What to Do if You're Pregnant and in a Car Accident

Being in a car accident is a frightening experience, but for pregnant women, it can be even more concerning. A car accident can put the woman’s health, as well as the health of her unborn child, at risk. Car accidents are responsible for thousands of fetal deaths in the United States each year – and many more result in serious complications for the woman and unborn child.

Risks increase as the woman enters her second and third trimester. Some researchers believe that the sleep disruptions caused by pregnancy can actually lead to fatigue and, therefore, an increased risk for car accidents. Some also feel that if a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident, the risk to her baby is significant.

Risks for Pregnant Women Involved in Car Accidents

Some of the risks that a pregnant woman could face if she is in a car accident include, but are not limited to:

  1. Puncture wounds that could impact the baby.
  2. Complications that can lead to a fetal lack of oxygen, or even brain damage. This usually happens if the uterus is damaged, or if the mother suffers from bleeding, maternal hypoxia, or a detached placenta.
  3. Premature labor can also occur, due to the impact and stress on the woman’s body. If the woman gives birth too early, the baby could suffer serious health complications or death.
  4. Fetal death is likely to occur in severe car accidents – especially if the woman’s abdomen is crushed or directly hit during the accident.

What to Do if You Are in an Accident While Pregnant

If you are pregnant and in an accident, you need to seek medical attention right away. Even accidents at low speeds pose a serious health risk to yourself and your baby. If there is any chance that your stomach was injured during the crash, visit an emergency room for an assessment. You should also check for signs of problems, which can include:

  • Reduced fetal movement,
  • Contractions,
  • Bleeding,
  • Discharge, and
  • Pain – including back pain, which could be a sign of labor.

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should visit an emergency room and follow-up with your OB/GYN immediately after the accident.

If you receive a clean bill of health from the emergency room or your doctor, you still need to keep an eye out for any symptoms during the week (or at least a few days) after the accident. Your doctor may have you come in several times for follow-ups. You should note that fetal distress may not show up for hours or even days post-accident; for this reason, you may be upgraded to a high-risk pregnancy – even if you had no complications or risks before the accident.

Seeking Compensation

Pregnancy and car accidents never mix. You may face additional medical costs, pain and suffering, or even loss of health for you or your baby. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident while pregnant and the other driver was negligent, contact the attorneys at Jacobs Law, LLC today. Schedule your consultation now by calling or filling out our online contact form with your questions.