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Miscarriage After Car Accident: What You Need To Know

September 28, 2020 by Steven M. Gursten

Miscarriage After Car Accident: What You Need To Know

Miscarriage after a car accident results in the loss of a pregnant woman’s pregnancy. It is caused by the trauma and force involved in a car crash. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the at-fault driver for damages including loss of society and companionship.

What is a miscarriage after a car accident?

This occurs when the trauma of a crash causes a pregnant woman to lose her pregnancy before the 20th week, resulting in the death of the embryo (before the end of the 10th week of pregnancy) or fetus (after beginning with the 11th week of pregnancy).

Any type of trauma to a pregnant woman that was caused by a car accident can put her at risk for a miscarriage. It could be caused by the sudden stop and impact of the vehicle she is driving or riding in. It could be caused by the pressure from her seat belt or from the force of her air bag as it is deployed.

Can you sue for the death of the embryo/fetus after a crash?

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the at-fault driver whose “wrongful or negligent act against a pregnant individual . . . results in a miscarriage . . . by that individual . . .” (MCL 600.2922a(1); 600.2922(1); 500.3135(1))

Who can sue?

A wrongful death lawsuit for a miscarriage after a car accident must be brought by the personal representative of the estate of the embryo or fetus whose death resulted from the miscarriage. ((MCL 600.2922a(1); 600.2922(1) and (2))

What are the damages that can be recovered?

Generally, both noneconomic and economic damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. (MCL 600.2922(2) and (6); M Civ JI 45.02 Wrongful Death – Damages)

Can you sue for loss of consortium damages?

As an auto accident attorney, I’ve litigated car and truck accident cases in a number of different states and the wrongful death laws can vary significantly from each other. Some states do not recognize the right to sue for the loss of a pregnancy caused by a car accident. In Michigan, a woman can sue for the loss of her pregnancy as a result of the trauma and injuries from a car accident as part of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate. In 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court expressly recognized the right of a pregnant woman who suffered a death to her embryo or fetus to file a lawsuit and a claim for damages for “the loss of the society and companionship of the deceased.” (MCL 600.2922(6); Johnson vs. Pastoriza, Michigan Supreme Court, 2012, #142127)

About miscarriage after a car accident compensation

There is no set defined amount of compensation for settlement for a miscarriage after a car accident. The settlement amounts will depend on the facts of each case and the skill and experience and reputation of the lawyer. However, it is frequently the case that a settlement is probably worth a lot more than what the at-fault driver’s insurance company is offering.

To find out what your case may be worth, please check out our Car Accident Settlement Calculator.

Can the pregnant woman claim No-Fault benefits?

A pregnant woman who has suffered a miscarriage after a car accident will be entitled to receive No-Fault PIP benefits to cover her medical bills and lost wages.

Criminal penalties

As I wrote above, the law regarding both a lawsuit for compensation and also a criminal case against a person for causing the the death of an embryo or fetus after a crash will vary depending on the law of the state in which this occurs. In Michigan the law provides that a person who “commits a grossly negligent act against a pregnant individual . . . that results in a miscarriage . . . by that individual” is guilty of a felony, punishable by 15 years in prison or a fine of $7,500 or both. (MCL 750.90c(a))

A drunk driver who is involved in “an accident with a pregnant individual” and who “causes a miscarriage . . . by that individual” is guilty of a felony, punishable by 15 years in prison or a fine of $2,500 or both. (MCL 750.90d(a))

Additionally, a “carless or reckless” driver who causes “an accident involving a pregnant individual and the accident results in a miscarriage . . . by that individual” is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 2 years in prison, a fine of $2,000 or both. (MCL 750.90e)

Need help finding the right lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law first

If you have suffered a miscarriage after a car accident and would like to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.

Miscarriage After Car Accident: What You Need To Know

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