Do Car Accidents Affect Pregnancy?
If you are pregnant, it is important to use extreme caution while operating a vehicle, as any injury could be catastrophic to your unborn child. Approximately 200,000 pregnant women are involved in reported car accidents each year, and there are estimated to be 1,500-5,000 fetal losses as a result of these accidents. Here at Van Law Firm, we can help you fight to get compensated if you or someone you know has been seriously injured or died while pregnant in a car accident.
Car Accident Severity
The severity of the accident plays an important role in the injuries that can ensue because it can place liability on the person who caused the injury. In a more severe accident where a car is totaled, it is likely that all or most passengers would experience severe injuries. In low-impact collisions, such as a fender bender, it is likely the injuries to passengers will be less severe.
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Injuries You Can Suffer as a Pregnant Woman in a Car Crash
There can be numerous injuries that occur when a pregnant woman is in a car crash. Not all pregnant women experience these injuries, but it is important to spread awareness of the risks involved. Such injuries can include:
- Infant disabilities
- Fetal loss
- Placental abruption
- Direct fetal trauma
- Mother experiencing shock
- Uterine rupture
Placental abruption is the most common injury in car accidents involving pregnant women, and it can be complete or partial. Due to the force of the impact of the seatbelt or steering wheel, the womb is jerked forward, which can cause the placenta to detach from the uterine wall.
This injury is a serious medical emergency and is extremely threatening to the life of the unborn fetus. The fetal death rate with this injury is very high and usually results in an emergency c-section to save the baby.
Direct Fetal Trauma
Direct fetal shock is when the fetus suffers physical harm. This is not very common due to the protective barrier provided in a woman’s womb. However, if it does occur, it is likely to be a fetal head injury due to being impacted by a seatbelt, steering wheel, or an airbag deploying.
Due to the position of the fetus in the womb, the head is the most vulnerable spot to experience direct fetal trauma.
Maternal shock happens when the mother loses a large amount of blood and her body saves what is left to keep her organs alive. If a pregnant woman goes into shock, the fetus will be put in extreme distress, and there is an 80% chance the fetus won’t survive.
Uterine ruptures occur when the uterine wall detaches, tears, or ruptures while in a car accident. This is the most dangerous of all pregnancy complications because it has the highest fetal mortality rate. Once the uterus ruptures, the fetus will lose oxygen and must be delivered immediately to avoid death.
Uterine rupture can occur during a car accident due to the pressure from a seatbelt or a deployed airbag. It is not common but still can occur if the pregnant woman is not taking precautions like wearing her seatbelt.
Treatment plans are dependent on the severity of the injury and the likelihood of survival of the fetus. The more severe the injuries, the more likely it is that the fetus will have to be delivered immediately to ensure that the child does not die as a result of the impact. Less severe injuries, like scrapes and bruises, will be treated by being monitored by your physician and pain medications that are safe to consume while pregnant.
How do You Avoid a Car Accident?
A pregnant woman can avoid these risks by avoiding driving or being in a car while pregnant, though this is likely not feasible, as there are many doctor appointments pregnant women need to attend.
To minimize risk, a pregnant woman should always wear her seatbelt and drive with an experienced driver. We cannot always predict who is on the road and their abilities to operate a vehicle, so it is extremely important to prepare ourselves for a possible accident.
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Lawsuits for Car Accidents Involving Pregnant Women
At Van Law Firm we have highly experienced personal injury attorneys to help start your suit. We can prove the negligence of the party who caused the accident, by showing the following:
- That the party owed you a duty of due care
- That this party breached this duty
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Contact an Attorney for Help Today
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury to themselves or their unborn child while pregnant in a car accident, please contact Van Law Firm for a free consultation. Van Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
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