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RECOVERING COMPENSATION FROM THE DEATH OF AN UNBORN CHILD – Los Angeles Attorneys, Orange County Attorneys, Riverside Attorneys, San Bernardino Attorneys, Santa Barbara Attorneys

ANAND LAW PC > NEWS & INSIGHTS > RECOVERING COMPENSATION FROM THE DEATH OF AN UNBORN CHILD – Los Angeles Attorneys, Orange County Attorneys, Riverside Attorneys, San Bernardino Attorneys, Santa Barbara Attorneys


Sadly, many women who are injured in car crashes, slip/trip and falls, and other accidents experience the heartbreaking death of an unborn child.

Usually, if someone is killed as a result of another person’s negligence, the victim’s family may have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. But, can families recover compensation for the death of an unborn child?


In California, the victim’s spouse, children, and in some cases, stepchildren and parents, can file a wrongful death case for the loss of a loved one. To recover compensation in a wrongful death case, the victim’s family must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, the defendant breached this duty of care, and the breach directly led to the victim’s death.

For example, let’s say Driver A is too busy texting while driving and collides with Driver B. Unfortunately, Driver B suffers fatal injuries in the accident, so Driver B’s family files a wrongful death claim. In this example, both drivers had a duty of care to each other, meaning that both drivers had a legal obligation to drive safely. Driver A breached his duty of care by texting behind the wheel, which led to the accident that caused Driver B’s death. As a result, Driver A’s breach of this duty (negligence) caused Driver B’s death, making Driver A liable for compensation.


There are different types of compensation a victim’s family can receive in a wrongful death claim. For instance, families can be awarded compensation to cover the costs of the funeral and burial of the victim. Additionally, plaintiffs can be awarded compensation to cover income that the victim would have made in the future if they were still alive. Such compensation is especially important when the victim left financial dependents behind.

Victims’ families can also recover compensation for their emotional suffering. A victim’s spouse can be compensated for their loss of love and companionship, while a victim’s children can be compensated for their loss of parental guidance. Putting a price on these losses may be challenging, which makes it important to contact an attorney that can help calculate the value of your claim.


In California, the law states that a fetus is not considered a person until there has been a live birth, meaning that a wrongful death claim can not be filed to recover compensation for the loss of an unborn child.

However, there are specific instances where a party may be liable for compensation. If for instance, a pregnant woman is hit by a drunk driver and is forced to deliver a baby who dies shortly after having been born, the baby’s parents can file a wrongful death claim because the baby was alive for a short period of time.

While parents cannot file a wrongful death claim for the death of an unborn child, they may be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover compensation for emotional damages. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, it is important for the family of a victim to recover the compensation they deserve.

In addition to recovery for economic damages, a party injured due to the negligence of another is entitled to recover noneconomic losses for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement and other nonpecuniary damage.

These damages are also known as emotional distress damages, and include psychological hardships, loss of ability to engage in life activities, permanent scars, embarrassment, humiliation, and hardship.

The insurance companies fight hard to limit your recovery and routinely claim that pain and suffering is made up.  ANAND LAW PC will ensure that all forms of pain & suffering damages are investigated and the recovery you receive is maximized.  

California Proposition 213 (“Prop 213”) was heavily lobbied for by the insurance industry and passed in 1996.  Prop 213 prevents you from recovering any damages for pain and suffering under 4 general circumstances:

  1. You did not have insurance and were in your vehicle;
  2. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle which was not insured;
  3. You were convicted of a DUI stemming from the accident;
  4. You were in the convicted of a felony, and injuries stem in part from the commission of this felony.

Exceptions to these categories include:

  1. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle that did not have insurance, but you had your own insurance that covered you while driving other vehicles;
  2. You were the driver of someone else’s vehicle that did not have insurance, but that vehicle was owned by your employer;
  3. You got into an accident on private property.

If Prop 213 applies, you are still entitled to economic damages, which include medical bill and lost wages.  However, you will be prohibited from any recovery for noneconomic damages, which include pain and suffering/emotional distress.

ANAND LAW PC will thoroughly investigate the insurance policies that may be applicable, the exceptions to Prop 213 (including those listed above), and ensure that no money is left on the table. The insurance companies have fought hard to prevent you from recovering what you deserve.  We fight hard to combat this practice.

Call us today – there is no obligation on your part – if we handle your matter, you will have the peace of mind knowing that we will obtain every penny possible for you.

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The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained is not intended to be a complete recitation of the law, and is provided only as general information in an area—it may not contain all nuances of the law, and is not guaranteed to be correct or complete.  ANAND LAW PC (“ALPC”) expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the information contained in the FAQ.

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