Be careful who you run into. William Robert Haddock made the mistake of crashing head-on into Hailie Simmavong. The accident happened in 2007 in Mission, BC, Canada and the only permanent damage was that Simmavong broke her pinky finger which is now slightly deformed. Does this merit a $332,000 award in a personal injury claim?
It does because the circumstances are quite different in this case. Simmavong was 7 months pregnant and the accident resulted in placenta separation. She was rushed to a hospital where the baby was delivered the next day with a Caesarean section. Emily was born 7 weeks premature.
The award includes $75,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $38,000 in lost wages, $150,000 in loss of future income, $61,935.50 as the cost of future care (including massages, occupational therapy and psychological counseling), and $7,243.65 in special damages.
Note that there is no mention of the medical expenses related to the baby. Thing is that the payments made to Hailie Simmavong may have been affected by the fact that there are as yet pending liabilities that can be claimed on behalf of what was at the time of the accident an unborn fetus, and is currently a 4 and half year old girl named Emily.
So here's the question, or questions – what rights does an unborn fetus have to claim damages in a car accident? Do these rights change if the same claims are filed afterwards by a lawyer representing a 5 year old girl?
The case filed by the mother has already been settled and damages awarded, so how does that impact the fetus' claim, considering that it was a part of the mother's body at that time? Interesting questions all, and sure to be answered once the case on behalf of little Emily gets underway.
Did you know?
There are over 30,000 pregnant women involved in car accidents in the US every year.
Around 2.3 percent of pregnant women report being injured in a car accident. On average, one fetus a day dies in a car accident. There are five times as many fetal deaths caused by crashes involving pregnant women as compared to infant deaths in car accidents.