If you have a slip and fall accident while you are pregnant, you have even more concerns than you would have if you were not expecting. You need to address the possible medical issues for your unborn child and yourself. Also, you need to protect your legal rights.
Potential Medical Issues of a Slip and Fall When Pregnant
Even if you experience just a minor slip and fall accident when expecting, you should get immediate medical attention. Professionals need to assess your baby’s status, whether you feel fine or not. You could go into premature labor if the fall disrupted the placenta. Minor injuries cause the vast majority of fetal losses after trauma.
How the Emergency Room Will Evaluate the Status of Your Baby and You
If you have severe trauma, the trauma personnel will first assess your airway, breathing, and circulation. The team will then evaluate you for obstetric injuries, non-obstetric injuries, and fetal well-being.
Any injuries more significant than minor bruises or lacerations are severe in a pregnant patient. If you present at the emergency room with any of the following factors, the trauma team will consider you as having major trauma:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Injury to the abdomen
- Loss of fluid
- Decreased fetal movement
How the Trauma Team will Monitor You
The medical personnel typically monitor for uterine contractions for at least four hours if your pregnancy is more than 20 weeks along. Professionals use an external device to check for and track uterine contractions. Be prepared for the monitoring to continue for a full 24 hours if the team has concerns about fetal risk or you experience six or more contractions within an hour. You will likely have to stay in the hospital in this situation.
If you are at 20 weeks or less, the team will monitor your baby’s heart rate. If there are signs of placental abruption, no matter how far along you are, you might need to have an ultrasound examination. The team will likely start an intravenous line (IV), draw your blood, and run laboratory tests.
Why You Should Not Delay in Getting Medical Care After a Slip and Fall When Pregnant
There are several reasons why you should get a complete medical evaluation if you slipped and fell while expecting, such as:
- You might have injuries that you have not yet detected. These injuries could put both you and your baby at risk.
- The baby might have suffered harm. Getting immediate medical attention will give your child the best chance for a positive outcome.
- Your placenta might be disrupted. Placental abruption is a medical emergency which you should not try to deal with at home.
- The fall might cause you to go into early labor. Trauma-induced labor is a medical emergency that puts both you and your baby at risk.
- Your baby might have injuries that do not become apparent until after birth. The liable party will likely deny responsibility, claiming that the slip and fall was not the cause of your child’s injuries. In these situations, it is critical to have the medical records to prove what hurt your baby.
- Whether it is you or your baby who sustains an injury, the medical records are essential to prove the cause and extent of the harm.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
You should talk with a lawyer as soon as possible after you take care of the health and well-being of your baby and yourself. If you have a claim for damages, we need to take steps right away to protect your right to compensation.
We will investigate the slip and fall to determine who is responsible for your losses. We have to evaluate and prove all three factors of premises liability, which include:
There was a dangerous condition on the property. The landowner is not automatically responsible for all injuries that happen on the property. If, for example, you tripped on something that was not a dangerous condition, the landowner usually is not responsible.
But let’s say that you slipped and fell in a restaurant because a piece of equipment leaked oil that made the floor slippery, and you could not see the oil by using ordinary care. This situation is a dangerous condition.
The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. If the equipment just started leaking oil a few minutes before you fell, the owner might not have known about it. On the other hand, if the leaks were an ongoing problem that the restaurant staff had brought to the attention of the manager or owner, then the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
The property owner did not fix the dangerous condition or provide sufficient warnings. The bottom line is that the owner has to take reasonable steps to protect people from harm. This rule means that the owner must promptly repair problems that put people at risk. Sometimes the owner cannot repair defects immediately. In these situations, the owner should place barriers around the hazard to prevent people from suffering harm, and the owner should post warning signs.
The owner is liable for resulting injuries if the owner did not take sufficient steps to repair, block, and warn. For example, let’s say that the owner merely placed paper towels on the oil and did nothing more. One of the restaurant employees put the towels in the bin, thinking they were trash. You slipped on the oil and fell. The owner is liable.
You do not have to figure out the liability issues. Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838, and we will arrange a free consultation. When we meet with you, we will evaluate the legal issues and let you know if you might be eligible for compensation.