A car accident is a scary experience under any circumstances, but pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. The force of the impact can slam the abdomen into the steering wheel even while the seat belt keeps the mother-to-be in place. The womb is designed to protect the baby as much as possible, but pregnancy complications can arise after a car accident.
Seek Medical Attention
As with anyone involved in a car accident, a pregnant woman should seek medical attention right away. Even if there was no impact to the abdomen, a pregnant woman needs to be checked by a physician, not only for her health but in case she plans to file a personal injury claim in the future. Even if she doesn’t believe she was injured, she may experience symptoms later such as bleeding, pain, swelling, or headache.
If the car crash was more severe, women should go straight to the ER, especially if they are experiencing any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe pain in the abdomen
Complications With the Baby
Car accidents can cause a complication for pregnant women known as placental abruption. This interrupts the blood flow to the baby because the placenta detaches from the uterine wall. This is a serious, life-threatening condition for both mother and baby. It can lead to internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, miscarriage, or premature labor. This condition often comes with no warning signs, and you can experience it even if you don’t appear to have any injuries. Additional pregnancy complications associated with a car accident include:
- Loss of amniotic fluid
- Fetal skull injury
- Fetomaternal hemorrhage
- Still birth
- Preterm birth
If your baby is born preterm, it can be especially worrisome because a preterm birth can lead to intellectual and physical disabilities in the child requiring special medical care.
It’s important to record as many details as you can for an insurance claim and in case you plan to file a personal injury claim later. If possible, record what you can while you are still at the scene of the accident or on the way to the ER in the ambulance. Note the time of the accident, the location, and other details. Try to remember what might have contributed to the crash such as other cars, pedestrians, or weather conditions. Get contact information for anyone else involved in the crash, as well as for any witnesses. Note license plate numbers of all cars involved in the crash. Get police reports and witness statements to help you fill in any missing details.
Once you get to the hospital or see a medical professional, be sure to get copies of all medical documents, as well as the names of anyone who treated you. You will need all of this information for an insurance claim. In some cases, you may need to file a personal injury claim, so you can be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Recoverable Damages in an Injury Claim
Pregnant women injured in a car accident might be able to recover the following:
- Cost of hospitalization if doctors want to keep you in the hospital for monitoring. Diagnostic tests can mean a significant increase in medical expenses.
- Medical expenses outside of ordinary obstetric expenses that can be tied to the accident.
- Income lost because of the accident.
- Childcare expenses if you are kept in the hospital or placed on bed rest.
- Assistance in your home for activities such as cleaning and yardwork that you are no longer able to perform.
If you are pregnant and suffered injuries in a car accident, call the attorneys at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page. You’ll get in touch with a member of our team who can answer your questions and help you understand your rights.