Commemorative drive safely sign
A pregnant woman and her unborn child were killed in a head-on crash along with her eight-year-old son. The woman’s fiancee survived the accident but was hospitalized for serious injuries. The accident occurred last week in Clayton County, when the family was out for a drive with their dog. A suspected impaired driver who was fleeing police hit the family’s SUV head-on. The pregnant woman and child were both transported to the hospital, where they died of their injuries along with the woman’s unborn child. Additionally, the suspected impaired driver died at the scene, as did the family’s dog. In Georgia, if an individual dies as a result of careless or reckless actions by someone else, the family members can seek compensation for the expenses and psychological impact of their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court, generally within two years of the date on which the death occurred. Because this claim is filed against the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance policy, the lawsuit can proceed even if the at-fault party in the case died in the accident. This state is rather unusual in that family members in Georgia can seek compensation following the wrongful death of a fetus, provided the fetus is “quick” at the time that the death occurred. The term “quick” refers to the ability for the mother to feel fetal movement. This is generally felt between 18-24 weeks gestation, but can be felt as early as 10 weeks gestation. Many states do not allow wrongful death claims for fetal death, and most who do allow the claim to proceed only if the fetus is viable — meaning capable of living outside the womb — at the time of the death. A fetus is generally considered viable at about 24 weeks gestation. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a car accident that was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, our experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can explain your legal options for seeking compensation. Contact us online for a free case evaluation.