Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a fetus?

Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.

In most wrongful death claims, Washington’s wrongful death statute will also apply to an unborn fetus as long as the fetus was “viable.”  Usually, a viable fetus is one that was healthy and was expected to be born healthy if the death of the fetus not occurred.

The wrongful death of that fetus is a recognized cause of action under the statute. What this means is that a child does not have to be physically born before a claim for wrongful death can go forward.

See Moen v. Hanson, 85 Wn.2d 597, 537 P.2d 266 (1975).