“Can you sue for an accident that caused your miscarriage?”
The answer is yes.
In Oklahoma, parents may bring an action over the wrongful death of an unborn child. You must still prove that the incident was the direct cause of the miscarriage. This will likely require expert medical testimony to prove causation.
If you were in a car accident and you had a miscarriage, the other driver (or his insurance) must pay for your lost pregnancy. This is in addition to any other injuries or damages you may claim.
This right applies to all other incidents that cause death to your unborn baby. That would include medical malpractice actions against physicians and hospitals responsible for prenatal fatalities, as well as other physical interventions, such as excessive force by police officers and security personnel; premises liability; and other cases of negligence.
The History of Unborn Child Wrongful Death Law in Oklahoma
In Pino v. U.S.A, 2008 OK 26,183 P.3d 1001, our Supreme Court recounted the common law history of unborn child wrongful death actions in Oklahoma. Originally, actions to recover for the death of fetuses and stillborn children were expressly barred.
That changed in 1976 when the Court stated “[T]he common-law in Oklahoma as to such a cause of action has been too rigid. It should be flexible and elastic enough to adapt to the facts of life in light of our scientific knowledge and modern society.” Evans v. Olson, 1976 OK 64, 550 P.2d 924.
The Court then reversed the common law bar against actions on behalf of stillborn children and allowed such suits in Oklahoma. The Pino Court went on to digest other cases involving prenatal injuries and deaths, demonstrating Oklahoma’s longstanding recognition of actions on behalf of the unborn and stillborn.
In 2005, the legislature codified these rulings by amending the state’s wrongful death statute, 12. O.S. § 1053. Subsection 1053(F)(1) provides: “The provisions of this section shall also be available for the death of an unborn child as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.”
Title 63, section 1-730(2) defines “unborn child” as “the unborn offspring of human beings from the moment of conception, through pregnancy, and until live birth including the human conceptus, zygote, morula, bastocyst, embro and fetus.”
In sum, Parents may seek justice for the death of their children, even in utero, in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City Lawyer Helps Parents seeks Justice for Unborn Children
Travis Charles Smith represents Parents who desire to hold accountable those parties responsible for the death of their children before birth. If you are interested in a consultation, you may inquire confidentially here or call the office.