Any type of car accident can lead to devastation and tragedy, no matter the circumstances leading up to it. Car accidents in California so commonly lead to serious injuries and even take the lives of those involved. What happens when a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident and injured as a result?
At Maison Law, we have successfully represented many individuals who have fallen victim to California car accidents over the years. We understand the ins and outs of car accident laws and have the resources necessary to help victims of these accidents. It is true that being involved in a car accident as a pregnant individual can lead to complications in the mother or her unborn child, making these cases incredibly complex. This is why it is crucial that you have the help of a legal advocate on your side as you get back on your feet.
Injuries to a Pregnant Mother Due to a California Car Accident
When a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident, there is always a chance that serious injuries could occur, as car accidents do not discriminate. There are many types of severe car accidents that impact pregnant women every year in California, from rear-end accidents to side-impacts that lead to catastrophic results. Some of the most common injuries that pregnant women sustain in car accidents include the following:
Premature Birth: When a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is considered a premature birth. There is an elevated risk of this happening when a mother is involved in a car accident. Though some preterm labors can be stopped through medical intervention, children are commonly born too early and could be severely impacted by this.
High-Risk Conditions: A high-risk pregnancy occurs when a mother or the baby needs constant monitoring and observation due to certain conditions. There are some reasons for this, which include diabetes, HIV, and more. However, a car accident during pregnancy can also lead to a pregnancy being deemed “high-risk.” These pregnancies are not only highly stressful, but can also be expensive and lead to health problems in a child when they are born.
Abruption of the Placenta: This serious condition occurs in a car accident when the placenta partially or completely separates from the uterus before birth. If there is abdominal trauma present in a car accident, this condition is more likely to occur.
Uterine-Related Injuries: Uterine injury is also more likely to occur when a mother sustains trauma to the abdominal area during a car accident. Unborn children are not likely to make it during a uterine rupture, and a mother could also lose their life without quick medical intervention.
Miscarriage: Though an unborn child is protected in many ways inside its mother, the force of a car accident could be enough to cause a miscarriage. These tragic events can cause immense pain and suffering to a mother.
Injuries to an Unborn Child Due to a California Car Accident
On top of the mother sustaining injuries in a car accident, an unborn child could also sustain injuries due to the force of a car accident. These include some of the following traumatic injuries:
Fetal Trauma: In the event of a serious car accident, a child’s head can rock back and forth inside the skull, causing immense damage. This brain trauma can take a child’s life or follow them for the remainder of their life.
Birth Defects: If a child is born prematurely due to a car accident, they are more likely to obtain certain types of birth defects. As a result, the child may need to endure years of physical therapy, speech therapy, and more.
If an Unborn Baby is Killed in a Car Accident
You may wonder if you have a wrongful death claim against a negligent driver if your unborn child’s life was taken in a car accident. In these cases, you may be feeling emotional trauma and distress caused by the loss of your child, wondering how you can get back on your feet during these difficult times.
Unfortunately, the laws under Justus v. Atchison state that a wrongful death action can only be brought if the child was delivered alive and then passed away due to its injuries. If a parent has a miscarriage or a stillbirth, they will not be able to successfully bring a wrongful death claim in California. If a mother experiences any of these scenarios, she can bring a personal injury claim on her own behalf to obtain the damages she deserves for these immense losses.
Taking Steps to Protect Yourself After a Car Accident While Pregnant
If you have been involved in a car accident while pregnant, there are some steps that you should take to protect yourself and the future of your claim. It is normal to feel concerned and alone after a collision while pregnant, but you have options. Here are some steps that you should keep in mind and follow to protect yourself:
Medical Care: After a car accident during pregnancy, your health and well-being is the most important thing to remember. Even if you don’t think that you need medical care, you should seek medical attention immediately. Injuries and trauma might not show themselves until hours or days after an accident and you want to protect your health at all costs.
Prevent Secondary Accidents: An accident can lead to a second accident within seconds if your vehicle is in the way of traffic. If you are in the path of oncoming traffic, it is important to get to the side of the road and seek shelter as soon as possible.
Follow Up on Doctor’s Recommendations: If your doctor recommends certain things for treatment, you should follow their instructions at all costs. You want to make sure that you and your baby are protected by following up with specialists, physical therapy, and anything else that may be suggested to you.
Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a car accident can be especially devastating and traumatic when you are pregnant. You are likely feeling concerned for your unborn child and yourself, hoping for the best outcome. Having a compassionate California car accident lawyer on your side is beneficial during these challenging times.
At Maison Law, we are here to help you and your family move forward after you have sustained injuries in a car accident. It is important to protect your rights and your well-being after a car accident, which we will help you to do as you navigate the legal system. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free case review.