Can Mothers Seek Compensation for Unborn Babies Injured in a Car Crash?
Pregnant women spend nine months trying to protect their unborn child to the best of their ability. Generally they eat well, exercise lightly, and stay away from substances like alcohol and tobacco that can harm their unborn baby. But protecting an unborn child from a car accident is much more difficult.
A mother’s womb is a very delicate place. When anything happens to disturb the fetus inside, the death of the child is too often a result. This is especially common in car accidents, where the baby can be aggressively knocked around or external forces can crush the stomach.
What happens when a pregnant woman is in a car accident in Arizona? Can she seek compensation for her injuries, as well as those to her unborn child? Oh yes, she can.
Criminal Charges for Car Crashes in Arizona
Arizona has some fairly strict laws regarding the homicide, or killing, of the unborn. When this happens during a car crash, Arizona Statute defines it as negligent homicide, manslaughter, or first/second degree murder.
In car crashes, negligent homicide occurs when a person unintentionally causes the death of another person, including an unborn baby. In most negligent homicide cases, the person at fault was involved in a criminal activity at the time, such as drunk driving.
Manslaughter is another criminal charge sometimes filed in car accident cases. This means that the at-fault person did not intentionally cause harm or death, but that someone died as a result regardless. Manslaughter typically involves the at-fault person acting recklessly.
Charges of both first and second degree murder require proof that the at-fault person had intent to kill. These charges, however, are almost unheard of in car accident cases.
Personal Injury Claims in Arizona
A pregnant woman wants to believe that she and her baby are fine after a car accident. Unfortunately, sometimes, after the baby is born, she finds that the child was actually injured as a result of the accident. One example of this would be if the baby hit its head on mom’s pelvic bone while in utero; which, in turn, resulted in a brain injury that wasn’t visible until after the baby’s birth.
In Arizona, injured parties have two years from the time of injury, or the time injury was discovered, to file a personal injury claim. Because of this, a lawyer may advise filing a claim right away, or waiting until the child is born and the potential for all injuries can be fully assessed. If you are expecting a child and have been in a car accident, call The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 267-1280 today. This is an area of law that can be quite complicated, and we want to help you and your child!