Pregnancy brings out a protective instinct in all women. A woman’s body is designed with built-in protection during pregnancy. While a mother’s uterus is designed to cushion and protect a growing fetus, this might not be enough to protect it in an accident. With an accident or any other type of injury, such as a slip and fall, pregnant women may suffer a miscarriage. Even if the baby is brought to term and delivered, it may have defects.
Approximately 200,000 pregnant women are involved in accidents each year, resulting in the loss of between 3,000 and 5,000 fetuses. Expectant mothers should know how this can affect their personal injury claim, as scenarios like these can lead to severe injuries and emotional trauma.
Common Risks For Pregnant Women in Accidents
If you are pregnant and involved in any kind of accident, from a car crash to a slip and fall, you and your baby may be susceptible to injuries. The kind of injuries sustained will depend on the severity of the accident and could lead to these common risks.
Babies that are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are considered premature. Preterm labor is higher among accident victims. If your baby is born before full term, it may spend weeks in the NICU, have a permanent disability, or sadly, not even survive much longer beyond the birth.
Complications can also arise after an accident. You and your unborn baby may need constant observation and monitoring. The emotional toll it can take on you may be extreme, leaving you worried about whether or not your baby will survive.
If you sustain trauma directly to your abdominal area in any kind of accident, you have a higher risk for placental abruption. This condition occurs when the placenta splits from the uterus before birth.
During pregnancy, the uterus grows ever larger to accommodate the growing baby. As it does, it can be more vulnerable to injury should an accident occur. Uterine rupture is a tragic consequence of accidents involving pregnant women where it is almost unheard of for the unborn baby to survive. These types of injuries can cause internal bleeding and put your life on the line.
If you are subjected to sudden, violent forces such as those in a car crash, the trauma may cause you to lose your pregnancy. It’s a traumatic experience for any expectant mother, one that can leave you with lasting emotional damage.
Pregnancy and the Born Alive Doctrine
Even if your accident isn’t a major one, getting a medical evaluation immediately when you are pregnant is important. You will want everything documented to be compensated for your medical bills.
Additionally, in Florida, the Born Alive Doctrine helps add a measure of protection for you. It states that a child who is injured prior to birth and born alive will be compensated for those injuries. This only applies if the child lives and cannot be applied to cases of stillborn or miscarried children.
If you lost your baby in an accident caused by someone else, you should file a claim for your losses. This would include not only your medical bills and property damages, but also your pain and suffering, mental and emotional trauma, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
What to Do If Your Pregnancy Was Affected in an Accident
Any kind of accident is scary, but there is a far greater risk for pregnant women. You have already grown attached to the baby growing inside of you. All you want is for this child to be in your arms, to watch them grow up, and build your family.
When someone else’s negligent actions destroy your dreams, Fasig | Brooks recommends that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney. The stress you are undergoing is too much to bear alone, and you should have someone working on your behalf to bring about justice.
If you lost your unborn child in an accident that someone else caused, your life will never be the same. You may be offered a settlement that isn’t sufficient to cover your losses. However, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can recover compensation and hold the at-fault parties responsible while you work through your grief.