When a woman knows she is pregnant and excited about what is to come, she wants to do everything in her power to protect her body and baby. However, pregnant women are put at risk when they get into a car. While pregnant women do this every day without issue, the risks are greater.
If you have been injured in a car accident while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation. This accident could cause complications with your pregnancy, so seeking medical advice first is the most prudent decision.
Any car accident can cause injuries. Whether you are traveling across the neighborhood or driving an hour from your home, a car accident can happen anywhere and can be catastrophic. Even minor fender-benders can cause serious injuries and complications.
Some of the medical problems faced in a car accident when you are pregnant can be tragic. Not only could you be injured, but the baby could suffer injury. Some risks for pregnant women injured in a car accident include:
- Miscarriage: A baby has some protections. The amniotic fluid provides an airbag-like level of protection. However, if your stomach or uterus is punctured, or if you stop breathing, you could have a miscarriage. Not only is this extremely traumatic, it can be excruciatingly painful.
- High-risk pregnancy: If you get into an accident while pregnant, the jolt of the movement could increase the chances of pregnancy complications, making for a high-risk pregnancy. This could include slower growth of the baby, high blood pressure levels for the pregnant woman, preterm labor complications, and a generally poor prognosis for the baby, the pregnant woman, or both.
- Premature birth: Any birth occurring before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature. When born, these babies often spend months in the hospital. They often have breathing problems, high temperatures, difficulty eating, among many other health complications requiring constant and present medical care. Depending on exactly when a baby is born, a premature birth could spell lifelong medical complications.
- Placental abruption: This medical condition happens when a pregnant woman suffers an abdominal injury. When this happens, the placenta is partially or completely detached from the uterus. Not only can this cause problems for the pregnant woman, it could cause a miscarriage.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident While Pregnant?
If you have been in a car accident while pregnant, the most important thing to do is to make sure you and your baby are okay. Even if the accident was minor, keep an eye out for symptoms indicating a serious medical condition:
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Swelling in the hand, fingers, or face.
- Severe headaches.
- Abdominal pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Vomiting not caused by morning sickness.
- Changes or lack of movement in your uterus.
- Pain when urinating.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sudden loss or change in balance.
At the scene of the accident, and in the days and weeks after, there are also several things you should do:
- Call 911 right away. After a car accident, no matter how minor, call 911 as soon as possible. This sends emergency medical personnel to your accident scene, where they will evaluate you and treat you for any minor conditions. They will also take you to the hospital if you need additional medical care, which is likely if you are pregnant. Calling 911 also sends the police, who will speak with you, the other driver, and witnesses to compile information on the crash. While they may not assign fault, the police accident report may prove invaluable to show the other driver was to blame.
- Take many pictures and videos. Sometimes, the best evidence of what happened are pictures and videos. Get images of the entire accident scene, every vehicle, and your injuries. It may also be a good idea to get witness statements on video if they agree.
- Speak with any witnesses. Even though the police will speak with witnesses, you should at least get their contact information. Not every witness will wait around for the police to arrive. By getting their contact information, you ensure your lawyer can speak with them at a later time.
- Get a copy of the police report. The police will not give you a copy of the report at the accident scene. They will file it with the local police or state police, whichever agency investigated your accident. Wait a few days, then you can request a copy of the report online or by calling.
- See your doctor. When you are pregnant, there are many medical issues which could arise, especially after a car accident. Make sure you and your baby are properly cared for by seeing your doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you are taken to the hospital for evaluation, it is a good idea to see your doctor as soon as you can.
- Keep a journal. Write in your own words exactly what happened and what continues to occur every day. Describe your pain, what you feel or do not feel in your abdomen, and describe how the injuries from the accident have affected both your physical and mental state.
- Call a car accident lawyer. While this may be the last thing on your mind, when you are pregnant and get injured in a car accident, you may have substantial medical expenses and ongoing care that is needed. Ensure you have the money to cover these expenses by working with a lawyer who can try to get you compensation.
Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Protect the Rights of Injured Pregnant Drivers
Getting into a car presents dangers every time. When you are pregnant, those dangers increase. If you have been injured in a car accident while pregnant, you may be able to collect compensation. Speak with one of our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova to learn more. Contact us online or call us at 732-705-3363 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park and Hazlet, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, and Middlesex County.