Getting into a car accident while pregnant is not something an expectant mother wants to imagine. Car accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to victims. Being involved in a car accident can cause a myriad pregnancy-related injuries that can place both the mother’s and baby’s lives at enormous risk.
It is vitally important to seek immediate medical care – even if you feel fine
A pregnant person may not be aware of potential injuries to themselves or their baby. Some traumatic medical conditions, such as placental abruption, are not painful or immediately obvious. They can feel quite like normal Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are easily ignored.
It is best to see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. The doctor may want to perform an ultrasound to ensure the mother and baby are not seriously injured. The mother and baby have a better chance of making a full recovery if injuries are diagnosed as soon as possible after a car accident.
What type of injuries to an expectant mother and unborn baby can occur when in a car accident?
An expectant mother may sustain multiple injuries in a car wreck. A pregnant woman might suffer from broken bones, brain injuries, back injuries, and whiplash. However, an expectant mother could also sustain one or more pregnancy-related injuries that could cause life-threatening conditions for her and the baby.
Common pregnancy-related injuries caused by a car accident include, but are not limited to:
Damage To the Placenta
The placenta is vital for the baby. It provides oxygen and nutrients. If the placenta becomes detached (placental abruption) or is damaged during the collision, the baby may not receive an adequate supply of oxygen.
Oxygen deprivation could result in numerous conditions, including cerebral palsy, brain damage, and tissue damage. In some cases, placental abruption could result in stillbirth.
Injuries To the Baby
Even though the baby is protected within the uterus, the baby could sustain direct injuries during the crash. The sudden jolts caused by the collision could result in the baby’s brain being slammed against the skull. The movement could cause brain damage.
Enough pressure on the mother’s abdomen could cause additional injuries, including broken bones. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the result could be a miscarriage.
The mother’s uterus is extended because of the pregnancy. Pressure on the uterus can cause injury to the mother and the baby. A strong enough blow could cause injuries to the baby, bleeding, ruptured uterus, and premature labor.
Seek Emergency Medical Attention After a Car Accident While Pregnant
If you are pregnant, call your doctor immediately after a car accident. However, if you experience any signs of an injury or unexplained symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Some of the signs that could indicate a serious pregnancy-related car accident injury include, but are not limited to:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in the baby’s movements
- Urgent or painful urination
- Severe headaches, chills, or fever
- Physical trauma to the abdomen
If you are unsure whether you or your baby were injured in the car wreck, it is best to go directly to the emergency room. Prompt treatment could save your life and your baby’s life.
Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries and Damages?
If your injuries meet the serious injury threshold, you might have a claim against the other driver. The other driver could be held financially liable for your damages and injuries. Damages in a car accident case could include:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Lost income and benefits
- Disabilities and impairments
- Decreased earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish and trauma
- Loss of quality of life
The other driver’s insurance company may deny liability for the claim based on the serious injury threshold. A car accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal rights regarding a claim.