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

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).

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