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Your Rights

If you or a loved one had an abortion (whether it was at an abortion facility, a doctor’s office, a hospital, or any other physical location, or through a telehealth appointment, online order or mail order) that resulted in injury or death to you or a loved one, you may be able to recover money damages by filing a lawsuit.

You do not have to use your name in the lawsuit. Due to the sensitive nature of your claim, you may petition the court for this exemption. Many women injured in an abortion are afraid to seek the justice they deserve. The law allows you to use a “fictitious name” or “pseudonym” in your lawsuit so that you do not have to publicly disclose your identity and you can remain anonymous.

A lawsuit for acts of negligence resulting in harm is called a medical malpractice case. Four elements must be met: (1) the party filing the lawsuit (the Plaintiff) must show that the party causing the harm (the Defendant) was under a legal duty to act in a particular manner; (2) the Plaintiff must show that the Defendant breached this duty by failing to act in this particular manner; (3) the Plaintiff must prove that her injury was caused by the Defendant’s breach of that duty; and (4) the Plaintiff must show damages connected to the injury. Other individuals or entities may also be held liable for the injuries you suffered as a result of an abortion.

If your loved one died as a result of an abortion, you may be able to file a wrongful death case or survival action. Under a wrongful death case, primary or secondary family members (beneficiaries) may bring suit for damages incurred as a result of the loss of the loved one. A primary family member is a spouse, parent or child. If there is no living spouse, parent or child, the law permits secondary family members to file suit, such as siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles, cousins or other family members who suffered loss from the death of their loved one.

A survival action may be brought by the personal representative of the estate on behalf of the loved one, as if the loved one had “survived” the medical malpractice. While damages in a wrongful death action are meant to measure the harm to family members and loved ones, damages in a survival action measure the harm to the loved one who died.

You may also have a legal claim on behalf of your minor child who survived the abortion and was injured. The parent of the child has a right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the child or the child can file a lawsuit at any time before their 21st birthday.

If you have been injured, you have a right to be made whole by way of money damages. In Maryland, the following money damages can be awarded: (1) economic damages, such as the cost of medical bills, future medical care, and past, present and future lost wages, (2) non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and the loss of the ability to have normal sexual relations, and (3) punitive damages, which can be awarded to punish the Defendant when the Defendant has acted with actual malice and an intent to harm. Money damages in a wrongful death action include: (1) financial contributions the deceased loved one would have provided to survivors; (2) emotional pain and suffering; (3) loss of companionship, protection and comfort; (4) loss of spousal or parental care; and (5) loss of guidance, training, education and counsel.

Depending on the date of the injury, a Plaintiff can collect up to $890,000.00 in non-economic damages in a medical malpractice action, and up to $1,335,500.00 in a wrongful death action. There is no specific dollar limit on the amount of economic or punitive damages that can be awarded to a Plaintiff. If damages sought exceed $30,000, Maryland law requires you to first file suit with the Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office, but either party can waive this process and proceed directly to court.

If you signed a contract or form agreeing not to take legal action against the abortion provider, you may still have a valid legal claim.

You must file your lawsuit by a certain deadline, known as the “statute of limitations.” In a medical malpractice case, Plaintiffs must file within three (3) years of the date they discover they were injured, but no more than five (5) years after the abortion. A wrongful death or survival action must be filed within three (3) years of the death of the loved one. A different statute of limitations may apply for minors and individuals under a disability.

The Katy Law Firm is dedicated to helping women who have been injured in an abortion.

*DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is for general information purposes only, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Every situation is unique, and laws vary from one jurisdiction to the next. If you have questions about your legal rights or the topics discussed above, you should immediately contact an attorney licensed to practice law in the State or jurisdiction where you reside or in the State or jurisdiction where your injury occurred.