Car accidents can be devastating whenever they happen, but they can be even more traumatic when an expecting mother is in the vehicle. Find four types of pregnancy injuries after a car crash below, as well as signs of injuries, and details regarding legal options. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that despite uncomfortableness, that pregnant women continue wearing their seatbelt when riding in the car.
Special accommodations in the way a seatbelt is worn can be made to help pregnant women find more comfortable positions riding or operating a motor vehicle.
Injuries and complications following car accidents
Pregnant women and unborn children are especially susceptible to injuries and complications as a result of vehicle accidents. After an accident, it is crucial that pregnant women seek immediate medical attention. Since an expectant mother may not be aware of her injuries, the sooner she is checked out, the sooner care can begin.
1. Broken bones, brain injuries, and back injuries
In accidents, we have the potential of experiencing broken bones, brain injuries, and back injuries as a result of the impact and other jarring motions within the vehicle. These injuries can cause unnecessary stress to both the mother and the unborn child. Stress on either one can cause great harm and lead to other complications, which could turn deadly.
2. Placental abruption
The placenta is where the unborn child gains nutrients and oxygen from the mother. When placental abruption occurs, the placenta becomes detached or damaged due to the impact of the accident. If this occurs, the unborn child won’t receive the nutrients or oxygen it needs for survival.
3. Fetal injury after a car crash
Even though the baby is protected inside the mother during the accident, sudden jolts or impact could cause physical harm. Skull injuries, broken bones, and other impact-related trauma can still occur. Sadly, if the accident is severe enough, the pregnant mother could experience a miscarriage due to the amount of trauma.
4. Uterine trauma
During pregnancy, a mother’s uterus extends to accommodate the fetus growing inside. Not only will the uterus grow, but the organs inside the body are moved out of the way for the developing child. A pregnant woman can sustain trauma to the uterus even when her impact points seem inconsistent with the uterine area.
Identifying pregnancy injuries after a car crash
Even if a pregnant woman has been involved in a car accident, she may not experience symptoms right away. It doesn’t matter if the accident is considered minor, a medical examination should be done to determine if any injuries have occurred.
Some common signs of injuries and complications after an accident include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in the baby’s movement
- Severe headaches
- Urgent or painful urination
If any of these occur or medical attention is not sought in time, it could turn fatal for the mother or the child. After an accident, these types of excessive injury may be reduced by visiting the emergency room or seeking emergency medical services while they are at the accident scene.
Some insurance companies require that accident victims be seen at the scene of the accident. Make sure you know what your insurance requires so that you are covered in the event of an accident.
Compensation after an accident
In no-fault states like Florida, drivers are required to carry PIP coverage to pay for their medical bills and lost income. Even if the other driver is at fault, you must file with your own insurance provider.
For those injuries that fall under the tort exemption (serious injury threshold), you can file personal injury lawsuits for the extra amount of damages incurred. In these situations, there may be things like extra medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of quality of life, physical pain, decreased earning potential, and emotional and mental anguish.
If the other driver’s insurance company denies liability, you may end up in court over your claim. If this happens, you need the help of an experienced lawyer to help out with your case.
Why you need a lawyer for pregnancy injuries after a car crash
Due to the sensitive nature of a vehicle accident involving a pregnant woman and her unborn child, there may be more to consider in terms of damages and liability. After seeking medical attention, call a personal injury lawyer who specializes in accidents involving these circumstances.
An accident involving a pregnant woman and her unborn child can be extremely serious. It may pass the threshold needed by law for a tort exemption. These cases should be brought before the court or settled with the help of a personal injury lawyer.