Legal Question About Fetus Is It A Person

19 Replies
sarita - April 26

I need some help/advice here. I was involved in a car accident recently. I hired one of those yellow pages attorney's. I am getting my medical stuff taken care of and my property damage. However, noone seems concerned with my baby. I went to maternity ER and my OB/GYN, but the comment has been made that my son "doesn't count" because he is still a fetus. What gives? Anyone gone through this? How do I ensure that my baby is compensated for what he has gone through? Seems shitty (pardon me) that I get compensated, my passenger gets compensated...but my baby is just SOL. I have heard not to settle until 6 months after his birth, when it can be determined there are no lasting effects...but is that an accurate time frame? Can they tell now? Im scared and frankly p___sed off at this whole process! Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

 

Heidi - April 26

What did your lawyer tell you? He should know the answer.

 

sarita - April 26

The fetus has no rights at this point. The boy who hit me has a mom who is an attorney. She told me at the scene that she was just "looking out for her son." I told her that I was too. She said, "yes, but yours doesn't count." As heartless as that was...it seems to be true.

 

TO SARITA - April 26

How far along are you? I don't know all the little technicalities, but my sister got in a car wreck when she was pregnant...she was about 7 months along, she was stopped, waiting to turn left and a guy rear ended her going like 60 mph. Anyway her baby was ok from the wreck, thank goodness, but she got quite a big settlement because she was a pregnant woman. They settled before the baby was born, and gave her quite a big sum of money, because they didn't want her to wait until after the baby was born and take a chance on having something wrong with it. This way she got a bunch of money but when the baby was born if it had anything wrong with it she was out of luck she couldn't go back and get more money from them. If that makes any sense. I would say as long as you are being compensated as a pregnant woman then that is great, just don't let them ignore the fact that you are pregnant. Even if your fetus isn't considered a person yet, you can still get that boy in a lot of trouble if something happens to your baby. So I don't know if that helps you any, but that is my family's experience. I hope you and your baby are okay and I wish you the best of luck!

 

Sam - April 26

Ditch your lawyer first of all. Then go to your local law library (every county is REQUIRED to have one) and look up these laws for yourself. I think your lawyer is full of c___p. You said "medical stuff." Were you hurt at all? After you get a little legal knowledge under your belt, you have two choices. Go at it alone (sans lawyer) or go shopping for one! You have the right to get consultations. Go in. Tell a couple different lawyers your story. See if theres something someone can do for you. Don't just give in! If that baby is hurt, the guy who hit you should pay for it. Good luck!

 

Heidi - April 26

I thought a new law was pa__sed after the Lacy Peterson case that any unborn child was counted as a person, hence, Scott was charged with a double murder. Now this may depend on the age of the fetus too. Not sure. But yes, I would check with a new lawyer for sure. I could see where if the fetus survived you might get compensated more but not sure if it's the other way around. It might depend on your state laws.

 

toes - April 26

i work in an office full of lawyers, and tho they don't practice the kind of law you need, if you call up a firm and say "pregnant" and "car accident" they'll at least want to hear about your case. What Sam said is right on the money in regards to shopping around for an attorney. In a situation like this they'll smell blood in the water and want at least a nibble before they tell you they can or can't take it.

 

Missy - April 26

I don't know what state you are in, but I am in CA. I am a paralegal and although now I practice family law and bankruptcy, I used to work in a personal injury and worker's compensation firm. Unfourtunately, unborn fetus' do not count as injured partied. I would consult with a local attorney in your area for further clarification. I do know, however, that you will not get substantial (if any) compensation for the baby - it is very difficult to prove that the accident caused any sort of damage to an unborn fetus. RE settling after he/she is 6 mos old, it may not be a bad idea, as the baby would have been examined several times at that point. My advice to you would be to consult a local attorney regarding your case. Best of luck to you!!!

 

sarita - April 26

Thanks for all the help and advice. I tried to fire my atty once the "your son doesnt count" thing came up and didn't alarm my atty. However, he is maintaining an interest in my case and therefore will not release it at this point. Grrr..big lesson learned there! I am fine, just some back and neck injuries (standard). I hit my hip pretty hard on the console which resulted in an internal bruising. The ob/gyn has a__sured me that my son (aka, the fetus) is fine. I am however, now on anti depressants to deal with the stress of this. I feel terrible for the boy who hit me because its a crummy situation all around. I do not think HE thinks of my son as non-exisistent..but these atty's and insurance agents are ice cold in these matters. I dont understand their point of view and I hope I never do! BTW, I am in Texas...I will look up the law regarding this...eventhough my atty SHOULD be aware of this. Thanks again girls!!!

 

PP - April 26

No offense but IN MY OPINION>>> I think if you are fine and the insurance company is willing to pay for your medical bills and damage to property as well as any lost wages then why are you suing. Also You have never answered how far alond are you? The fetus or child has rights only after a certain gestational point. This sounds like an attempt to get a paycheck from the insurance company. I think its frivilous lawsuits that are contributing to the demise of America and its values. If you sustained no injuries or scarring that will haunt you fo rthe rest of your life then get over it and move on. I think you are by suing creating the stress and then needing antidepressants. WOW. Just let it go take the money you deserve- car repairs, medical bills and lost time at work and thank gosh everyone had insurance. I was in a very bad accident I have scars that are permanent and you know what I didn't sue. I lost 1 year of my life to surgery, coma and rehab. Maybe I should have tried for a paycheck. No instead the young man who hit me knows that he is lucky we survuved and lucky we had insurance.

 

Jbear - April 27

The reason she got a lawyer is probably so that she could get the medical stuff taken care of. I live in TX and I don't know about anywhere else, but trying to get money from an auto insurance company to go to the doctor after an accident is like trying to get blood from a stone. My husband was injured last year. We had health insurance through his employer, but it was Starbridge, and no one in our city would take it. One of my husband's shoulders was three inches higher than the other, and he was in a lot of pain. He went to the ER, because they will bill you, but they told him he needed physical therapy. The only way we could get a doctor to see my husband was to get a lawyer. The lawyer makes an arrangement with the doctor, and then the doctor is eventually paid out of the settlement. (We tried to get help from the auto insurance, they offered $500. My husband's medical bills were $3500). So please, don't judge Sarita because she had to get a lawyer. It happens. As far as compensation for a fetus's involvement in a car accident, that's an interesting question. The baby wasn't hurt, and I can't imagine that a state that still allows partial birth abortions would consider that an unborn child has feelings.

 

PP - April 27

AGAIN_ JUST MY OPINION_>>Well I have been looking at other post and Sarita seems to be 18 weeks along- so no the fetus has no rights as it is not past the viabillity stand point. Also it seems that the anti depressants are not an entirely new thing according to another post. There was a need in the past for them. Personally I am definately getting antidepressants when I am done with this pregnancy I was on them once before in college. So I am not in any way knocking their use. But the lawyers will have a field day if you try to persue this too much. And as a disclaimer if this comes off really B!tchy its because I have had a really bad week and I am sorry if I am a B1tch right now. I was just giving my candid onpinion.

 

Heidi - April 28

I ran across Minnesota's law on unborn children and the only way it looks like anyone can be charged is the cause of death was an alcohol related motor vehicle accident. Then it is considered a felony. You have to remember that even when people have motor vehicle accidents and someone actually dies from it, if it was cla__sified as an "accident" and unintentional, the person usually will not even be charged with anything.

 

Heidi - April 28

One other thing, same with a__saults. If you are pregnant and a__saulted and it causes your fetus substantial harm, it is a felony. But this would have to be intentional. It sounds like in your situation with the accident, it wasn't intentional but very very unfortunate for you.

 

wow - May 13

i know this is an old thread, but i have to throw in my 2 cents. sarita, minor accidents are unfortunate, but good god woman, they happen all of the time. i've been in a couple myself. yeah, a little banged and bruised, but i got my dr bills paid for and went on with life. what a money grubbing b___h you are to be using your unborn child to try and get some shopping money! be happy you didn't miscarry you greedy slimeball! antidepressants! nice touch there, dumba__s!

 

julie - May 13

if you were murdered your fetus would have rights. I think this is why they want to settle after the baby is born to make sure there is nothing wrong.

 

to wow - May 13

that was really uncalled for...your opinion is fine but the name calling, is that necessary?

 

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