Being in a car accident is frightening for anyone, but for an expectant mother it’s an especially terrifying ordeal due to the risk of harm to the unborn child. An accident that might only be a fender-bender in other circumstances can become a medical emergency that threatens two lives in the blink of an eye.
Here’s what you need to know about being in a car accident if you’re pregnant, including the health risks, the types of recovery you may be able to receive, what to do after an accident, and why you should talk to an attorney if you’ve been in a crash.
The Health Risks of a Car Accident While Pregnant
One of the biggest causes for concern in any car crash is the sudden deceleration that accident victims suffer when either braking to avoid a wreck or as the cars collide and come to a rapid stop. This sort of fast-stop jerking motion that can cause whiplash and other related injuries in adults can be particularly traumatic to a developing fetus in the womb—especially if the pregnancy has already been diagnosed as a high-risk situation. The accident may lead to complications that turn an otherwise uneventful pregnancy into a high-risk pregnancy, as well, by causing complications such as:
- Hemorrhage (bleeding).
- Placental abruption, a partial or complete detachment of the placenta from the uterus.
- Premature delivery.
No matter what trimester your pregnancy is in or how minor you think the accident was, there is always a risk of fetal injury in a car accident. All expecting mothers should be seen by a medical professional after a crash, even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms or think that they aren’t hurt—some symptoms can take hours or days to show themselves. If you have been involved in a traffic crash while pregnant, call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience symptoms such as the following:
- New bleeding, discharge, or fluid leaking from the vagina.
- A change in the way the baby moves.
- Sudden vomiting that won’t stop.
- Abdominal or shoulder pain.
- Sudden, severe head pain.
- Swelling in the face or fingers.
- A fever or chills.
This is not a complete list of symptoms of fetal injury. When in doubt, or if something just doesn’t feel right, get medical help right away. Your life and the life of your child could be at risk, so don’t take chances.
What to Do After a Crash
After health and safety concerns are taken care of, it’s time to speak with a personal injury attorney.
It’s important that you seek fair compensation from the faulty driver who caused the accident, because high-risk pregnancies often involve intensive monitoring and care. The costs of medical care can be many times higher than expected after an accident. You may need to see multiple doctors, including your family doctor, an obstetrician, or a perinatologist—an obstetric physician who focuses on maternal-natal medicine and high-risk pregnancies—and undergo regular testing to ensure your baby’s health.
An attorney will be able to help you with the entire claims process and any legal issues that arise from the crash, from start to finish, so that you can attempt to recover from the financial blow that the accident caused. You may also be able to seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, lost wages due to time away from work during the recovery process, and the pain and suffering that you endured due to the accident. And though money can never replace what was lost, if your unborn child does not survive the accident you may be able to receive additional compensation for the loss, as well.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’re pregnant and have been involved in a car accident, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We’re proud to represent Texas families and expectant mothers who have been injured in a crash that was caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, and we are here to help you get the justice that your family deserves in a court of law.
To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a legal professional at Wayne Wright LLP, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.