Car Accident Attorney Advise on Risks to Pregnant Women
The delicate nature of pregnancy can turn a minor crash into a life-threatening situation. Being pregnant at the time of a car crash can lead to severe complications for both mother and child, including:
- Placental abruption. A blow to the abdomen can cause the placenta to detach from the uterine wall, depriving the fetus of the nutrients it needs to develop. Placental abruption causes pain and bleeding that often results in pregnancy loss.
- Premature labor. The closer a woman is to her due date, the more likely it is that the trauma of the crash will bring on early labor. If doctors cannot stop the contractions or stabilize the mother’s condition, they may have to extract the child several weeks early.
- Bed rest. A routine pregnancy may suddenly become high-risk after a car accident, requiring the mother to remain on bed rest or under close monitoring by a doctor or midwife.
- Congenital disabilities. Any number of injuries involving the fetus can cause cognitive difficulties, physical impairments, and other birth defects. In addition, children born prematurely are much more likely to have health problems than those that go to full-term.
- Shaken baby syndrome. All passengers in a rear-end crash can suffer whiplash injuries, including unborn children. A child in the womb may be thrown backward and forward suddenly upon impact, resulting in prenatal “shaken baby syndrome” that can cause lifelong disability.
- Miscarriage. Developing children are protected as they grow by the amniotic sac, which provides a cushion against any trauma to the womb. However, the violent force of a crash can rupture the sac, resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Inability to bear more children. If a woman suffers uncontrolled internal bleeding, doctors may be forced to perform an emergency hysterectomy, preventing her from having additional children.
- Hypoxia. Pregnant mothers carry a significant amount of blood in their bodies to provide nutrients to the womb. If the car accident causes a bleed, the fetus’s brain may be starved of oxygen-rich blood (known as hypoxia). Even a few moments of hypoxia can cause traumatic brain injury, developmental delays, and long-term disability.
- Wrongful death. Both infant and mother may be lost due to excessive trauma, blood loss, or cardiac arrest. Even if both mother and child survive the accident, the unborn child may not be strong enough to overcome incomplete development or infections stemming from the crash.
Symptoms Pregnant Women Should Look for After a Car Crash
It’s vital to seek immediate medical attention if you’re involved in a car accident while pregnant, no matter how minor the crash may seem. Even if you’re able to walk away from the scene, adrenaline and shock could be masking severe symptoms that could manifest hours later.
In particular, women should be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Pain in the stomach, back, or abdomen
- Slowed or undetectable fetal movement
- Headaches, dizziness, or vomiting
- Sudden bleeding or loss of fluid from the vagina
- Repeated contractions
- Swelling or bruising
- Blood clots or spotting
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Get the Damages You Deserve
The aftermath of a car accident takes an emotional and financial toll on victims, particularly those who will experience difficulties in their families for years to come. Under Kentucky negligence laws, you may be able to sue for damages incurred as a result of the accident. The amount you could recover for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering could get your child the care they need and help put the accident behind you.
To collect damages, you must prove that another party was at fault for causing the accident and your injuries. The legal team at Gray and White Law can gather the evidence you need to win your case and negotiate with insurers on your behalf while you take the time you need to heal. Contact us today or call 1(888) 450-4456 to schedule a free case consultation.