Car accidents are unfortunately common, and the stakes are even higher if you are pregnant. You not only have to worry about your health and well-being but your unborn baby’s as well. And with accidents being the leading cause of serious maternal injury and fetal mortality in the US, your concerns are warranted.
If you’re involved in an auto wreck while pregnant, the most important thing to do is to see a doctor soonest possible, even if you feel fine. This is because certain injuries, such as placental abruption or uterine rupture, may not present with symptoms immediately but can be very dangerous for you and your baby. Also, if the accident was due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you can bring a claim against them for compensation. But since this can be a complicated case, it’s best to work with an experienced car accident lawyer. A personal injury lawyer knows the potential compensation you’re entitled to and will fight to ensure that you receive the full amount for all the damages.
Below are some of the most common effects of accidents during an auto accident:
Common Injuries from Car Accidents During Pregnancy
The thrusting movements and potential blunt force of an accident could cause pregnancy complications, including:
A miscarriage can occur when the impact force damages the developing fetus or if the placenta is detached from the uterine wall. Sometimes, the woman may not even realize that she has miscarried until she goes for her next ultrasound.
Car accidents are a leading cause of the uterine rupture, a serious complication during pregnancy. Uterine rupture occurs when the uterine wall tears, allowing the baby to move into the abdominal cavity. This can result in severe bleeding and damage to the mother and baby. Symptoms of uterine rupture include severe abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and fetal distress. If you suspect you have suffered a uterine rupture, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment typically includes surgery to repair the tear and close off any open blood vessels. With prompt treatment, you and your baby may recover from uterine rupture without any long-term complications.
Placental abruption is a serious pregnancy complication when the placenta partially or completely separates from the uterine wall before delivery. Placental abruption can cause bleeding, pain, and decreased fetal movement. If the separation is severe, it can lead to fetal death. Treatment depends on the severity of the abruption and typically involves close monitoring of both mother and baby. In severe cases, emergency delivery may be necessary. Placental abruption is a serious complication that should be treated immediately by medical professionals.
If you suffer severe injuries during the accident, your body may go into shock. Maternal shock is a life-threatening condition that can occur following a car accident or other trauma. It happens when the mother does not have enough blood flow to her organs. Symptoms of maternal shock include pale skin, sweating, anxiety, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Maternal shock can be treated with fluids and oxygen, but prompt treatment is essential to avoid serious complications.
Direct Fetal Trauma
As the name suggests, direct fetal trauma is when the fetus itself suffers injury as a result of the accident. This can happen if the mother is hit in the abdomen or if she suffers a severe blow to the stomach. Direct fetal trauma often affects the fetus’ head because of its position and can cause several serious complications, including fetal death due to head trauma, among other issues. Direct fetal trauma is not very common and is only reported in less than 10% of pregnant women’s accidents.
You may be considered high risk following an accident. High-risk pregnancies often require more frequent doctor’s visits and additional tests and ultrasounds. This means that you will need to be monitored continuously through the remainder of the pregnancy to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy.
What to Do if in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Even a low-impact accident can cause serious harm to you and your child when pregnant. So it’s best to seek timely help. Even if you’re just shaken up after the accident but feel otherwise okay, it’s best to follow the steps below:
- Get medical help: A doctor will examine you to rule out or treat any injuries and monitor you and your baby for any complications.
- Go for follow-up care: Even if you feel fine, you must have a follow-up appointment with your doctor. This will ensure that the both of you are healthy and that any potential complications are caught early. It will also come in handy if you bring a claim later on.
- Keep all the records: Be sure to save any documentation from the accident, including the police report, medical records, and bills. This will be helpful if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Talk to an attorney: It can be hard to prove the effects of the accident on you and your unborn child without help. An experienced car accident lawyer can offer guidance and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call a Lawyer Today
Being in a car accident while pregnant can be mentally, physically, and financially devastating. But you don’t have to go through it alone. A car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, as well as help you get the compensation you deserve.