Car accidents are serious events for everyone. But they are even scarier than usual for women who are expecting. More women are injured in car accidents while pregnant than we realize. And, of course, expectant mothers are not the only ones at risk in these accidents. A car accident while pregnant often results in injuries to the unborn child as well.
If you were in a car crash while pregnant, here are the steps you need to take:
IMPORTANT: Remain Calm
Do your best to remain calm. It can be difficult to do so when you are worrying about the health of your baby but keeping your wits can ensure you get the emergency care you and your baby need as quickly as possible.
Call Emergency Services
Calling an ambulance should be your first course of action after any accident. But it is even more important when involved in a car accident while pregnant, especially if you are involved in a crash where airbags deployed. We recommend you call an ambulance in any accident, regardless of severity. Placental abruption can occur in a crash or from something as minor as just slamming on the brakes.
It is important to call emergency services even if you do not feel any symptoms. When you call emergency services, stay calm and let the dispatcher know that you are pregnant. Tell the dispatcher about any injuries or discomfort you are feeling.
If you decide to forgo emergency care at the scene, you should head straight to an emergency room if you experience any of the following after your accident:
- Loss of consciousness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Chest pains
- Abdominal pains
Each of these symptoms would be serious enough on their own, but they are even more serious if you are pregnant.
Call Your OBGYN
We recommend you call your OBGYN if you are involved in a crash — no matter the severity — especially if you believe your stomach or pelvic region sustained any type of impact.
Being in a car accident while pregnant — even a minor fender bender — can result in injuries to the baby and even cause you to miscarry. We recommend going to the emergency room and calling your OBGYN immediately if you experience the following after your accident:
- Faintness or dizziness
- Swelling in your face
- Swelling in your fingers
- Painful urination
- Serious headaches
- Vomiting that is unrelated to morning sickness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Noticeable changes in the baby’s movement
While you should immediately call an ambulance if you experience these symptoms directly after your accident, be aware of them going forward. If you experience any of these in the days or weeks following your accident, you should visit your OBGYN. It is possible the after-effects from the accident did not manifest immediately.
Exchange Insurance Information with the Other Driver and Obtain a Police Report
Like most accidents, you should exchange insurance information and obtain a police report from the law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene.
If another driver caused your accident, you can hold the other driver liable for any emergency or follow-up care you and your baby needed and any injuries you or your baby suffered.
The police report serves as a significant piece of evidence working in your favor once you file a personal injury claim.
Discuss Your Case with an Atlanta Injury Attorney
Filing a personal injury claim is likely the last thing you expect to do when you are pregnant. But you can — and should — hold a negligent driver liable for putting you and your baby at risk. And S. Burke Law will use all of its resources to collect the damages you deserve.
To hold the other driver liable, we must gather evidence to prove negligence. To do so, we must establish the following four elements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
The evidence we may need to establish liability and the damages you and your baby suffered includes:
- The police report
- Doctor’s bills
- Specialist bills
- The records of your visit (e.g., any injuries to the fetus or your womb)
- Expert witness testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
And if the worst occurred and your baby does not survive the trauma of the crash, Georgia allows surviving mothers to file wrongful death claims for unborn children lost in accidents.
If your child survives, but your accident triggers a premature delivery, you can also collect compensation for the child’s medical expenses in addition to your own.
While no mother wants to think about any of these things, unfortunately, accidents do happen. But a car accident lawyer at S. Burke Law is here to help. Call us at 404-842-7838 to learn more about our services.