Car accidents are a horrifying occurrence, even if the injuries sustained are relatively minor. However, if you are an expectant mother, even a seemingly small fender bender could potentially cause permanent damage to you or your unborn child. Sadly enough, car accidents are one of the leading causes of fetal death and maternal injury, affecting over 93,000 women each year.
If you are involved in a car accident while pregnant, you should immediately seek medical attention. Even if you do not appear injured, either you or the infant could have received unseen injuries that should be discovered by a physician or healthcare professional. Additionally, if the car accident was not your fault, you would be eligible to receive substantial damages to cover any medical bills and monitoring needed to ensure you and the infant remain in peak health.
Why Are Car Accidents More Dangerous for Pregnant Women?
Pregnant women are ultimately responsible for two lives, ensuring they provide a safe environment for the growing child inside. The rough jolts or force involved in a car accident could severely damage things inside the womb. Here are a few of the most common pregnancy injuries that result from a car accident:
- Miscarriage – Since the fetus is so vitally protected in the uterus, a puncture wound in the stomach or prolonged cardiac arrest could potentially cause a miscarriage. While this is quite rare, you should still immediately seek medical attention in order to rule out this possibility.
- Premature Birth – 1 out of every 8 babies born in America is considered “preterm.” This means the birth occurred before the 37th week of pregnancy. Car accidents can cause unneeded stress on expectant mothers, causing them to go into labor prematurely. This could potentially cause birth defects, disabilities or other serious conditions.
- Trauma to the Fetus – Injury to the fetus while still in the womb could have long-term consequences. Even within the womb, the fetus could receive life-threatening injuries to their brain or body.
What Should Pregnant Women Do After an Accident
As with any vehicle accident, all parties should immediately seek medical attention. This is even more imperative for expectant mothers. Once in the emergency room, the doctors will be able to keep a record of all fetal and maternal injuries. If you wish to file a claim against the at-fault party, this information will be key for collecting damages.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or birth complications due to a car accident, you should reach out to an attorney at an injury law firm, like Patterson Bray, as soon as possible. They will be able to help you determine your legal options, while potentially aiding you in receiving monetary damages.