Any auto accident can be stressful, no matter the severity. But when a pregnant woman is involved, the possible trauma is multiplied by two. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for pregnant women, as well as the leading cause of traumatic fetal death.
The fact is that auto accidents present unique complications for both mother and baby. Being aware of the possible risks to pregnant women during an accident and what to do after one occurs can make a rough situation a little easier to handle.
Here’s what to look out for if you’re in a car accident while pregnant in Florida.
Keep a Post-Crash Checklist in Mind
After the accident, adrenaline is pumping through your body. Keep as calm as possible, and get to a safe spot as soon as you can. Be on the lookout for physical symptoms that indicate you need immediate emergency medical attention. These include:
- Loss of consciousness,
- Intense headaches,
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Blurry vision,
- Balance issues,
- Internal pain (especially abdominal pain), and
Of course, any pregnant mom will also be worried about her baby. Warning signs for fetal injuries can present immediately with vaginal discharge or bleeding. Don’t take any chances; call 911 immediately.
And even if you don’t think there are any pressing medical issues, see your doctor as soon as you can in the hours and days afterward. You may develop symptoms later, or the doctor may catch something you weren’t looking for.
Common Health Complications for Pregnant Women & Babies
Getting into even a minor car accident while pregnant can have serious health consequences for a pregnant woman. Some of the most serious complications include the following.
Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Physical trauma to a fetus can be disastrous. If the woman is less than 20 weeks into her pregnancy, she may miscarry. If she is more than 20 weeks, she runs the risk of having a stillborn baby.
Head and Brain Trauma
Sadly, a fetus may suffer a head or brain injury even if there is no direct physical contact. An unborn baby lacks the muscles and skeletal structure to withstand huge shifts in momentum, like when someone suffers whiplash. This is known as a contrecoup injury and can cause a range of disabilities for the child, as well as possible fatality.
The placenta is key to providing a baby with proper safety and nutrients while in the womb. Auto accidents can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, severing that crucial connection between mother and baby. This can mean premature birth for an underdeveloped baby, as well as dangerous hemorrhaging for the mother.
Even minor accidents are stressful for a baby, such as a woman being rear-ended while pregnant. Stressful situations can still cause premature labor. Although medical professionals are better equipped to handle this situation than ever before, it doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Premature babies run the risk of a host of disabilities and future medical issues.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Pregnancy complications after an auto accident can quickly become serious. If an expectant mom suffers from one of the conditions mentioned above or another serious injury, the medical bills will pile up quickly.
In addition, both mom and baby may need future medical care like surgeries, therapy, and more. But the insurance company may want to haggle, and that’s when you need a Pensacola personal injury lawyer.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means a driver must file a claim for medical costs with their own insurance company, regardless of fault. However, a woman may sustain very serious injuries even in a small car accident while pregnant. The costs may exceed the policy limits, leaving the injured mom wondering what to do next.
A personal injury attorney can negotiate for a fair amount in compensation with your insurance company but can then help you file a claim against the at-fault driver for the remainder. The goal is to make sure you get the full amount you deserve to help you recover both physically and financially. An experienced attorney can help you fight for every bit.
Injured in a Car Accident While Pregnant? Call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon Today!
Auto accidents are traumatic and stressful. And any accident, even a minor or small car accident while pregnant, can jeopardize the long-term health of both you and your baby. If you were involved in a collision while pregnant and unsure what to do, the team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is here for you.
We know that accidents during pregnancy require special care and experience, and we will guide you through the legal process from start to finish. With over 100 years of experience, our Florida personal injury attorneys provide passionate and dedicated legal advocacy to all our clients, backed by a track record of successful outcomes.
We offer a free case evaluation, so call us at 850-444-4878 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.