Were You in a Car Accident While Pregnant? Here's What To Do
The impact of even a relatively minor car accident can be exceptionally dangerous, and if you’re pregnant, you face considerable risk not only to yourself but also to your unborn child. If another driver’s negligence causes you, your unborn baby, or both of you to be injured in a car accident, you are entitled to hold the driver responsible by filing a car accident claim, and having an experienced Georgia car accident attorney on your side is well advised.
When the Accident Occurs
The earlier you are in your pregnancy, the better protected your unborn child is. During the first trimester, for example, your child is well protected from the impact of a crash, but if you are seriously injured, it can directly affect your unborn child’s health. The second semester offers some protection to your unborn child, but by the time you are in your third trimester, your unborn baby is extremely vulnerable to the impact of an accident. No matter when the car accident happens, however, it is always in your best interest to seek the immediate medical attention of your obstetrician or family doctor.
The potential complications you can experience as a result of being injured in a car accident while pregnant include all the following:
- Early labor
- Placental disruption
- Internal bleeding
- Maternal shock, in which blood and nutrients are diverted away from the baby
- Uterine rupture
The risks to your unborn child are very real and should be addressed in your car accident claim.
If you’re involved in a car accident while pregnant, experiencing any of the following is a sign that you, your baby, or both of you may have been seriously injured, and immediate medical attention is warranted:
- If you lose consciousness during or after the accident
- If you experience pain or pinching in your pelvic region
- If you experience any vaginal discharge or bleeding
- If you experience painful headaches, chills, fever, or abdominal pain
- If you vomit for reasons other than morning sickness
- If you experience any change in the patterns of movement your baby makes
Staying Safe behind the Wheel
Driving is a fact of life for most of us, but there are several steps you can take to help you stay safer behind the wheel when you’re pregnant, including:
- The steering wheel and the airbag that it emits in the event of an accident are more dangerous to you when you’re in the driver’s seat. If another driver is available, opting to ride as a passenger is a safer option.
- Keep the driver’s seat as far away from the steering wheel as you safely can when you have to do the driving.
- Wear your seatbelt snug and low – under your abdomen but above your hips – and keep your shoulder belt snuggly crossing your chest above your abdomen to help prevent any dangerous constriction in the event of an accident.
If You’re in a Car Accident
If you’re pregnant and are in an accident, the first steps you should take in order to protect yourself, your unborn baby, and your claim include:
- Seek immediate medical attention even if the accident was minor. When you’re pregnant, the stakes are too high to skip this step.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. It’s the right thing to do for you and your baby’s health, and it lets the insurance company know that you are taking the matter as seriously as they should.
- Reach out to a dedicated car accident attorney with extensive experience successfully handling complex claims involving pregnant women early in the process.
- When the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls to take your statement, let them know that your car accident attorney will be speaking on your behalf. There is no requirement that you provide the insurance company with a statement, and it is in your best interest to avoid doing so.
The Other Driver’s Negligence
While every car accident is as unique as the specific circumstances involved, they are often caused by common forms of driver negligence, including the following:
- Ignoring the rules of the road
- Driving drunk
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding dangerously
- Driving aggressively
- Distracted driving
Your trusted car accident attorney will gather the evidence necessary to demonstrate the other driver’s fault in the accident that leaves you injured.
Your Physical, Financial, and Psychological Losses
The losses – in addition to property damage to your car – that you experience as a result of being injured in a car accident while pregnant can be immense, and each category of loss should be carefully represented in your car accident claim.
Your Medical Expenses
Not only do you have your own medical expenses to consider, but also those related to your baby. Your doctor and any specialists who are brought on board will determine the treatment you and your unborn child need and any potential problems that you’ll need to be on the lookout for moving forward. As such, your medical costs may be an ongoing expense.
Your Lost Income
If your doctor deems it necessary to avoid an early birth, you may need to go on bed rest until you’re further along in your pregnancy. This means that even if you aren’t seriously injured, you may be looking at a significant amount of time off the job and an attendant loss in income.
Your Pain and Suffering
It is difficult enough to endure the pain and suffering that being injured by someone else’s negligence can cause, but if your unborn child has been or may have been harmed, it makes the matter far more emotionally challenging.
Reach Out to an Experienced Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today
The compassionate Georgia car accident attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law recognize the complications involved when a pregnant woman is harmed by another driver’s negligence and have the legal savvy to skillfully advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, contact us online or call us at 770-744-0890 to schedule your free case evaluation today.