There are few things as scary as getting in a car accident while pregnant — and with good reason. While the womb does provide the fetus with some level of protection, tragically, 82% of fetal deaths occur due to car accidents.
If you are involved in a car accident while pregnant, your pregnancy may also play a role in the compensation that you may be owed.
Today, your compassionate Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will go over the special risks pregnant car accident victims face, what you should do if you’re involved in an accident while pregnant, and how pregnancy can affect your car or truck accident settlements.
Pregnancy-Related Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can damage our bodies in all kinds of ways. Unfortunately, pregnant women share all of the same risks as the rest of us, and then some. Pregnant women, as well as their babies, may suffer from the following injuries in a car or truck accident:
- Fetal Trauma — Fetal trauma is an umbrella term that includes many different types of injuries, from blows to the mother’s stomach to infections.
- Birth Defects — Injuries to a fetus can result in birth defects, ranging from minor and treatable issues to long-term disabilities.
- Premature Birth — Stress put onto a mother’s body during a car accident and direct injuries to the fetus can both result in premature birth.
- High-Risk Pregnancy — Another umbrella term, high-risk pregnancies are those in which the baby or mother are experiencing complications that require careful monitoring.
- Shaken Baby Syndrome — Car accidents can result both in a fetus being struck by moving objects and a fetus colliding with stationary objects. Both of these can cause injuries to the head commonly referred to as “shaken baby syndrome.”
- Placental Abruption — Placental abruption occurs when the placenta is either partially or completely separated from the uterus prior to birth. While this condition is uncommon, car accidents can increase the likelihood.
It’s worth noting that the leading cause of fetal death in car accidents is the death of the mother. To avoid putting yourself and your fetus at risk, always be sure to wear your seatbelt and practice cautious driving.
What To Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Even something as minor as slamming on your brakes is enough to potentially cause injuries like placental abruption. This highlights the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as possible following even a minor car accident. While this guide can provide an overview of what your doctor’s visit might entail, it does not and should not serve as medical advice.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident while pregnant, it is highly recommended that you go to an emergency room to be checked out. Once your condition has been stabilized, you will need a thorough obstetric examination and ultrasound.
During your time at the hospital, you will be monitored for any bleeding, contractions, and other symptoms of fetal injuries. If any of those symptoms are present, you may need to remain under observation for several hours in order to ensure that your fetus isn’t harmed.
Once you’re released from the hospital, you should still watch for symptoms including contractions, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or fluid leakage. If you do experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Car or Truck Accident Settlements
Seeking compensation for a car accident while pregnant should be fundamentally the same as seeking compensation at any other time. This means that the damages which may be covered in a successful settlement stay the same. Damages that may be available include:
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills
- Reduced quality of life
- Lost income
While the damages are the same, the way you’ll go about getting them may be different. Specifically, if your baby is born prematurely, you may need to file a claim on their behalf, rather than on your own behalf. Seeking this compensation can be difficult and emotionally trying, and that is why it is in your best interest to seek an experienced attorney.
Get Unparalleled Car Accident Representation with Lapeze and Johns
Getting in a car accident at the best of times can be stressful. However, getting involved in a car accident while pregnant can be both more dangerous and emotionally fraught.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident while pregnant, you need to be able to focus on healing, instead of worrying about insurance negotiations or an injury claim. At Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, we will fight tirelessly to get you the financial relief that you deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident while pregnant, the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be proud to represent you.