Know Your Legal Rights & Recourse
Car accidents can be a terrifying experience in any situation. A car accident while pregnant is even more frightening for an expectant mother and her family. If you sustain an injury while carrying a child, it can result in complications or even a miscarriage.
The force of impact, even a low-impact car accident while pregnant, is dangerous for mothers and babies. If you are pregnant and sustained an injury in a car crash, it’s important to understand your rights. An experienced car accident lawyer in your area can help you go over your options.
Why Are Car Accidents Dangerous for Pregnant Women?
The womb does a great job of protecting the fetus. However, there are limits to the level of force that it’s able to protect against. The impact of a car crash can rush past those limits.
Unfortunately, car wrecks are one of the most common reasons behind injuries that impact a woman and her child. Still, a small number of healthcare providers actually discuss driving and pregnancy with their patients.
Even in a fender bender, the sudden movements and force of the impact can cause numerous complications. Here are just a few of the potential pregnancy complications expectant mothers face in a car accident:
- Birth defects
- Causing a high-risk pregnancy
- Internal bleeding
- Placental abruption, separating the placenta from the uterus
- Pre-term labor
The further into your pregnancy you are, the more severe the risk of these complications. For example, a car accident while in your second trimester carries more risk than in your first trimester.
Emotional Trauma & Unborn Children
Car accidents cause more than physical strain. The emotional impact of a crash can impact the fetus as well. If your accident results in long-term stress, it has the potential to lead to complications.
Even a low-impact accident can impact your pregnancy if it doesn’t directly harm your baby. That’s why it’s important to understand your own well-being as well as your legal options after an accident.
It Is Crucial to Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Personal injury lawyers often tout the importance of seeking medical attention after an accident. If you are in a car accident while pregnant, it is even more important to receive a thorough medical exam. Any danger to the mother is a danger to the fetus.
Moreover, some injuries are difficult to notice even though they pose a severe threat to the child. With the risks involved in terminating a pregnancy in Texas, it is crucial to know the health of your child.
Visit your doctor as soon as possible, and watch for these signs of complications.
- Abdominal pain
- Bruising on the stomach and chest
- Changes to movement by the fetus
- Losing consciousness
- Neck and spinal pain
- Swelling in the hands, feet, or face
- Urinary issues
- Vaginal discharge or bleeding
It’s important that emergency responders examine you at the scene if you are in a car accident while pregnant. Then, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you are able to. Your OB-GYN and primary care physician can help you understand the risk of complications.
This is the safest path forward for you and your baby. Additionally, it creates a record of your injuries, which is crucial evidence in your accident claim.
The Financial Impact of Being in a Car Accident While Pregnant
There is no universal settlement amount for car wrecks. Every accident is different. However, pregnancy has the potential to impact the cost of your accident as well as the value of your injury claim.
- Pregnant women often require hospital stays as a precaution.
- You may need medical equipment to monitor the health of the baby.
- If you experience an issue, it’s more likely for your doctor to send you to the ER. This can result in multiple emergency room visits and an expensive bill.
- Loss of income is common when an injury results in recommended bed rest.
- You may require in-home services or care if you aren’t able to perform routine tasks or care for your other children.
- Certain complications require a cesarean section (C-section), which is expensive and requires additional recovery.
- The emotional impact and strain are often far more significant than other car accidents.
Unfortunately, some accidents result in permanent, lifelong injuries to the baby, such as brain damage. This requires an entire lifetime of additional care, and an experienced attorney can ensure your claim settlement accounts for that.
What Are My Legal Options After a Car Accident During Pregnancy?
As you can see, even a low-impact car accident while pregnant has the potential to completely change your life. Alongside other car crash victims, pregnant women have the option to file an accident injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. If they refuse to provide a fair settlement, your attorney can file a civil lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Your settlement should cover all the costs connected to your accident. Often, it’s hard for victims to understand the full scope of damages.
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and reduced income
- Pain and suffering
- In-home services that replace your care
- Emotional strain
- Property damage
- Any required medical equipment or disability changes
In the event the accident leads to a stillbirth or miscarriage, Texas law allows the parents to file a wrongful death claim. It only requires that the mother is not at fault and that there was no medical malpractice.
Similarly, if a pregnant woman dies in a car accident, the family can file a wrongful death claim for both the mother and the fetus. However, there is a statute of limitations on these claims, so it is important to act quickly.
Do I Need to Take Legal Action?
Legal action is an option, but it doesn’t guarantee a fair settlement. If you wish to win a car accident claim, it requires an in-depth investigation of the crash. From examining the evidence to proving your injuries, a car accident lawsuit requires a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Moreover, it may involve working with medical experts to explain exactly how the incident impacted your pregnancy. Often, the stakes are high in these cases, and insurance companies fight tooth and nail to protect their profits.
Whether you want to file a claim or need to file a lawsuit, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced injury attorney who knows how to fight for your best interests.
Work With an Experienced Attorney
Under Texas law, you have the right to pursue damages when someone’s negligence causes you harm. If you are in a car accident while pregnant, it is especially crucial for you to protect your rights and your future. When you partner with a legal team, you have someone to build a strong case on your behalf.
A team of attorneys can investigate the accident, gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and litigate when necessary. They focus on your best interests while you work to rebuild your life.
Have you or someone you know sustained a car accident injury during pregnancy? Talk to a lawyer who understands complex claims as soon as possible. Contact Herbert Trial Law today for a free consultation with an experienced injury lawyer.