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What Happens if You Get in a Car Accident While Pregnant?

Image via Flickr by Accretion Disc | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Driving or riding in a vehicle may seem like an everyday task, but it can be risky for pregnant women. If you’re unfortunate and find yourself in an automobile accident while pregnant, there are several unique concerns to consider. In addition to the emotional trauma, there’s the possibility of injuries or complications. The team at Goodman Acker has experience handling automobile accidents involving pregnant women in the Grand Rapids area.

What Types of Injuries Could a Pregnant Woman Incur?

Being in a car accident is a scary thing. Being pregnant can present even more concerns. There are some complications a mom-to-be can experience if they are involved in a car crash, including:

 

  • Miscarriage. Under very rare circumstances, a woman may miscarry their unborn child due to an automobile accident. If the stomach or uterus is punctured, the amniotic fluid that protects the baby may drain out. This type of injury could cause significant damage, leading to a miscarriage. This may also be the case if the woman stops breathing due to cardiac arrest.
  • Premature birth. Being in a car accident can cause a lot of stress to a pregnant woman. The thought that the accident could hurt their unborn child cause the woman to go into delivery. When a baby is born before the 37-week mark, it’s considered premature.
  • Birth defects. If a baby is born significantly prematurely, there could be long-term negative effects. Also, if the fetus received a direct injury from the accident, the baby could have a lifelong disability, which may not be evident at birth. It’s advisable to monitor such a child’s health until they’re in the clear.
  • High-risk pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident, the doctors may determine that they’re now a high-risk pregnancy. The doctors will want to monitor the mother-to-be more closely or even put her on bed rest, meaning she can’t be on her feet for an extended period of time. Bed rest is for the safety of the unborn child and mother. If the doctors can prevent the woman from going into labor any earlier than necessary, they will.
  • Contrecoup and coup injuries. A contrecoup injury occurs when a person’s head is moving and hits a stationary object. A coup injury is when a moving object strikes a person’s stationary head. The expectant mother is likely to experience one of these injuries in an accident. However, the baby inside of the mother’s stomach can also experience this. If this occurs to the unborn child, they have experienced shaken baby syndrome, which can cause lifelong injuries.
  • Placental abruption. Placental abruption is when the placenta completely or partially separates from the uterus, causing long-term disabilities, low birth weight, poor physical development, or premature birth. Approximately one in every 150 births in the United States experience placental abruption. The high impact of an automobile accident can cause this to happen.
  • Fetal trauma. Fetal trauma can occur when a pregnant woman receives a blow to the stomach or if the fetus is deprived of oxygen. This trauma could be life-threatening, cause injury to the baby’s body, or result in a life-long disability.

If you find yourself in an accident while pregnant, make sure that you seek medical attention, even if you don’t see any visible injuries to yourself. You should also follow your doctor’s orders, including increased check-ups, additional ultrasounds, and bed rest if ordered.

What To Do After an Automobile Accident

If you’re involved in a car accident, the number one thing to do is to call 911 to request medical and police assistance. When you are on the phone with the 911 operator, be sure to tell them that you’re pregnant because the EMTs may need to follow a different protocol. After an accident, it’s vital to receive medical attention to ensure that you and the baby are both examined for potential injuries or complications.

Next, arrange to have your vehicle moved to a safe location, if at all possible. You want to avoid any further collisions from happening. Police will help direct traffic around the accident site, call for any tow trucks, and take reports from all drivers involved as well as any witnesses available. This report is essential because you may need it later for an insurance claim. You should also try to get pictures of the damage, the site, and anything other important details about the accident. If there are witnesses, get their contact information, if possible.

Once everything has settled down, you’ll want to file an insurance claim to recover any medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage incurred, depending on the amount of coverage you carry. Michigan is a no-fault state, so you won’t have to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance claims can get complicated quickly, and insurance companies can also deny claims. You may want to contact an attorney to help you out. They will investigate the accident, assess damages, and assign a reasonable amount to a claim, including any expected future expenses.

Contact Goodman Acker

Serious injuries during pregnancy can be devastating, and emotions will run high. If you suffered injuries or complications due to a car accident while pregnant, contact the team at Goodman Acker. Our attorneys have years of experience handling insurance claims in the Detroit area while providing the claimant with the compassion and representation they deserve. They will work hard to get you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, counseling expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Another consideration is future expected expenses associated with any injuries sustained by your unborn child.

Give us a call today at 248-971-2409 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach out to us online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The attorneys at Goodman Acker are ready to get you the compensation you deserve.

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