Car Accidents During Pregnancy

Car Accident Lawyer

Driving is something that most people take for granted, not thinking about the potential dangers of an accident until one actually occurs. This includes pregnant women and their doctors. Only 48.7 percent of health care providers discuss driving with their pregnant patients despite the fact that, in the United States, car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality, as well as the largest cause of death for pregnant women.

Potential Harm to Unborn Children

If you are in a car accident while pregnant, harm can come to your unborn child even if the collision is relatively minor and you feel no ill effects yourself. The uterus provides a certain measure of protection but is not an impenetrable shield. The impact from a crash can cause trauma to the baby’s head. The effect is similar to that of “shaken baby syndrome,” except that it occurs in utero.

Another common, and potentially dangerous, pregnancy complication that can occur after a car crash is placental abruption. This happens when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus. It can cause bleeding that is harmful for both you and the baby and also deprives your unborn child of vital nutrients.

A car accident can also cause other complications to your pregnancy, including the following:

  • Birth defects
  • Hemorrhage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Miscarriage
  • Pre-term labor

A pregnancy that was previously normal can become high-risk after a car accident.

Appropriate Responses

If your doctor does not discuss the topic of driving during pregnancy with you, bring it up yourself. If you feel that the discussion is insufficient, ask for a referral to someone who can give you more complete information.

If you are involved in a car accident while pregnant, seek medical attention right away. This is always a good idea after a collision, but is so much more important when pregnant to ensure your baby’s health, as well as your own. Additionally, you should also see a doctor if you develop any troubling symptoms following a car accident, such as abdominal pain, contractions, a decline in fetal movement, fluid leaking, or vaginal bleeding.

To the extent possible, it is a good idea to limit your time driving or riding in an automobile while pregnant. Admittedly, however, this may not be practical for everyone.

It is important to wear a seatbelt whenever riding or driving in a car, and more so during pregnancy. However, this may cause discomfort to a mother-to-be. There are devices available that reposition seatbelts for pregnant women to make them safer and more comfortable.

If you’ve come to harm in a car accident while pregnant, our attorneys may be able to help. Contact our office for more information.

Source: Car Accident Lawyer Woodland Hills, CA, Barry P. Goldberg

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