Key Points of this Article:
- Mothers who have lost their pregnancy after a car crash can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the collision.
- The state of Michigan allows mothers who have lost their pregnancy to recover loss of consortium damages.
- The Michigan no-fault law allows pregnant women who have suffered a miscarriage to claim no-fault benefits, which include allowable expense benefits, work loss benefits, replacement service benefits, and survivor loss benefits.
If you’ve experienced a car accident while pregnant, it’s important to get medical attention and police assistance right away. Unfortunately, pregnancy complications after a car crash can occur anywhere from hours to weeks after the collision. Although it is rare, the physical and emotional trauma suffered by moms-to-be can lead to miscarriage.
A miscarriage after a car crash occurs when the trauma associated with an accident results in an expecting mother losing her pregnancy. The force of the crash, pressure of a seatbelt, or force of an airbag can cause a mother-to-be to suffer pregnancy complications.
Under MCL 600.2922a, (1) A person who commits a wrongful or negligent act against a pregnant individual is liable for damages if the act results in a miscarriage or stillbirth by that individual, or physical injury to or the death of the embryo or fetus.
If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage as a result of an auto accident in the state of Michigan, here’s what you need to know.
What You Need to Know
The attorneys at Lee Steinberg’s law offices in Detroit can help women who have lost their pregnancy navigate their legal needs during this especially trying time.
Filing for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you’ve suffered a miscarriage after an auto accident, you have the right to file for a wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawsuit can be filed against the at-fault driver as well as the car owner. It must be brought by the personal representative of the estate of the unborn child whose death was the result of the miscarriage. A personal representative is usually the mother or another family member and is granted the right to lead the lawsuit by the probate court.
The lawsuit can recover economic damages, such as medical expenses. But the family can also recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and other damages.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
If you have suffered the loss of a pregnancy after an auto collision, you may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation. While there is no single definition for “pain and suffering” in legal terms, the term can generally refer to physical pain or injury caused by the accident or associated necessary medical treatment as well as mental anguish, sleeplessness, anxiety, or other psychological effects one has suffered from a collision and its result.
Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance system can help cover financial and health expenses. The no-fault system allows victims to collect benefits for:
Allowable Expense Benefits
Allowable expense benefits cover medical costs associated with your accident. This includes medical bills and the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments. The Michigan no-fault system will cover your medical bills up to the dollar amount listed in your auto insurance policy.
Although the Michigan no-fault system previously provided “unlimited” medical coverage, any auto policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020 have different coverage levels, including one that is unlimited.
Work Loss Benefits
If you have suffered injuries related to the auto accident that have prevented you from returning to work, the Michigan no-fault system will reimburse you for the wages you have lost as a result. Wage loss benefits are restricted to a monthly maximum and are available for three years after the date of the collision.
Replacement Service Benefits
If you can no longer perform “ordinary and necessary services” due to suffering an injury from an auto accident, the Michigan no-fault system gives an allowance of up to $20/day for you to reimburse those who help you perform these tasks. Replacement services typically cover housekeeping, laundry, lawn and garden maintenance, and other everyday tasks.
Michigan law recognizes that any person whose negligence has resulted in the death of a pregnant woman’s unborn child is guilty of a felony, punishable up to 15 years, a fine of $7,500, or both. A drunk driver who is involved in a collision that has resulted in a miscarriage is guilty of a felony punishable up to 15 years in prison, a fine of $2,500, or both.
A “careless or reckless driver” who has caused an auto accident that results in a pregnant woman’s miscarriage is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 2 years in prison, a fine of $2,000, or both.
What to Do If You Are Pregnant and Involved in an Auto Collision
If you’re a mom-to-be and you’ve been in a collision, it’s important to seek medical attention and police assistance right away. You can call 911 at the scene of the collision and request an ambulance, but be sure to mention your pregnancy. EMTs may have different protocols in place for assessing victims of collisions who are pregnant.
Contact a Michigan auto law attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the legal aftermath of the collision. The attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm in Detroit are experts in Michigan auto law and will ensure you receive the best help available.
Have You or a Loved One Been Involved in a Car Accident in Michigan? We Can Help.
The law is confusing, the stakes are high, and every case is different, so it doesn’t hurt to call a Michigan car accident injury lawyer immediately after a crash. And when it comes to obtaining pain and suffering compensation, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped motorists, passengers, and pedestrians all over Michigan collect millions.
So please call to speak to an experienced Michigan accident attorney at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) as soon as you are ready. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your case.