When a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident, be it a multiple-car pileup or a fender bender, she must be examined immediately, regardless of how far along she is in her pregnancy. Even if she feels fine after the crash, she should head to an emergency room for an examination.
The womb provides a degree of protection for the placenta and the baby during a sudden impact, the act of hitting the breaks, even if the jolt is not particularly significant, can potentially separate the uterus and the placenta. This is referred to as a placental abruption and can result in severe problems such as miscarriage, premature delivery, and hemorrhaging. Even with an abruption, though, a pregnant woman may not notice any tell-tale symptoms.
In an emergency room, a team of medics will conduct an examination, and once the overall condition of the woman is stable, she will receive a complete ultrasound and obstetric exam to thoroughly check on the placenta and fetus. Depending on the fetus’s age, and any symptoms the mother may have, such as contractions or bleeding, she and her baby will be monitored for a little while after the accident.
What Do I After In an Auto Accident?
A mother’s actions right after the accident are crucial to ensure the best treatment, care, and outcome for both her and her unborn child.
No matter how serious or not a car crash has been, the incident presents a risk to pregnant mothers. Pregnancy is already stressful, from eating properly to preparing for a newborn baby, the family has enough concern. Even a minor accident during early pregnancy is sufficient reason to seek medical assistance. Further, mental anguish and stress should not be ignored after a crash.
If a pregnant woman experiences any of the below symptoms, she should call emergency services:
Pain in the pelvis or belly
Loss of consciousness
Fluid leaking from the vagina
If she believes the umbilical cord is bulging into her vagina
Pregnant women should also speak to a doctor about the additional stress incurred from the accident. She should keep a document detailing the type of pressure she feels, as well as the severe mental anguish, and panic.
What Complications Can Pregnant Women Experience After a Car Accident?
While there are no precise statistics regarding a number of fetuses lost every year due to car crash-related injuries, researchers have reported that the number could be in the thousands. Even relatively minor crashes could prove severe for a pregnant woman. The most important thing to do is seek medical attention following the incident, even if a mother does not feel as though anything is wrong.
Some of the most common complications that occur for pregnant women after a crash include:
Mothers may also experience emotional distress following an accident, which can, in turn, result in injury to both the expectant mother and her unborn baby.
What are the Risks to a Baby in a Car Accident?
Even when no physical contact is made, a fetus can suffer a severe injury. A sudden stop can expose a mother and her fetus to a contra-coup injury, which occurs when a shock or concussion is produced by a blow or some other kind of damage in a part of the body opposite to that where the blow was received, resulting in a rupture.
The effects of a vehicle accident could place a mother and her unborn child at higher risk for complications, such as elevated stress levels, slowed growth of the baby, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and other issues with the placenta. It is important to remember that being at high risk does not necessarily mean that the mother or the baby will automatically have complications.
A pregnant woman should be concerned with whether her child suffered any injuries. While doctors can determine the health of an unborn baby, fear of the known is sure to play on the mother’s mind. Accident trauma can also complicate the pregnancy, compounding the mother’s emotional pain.
Depending on the situation, waiting for the baby to be born and allowing him or her to grow could be an option, but there are a few things to consider, such as:
Deciding to wait and see gives the family the time to determine if the child suffered adverse effects from the incident
If the baby suffers complications, the medical bills resulting from treatment will become a big component of the injury claim
The timing of filing a claim is crucial is the baby suffers permanent or lasting injuries, such as being delivered prematurely due to trauma caused by the event. As a result, the child may experience delayed development and other problems experienced by premature babies.
Car Crash Settlements and Pregnancy
Emotional stress suffered from a car accident entitles a mother-to-be to compensation from her insurance provider or the insurance company of the defendant. The accident-induced anxiety and stress can follow a pregnant woman for weeks, particularly if she has a premature birth, so it is important to get the money needed to get back on track and bring the baby into the world happy and healthy. If a pregnant mother experiences a premature birth as a result of the incident, she may need to file a suit on behalf of her baby for hospital and medical bills, both past, present, and future, that are incurred as a result of the wreckage.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer About Your Car Wreck Claims
It is important to remember that you should always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. Pregnant mothers should secure the belt under their belly, low on the hipbones, and never above or across the belly.
Pregnancy is a stressful time, and the last thing a mother-to-be should worry about is having to deal with insurance companies. The team at Denton and Zachary, PLLC, will fight your claim for you to ensure you receive maximum compensation. Call today for a consultation.