such as jails and sanitariums. The state licenses these professionals and many of them take professional oaths, which makes it particularly distressing when their actions are a cause of death.
The statute of limitations for this type of legal action is three years.
Holding Other Parties Responsible for the Death of an Unborn Child
Sometimes the death of an unborn child occurs due to the actions of an individual or corporation. Incompetence, negligence, and other wrongful acts by these parties can cause the death of others and it is important to hold them responsible. For example, a driver may have been on medication or otherwise negligent and caused an accident resulting in a miscarriage. Or a landlord may have known there was a defect in the stairs, causing an accident that led to an injury. These people may not have meant to cause harm, but the end result is the same. Their injuries lead to a loss of life and hardship in the family affected by the loss.
You attorney can help tell the story of what happened and can even use the court to explain what actions caused your unborn child’s death. If multiple people or more than one action caused the unborn child’s death, the court can help hold them all responsible for their part.
Exercising Your Legal Rights
If your attorney is planning a lawsuit, you can help him or her prepare for the lawsuit. Save police reports, medical reports, bills and even funeral expenses. Keep a folder of receipts and/or copies of credit card bills.
Sometimes there will be more than one family member that suffered due to the sudden miscarriage. Family members may miss work, need therapy or suffer other hardships associated with your loss. Your attorney can help you document your hardships and get organized to present a solid case in court, helping you hold the guilty parties responsible.
Getting Justice for the Death of an Unborn Child
Getting justice is often an important part of closure for a family, and that’s where a competent attorney comes in. You didn’t plan for these financial losses, medical expenses, or funeral costs. The party (or parties) that caused this loss to your family can be held financially responsible for the out-of-pocket expenses and ongoing hardship.
Are you looking for somebody to help your family with a wrongful death of an unborn child case? Do you have questions about your rights or holding guilty parties responsible? If so, don’t delay. The statute of limitations clock starts as soon as a death occurs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a case.