I’m Pregnant and Was Injured in a Car Accident, Now What?
Any accident can carry the risk of significant injuries, especially for women expecting babies. Slips, falls, and car accidents could have far-reaching consequences. In many cases, the other party’s negligence caused the accident, leaving expectant mothers with serious injuries. If you have been involved in any type of accident while pregnant, make sure to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Traumatic Events Leading to Complications
Accidents can happen at any time. However, when someone is careless, they must be held responsible for their actions. There are two serious types of accidents for pregnant women: slips and falls and car crashes. Learn why these accidents are serious and when someone should seek compensation for their injuries.
Slip & Fall Incidents
Any slips can be embarrassing and frightening. However, when an expectant mother falls, there is an increased concern surrounding the incident. Not only does the expectant mother have to worry about her own safety, but she should also think about the baby’s health.
In most cases, the mother’s uterus is a safe place for the baby. The fetus is cushioned by fluid and protected by the womb’s wall. Normal motions do not affect the fetus since the womb shields the child from harm. If the mother has a sudden and traumatic fall, there may be issues, including physical injuries to the baby. While most expectant mothers will turn their stomachs away from the ground, that motion can cause serious harm to the woman’s back and sides.
Doctors have outlined several risks to the baby resulting from a slip and fall. These serious injuries include:
- Placental abruption: The placenta separates from the uterus, causing nutrients and oxygen to be cut off from the baby.
- Amniotic fluid loss: This issue can affect the baby’s development in the womb.
- Fetomaternal hemorrhage: The baby’s blood cells travel through the mother’s bloodstream, causing injuries.
- Uterine contraction: This condition could lead to a miscarriage or premature birth.
Other serious complications may also occur after a slip and fall. These issues can include:
- Congenital disabilities
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Head trauma and brain injuries
Mothers will also need to be treated for their injuries. With medical treatment, there is always the risk that a possible surgery may cause harm to the unborn baby. Infections are always a serious concern for both mothers and babies. If this condition is left untreated, it may lead to septic shock as the infection travels through the bloodstream of the mother and baby. Septic shock is known to cause a drop in blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart failure, respiratory issues, organ failure, and even death. What might seem like a simple slip and fall can cause significant harm to both the expectant mother and her baby.
Vehicle crashes can be scary for anyone, especially an expectant mother. Like most people, the mother should seek medical treatment after the accident. An expectant mother is susceptible to severe injuries. The steering wheel can push into the womb, causing injuries to both the mother and baby. Unfortunately, car accidents are often the result of reckless or negligent behavior on the road. Some drivers become distracted, while others travel without regard for fellow drivers. No matter the cause, the first step for any mother should be seeking immediate medical assistance. After that, consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer in California about making a claim.
Medical treatment is vital because some injuries do not show symptoms until days after the accident. Some of the critical warning signs after an accident include:
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Abdominal pain
- Urinary problems
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Neck and back pain
- Bruising on the belly or chest
- Change in the baby’s movement
All of these signs could signify that something is wrong with the baby. If you have been involved in a car accident, get checked out by the responders on the scene and then schedule an appointment with a medical doctor to discuss pregnancy complications. Not taking action could put everyone’s health at risk.
Steps to Follow After an Accident
After an accident, it is not the time to panic. Staying calm will help you think clearly and take action after the incident. With any accident, there are specific steps that need to be followed, especially if you plan to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. All these steps apply to any situation, whether the accident occurred at a store, public building, or private residence.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
When you have been involved in an accident, always accept medical help. Often, you cannot tell whether you or the baby have been injured without a medical examination. Make sure to call an ambulance or have someone take you to the emergency room. It is essential to tell the emergency medical personnel that you are pregnant. Along with that, contact your OB/GYN for an additional examination. These medical reports will become vital documentation to recover medical costs from the other party.
Document the Incident
If you fell in a store or on someone’s property, you need to notify them of the incident. You don’t want to brush the incident off as an innocent event. These individuals must be alerted that someone slipped and fell on their property. Also, make sure to gather up any documents regarding the accident. You will want to collect the witnesses’ names and contact information. Make sure to take photos of the accident scene, including any signs of visible injuries. Those involved in a car accident should always ask for a copy of the police report and take down the responding officers’ names at the scene.
Save Every Record
In a legal claim, paperwork will become essential evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. Gather all the documentation about the incident, including medical records, hospital discharge papers, and contact information from the responsible parties.
Contact an Attorney
Working with an attorney can help protect your legal rights and compensate you for your injuries. You will want to find an attorney experienced with personal injury cases, including slips, falls, and car accidents. These professionals will handle your claim and help you get a fair settlement for you and your baby.
Document Health Changes
In many accidents, physical or emotional symptoms do not show up until days or weeks after the incident. With that in mind, you will want to document any changes you notice in your mental or physical health. Schedule an appointment with your medical care provider or OB/GYN if anything seems “off.”
Potential Accident Costs for Expectant Mothers
Any accident occurring during your pregnancy may increase the value of your lawsuit. Most expectant mothers will need to head to the hospital. Medical professionals will likely want to conduct a complete examination to ensure the safety of the mother and her baby. Also, special medical equipment will be needed to monitor the baby’s heart rate and watch out for signs of complications. The pregnancy must be monitored after an accident, meaning there could be several visits to the emergency room and doctor’s office.
The Accident Aftermath
After an accident, it is not uncommon for a woman to lose income as a result of the incident. The doctor may recommend bed rest to avoid any medical complications. Additionally, the woman could require in-home medical services to monitor her health and the baby. If the accident causes complications, the baby may have to be delivered by a C-section instead of vaginal birth, leading to more expensive medical care and longer recovery times. Being involved in an accident can also lead to emotional damage, including developing anxiety about the unborn child’s health. Finally, if there was any harm to the baby, it could mean a lifetime of medical care for the child.
Getting Compensation for an Accident
If a car accident or slip and fall leaves you or the baby with an injury, it may be time to contact a personal injury attorney. Accidents often occur through the reckless or negligent behavior of businesses or individuals. Accident victims have the right to hold those parties responsible and recover compensation for their injuries. Compensation can cover a wide range of expenses, including emergency treatments, follow-up appointments, and long-term care for serious injuries.
Justice for Negligence
You will need to prove that another person was at fault, resulting in injuries to you and the baby. With that in mind, you need help from an experienced attorney specializing in personal injury cases. Many people want to put the incident behind them, but you could be entitled to compensation for your lost income, medical bills, and future costs. Any accident can be dangerous. However, when an expectant mother is injured, there is a greater concern for her and the baby.
Every mother wants to give birth to her baby in a healthy and safe manner. If you have been involved in an accident while pregnant, it may be time to seek legal help. Discuss your incident with a personal injury attorney in California today!
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