As a mother-to-be, the thought of your unborn baby likely brings you joy and excitement like no other. This means that you will do whatever you can to protect your baby. Many expecting mothers walk from one place to another to get the exercise they need during pregnancy. However, there could be risks when it comes to walking in many areas of California where vehicles share the roads with pedestrians. If an expecting mother is involved in a pedestrian accident and sustains injuries, it is likely to feel confused about what steps to take.
At Maison Law, we understand how devastating a pedestrian accident can be and the effect it can have on every aspect of your life. This devastation is only increased when a soon-to-be mother is involved in a pedestrian accident and her unborn baby’s life is at risk. We are here for you during this difficult time in your life as you navigate the legal system, answering every question you may have along the way. Please do not hesitate to contact us for the help you deserve at this time.
Understanding Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws in California
Pedestrians have many rights on our roads in California, pregnant or not. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states that pedestrians always have the right-of-way when crossing a street at an intersection, even when there is not a crosswalk present. Of course, pedestrians should always cross when it is reasonable to do so. However, drivers by law are supposed to slow down and allow pedestrians to cross the street when they see them.
This means that, if a pregnant pedestrian was walking across the street at an intersection and they were struck by a vehicle, circumstances could show that the driver is liable for her accident and resulting injuries to her and her baby. Every accident is unique but an injured woman is eligible to file a claim to seek damages when she has been hurt in one of these severe collisions.
Common Reasons for California Pedestrian Accidents
Pregnant pedestrians are involved in accidents with motor vehicles every year due to a wide array of reasons. By understanding these reasons, more measures can be taken to prevent pedestrians of all types in the future. Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles:
Left-Hand Turns: Left-hand turn pedestrian accidents are more common than accidents that occur when a driver is turning right. Drivers making a left turn may not be focused on pedestrians as they look for oncoming traffic, causing them to slam into an unsuspecting victim as they turn.
Driver Distractions: When a driver is not focused on the road before them, a pedestrian accident could happen within seconds. Some examples of common driver distractions include texting, eating in the car, talking to passengers, and using the radio.
Absence of Crosswalks: Even though drivers are supposed to look out for pedestrians at all times, they might not be expecting a pedestrian to cross the street when there is no marked crosswalk in the area. Many intersections in California now have designated crosswalks to protect pedestrians.
Speeding: A driver may not be able to stop in time if they are speeding and they notice a pedestrian crossing the street at the last second. Speeding accidents also tend to lead to more devastating consequences to a mother and her unborn child.
Rolling Stops: A driver might not make a complete stop at a stop sign or traffic signal. When they continue through the intersection, they might strike an unsuspecting pedestrian.
Failure to Follow Traffic Laws: A driver should always follow the rules of the road and never engage in illegal behavior that puts pedestrians at risk.
Injuries to Pregnant Women in Pedestrian Accidents
The injuries that affect a woman and her unborn baby after a pedestrian accident tend to be more severe than the injuries that stem from other accidents. This is due to the fact that pedestrians are particularly vulnerable and have no protection from harm in a pedestrian accident. Pregnant women are likely to suffer from an array of injuries that other pedestrians do, such as broken bones and spinal cord injuries. However, they might also face additional injuries due to their pregnancy:
- High blood pressure caused by the stress of a pedestrian accident
- Injuries that lead to labor complications
- Miscarriage or premature labor
- Severe mental anguish as an expectant mother shows concern for her unborn baby
Both a mother and her unborn baby can be severely harmed in a pedestrian accident, which is why immediate medical attention is necessary after one of these crashes. Unfortunately, attempting to diagnose problems in a pregnancy can be complicated. This means that injuries can sometimes go undetected or diagnosed until the pregnancy ends. A child could sustain birth defects, delays, and more due to the injuries caused by a pedestrian accident. This can increase a mother’s settlement in the future when it comes to her claim for damages.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Claim Involving an Expectant Mother
Because of the severity of pedestrian accidents during pregnancy, there are many damages that may be available to an injured mother. Some of these damages include:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Expenses that a mother or unborn child expect to incur in the future
- Lost wages due to missing time at work
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Therapy associated with the child’s injuries
- Pain and suffering
To fully understand what damages may apply to your claim, it is crucial that you seek immediate legal help after a pedestrian accident.
Contact a California Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
No matter what circumstances led to your pedestrian accident, you may have the right to seek damages after you have been hurt due to a driver’s negligence. As an expectant mother, you want to do whatever it takes to protect your unborn child. When negligence has disrupted this, you have rights and options.
At Maison Law, our California pedestrian accident lawyers are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time in your life. You should be able to focus on your recovery and the remainder of your pregnancy without stress and looming bills. We offer you a free and completely confidential case consultation that can help you get back on your feet. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information.