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Seven Types of Pregnancy Injuries From a Car Accident

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What Harm Can a Car Crash Cause to a Mother and Her Unborn Child?

Car accidents can inflict intense, violent forces on a victim’s body. Even a low-speed accident can result in severe and painful injuries. For a pregnant woman, the risk of harm from a car accident can be even greater. In addition to typical dangers posed by auto accidents, the safety features meant to protect passengers, such as seat belts and airbags, can sometimes inflict serious damage on a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

If you have been involved in a car accident while pregnant, you should seek immediate medical attention even if you feel fine. Only a doctor can determine if the accident caused harm to your developing child. If your accident led to injuries or complications for you or your baby, our skilled and compassionate car accident attorneys can help you seek justice for the pain and trauma you have endured. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

What Are the Seven Types of Pregnancy Injuries That Can Occur Due to a Car Accident?

A car accident is frightening for anyone, but it can be especially nerve-wracking during a pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have been involved in a car accident, you need to know what injuries you and your unborn child may have sustained so that you can make informed healthcare decisions.

The seven types of injuries that can occur from being in a car accident include:

  • Miscarriage: Traumatic events, including car accidents, place extreme stress on a mother’s body. Sadly, this stress can sometimes result in a miscarriage, especially in early-stage pregnancies.
  • Premature birth: A car accident may cause a woman to enter labor early, or doctors may choose to deliver the child early by C-section if they show signs of fetal distress. Premature births can be accompanied by a whole host of health risks as the child is not yet fully developed.
  • High-risk pregnancy (caused by the accident): Even typical pregnancies can be fraught with risk, but if a mother is injured in a car crash, it can cause significant complications as her body fights to heal itself while maintaining the pregnancy. Doctors must monitor her condition closely to handle any issues that may arise.
  • Congenital disabilities: When a crash leads to premature birth, the risk for congenital disabilities such as cerebral palsy increases. Injuries sustained in the womb can also increase the chances of a congenital disability developing.
  • Placental abruption: A strong impact can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, potentially cutting off the oxygen supply to the fetus. This life-threatening emergency for the unborn child often requires an immediate emergency C-section.
  • Fetal trauma: A developing child in the womb is fragile, and blows to the mother’s abdomen can cause severe damage that may be permanent.
  • Coup and contra-coup injuries: This traumatic brain injury occurs when a moving head strikes a stationary object, causing the victim’s brain to suffer damage as it ricochets off the inside of the skull. This traumatic blow to an unborn child’s head equals the injuries caused by shaken baby syndrome. While it is more common for the mother to suffer from these injuries in an accident, it can affect an unborn child with negative lifelong consequences.

If you were pregnant and injured in a car accident and suffered any of the above-listed conditions, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your potential case.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim if I Suffered Injuries in a Car Accident While Pregnant?

The Washington State statute of limitations stipulates that injury victims have up to three years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. However, the law does allow exceptions to the rule if the harm or injury is discovered after the time period has expired. The specified period applies to injury cases in which the mother was involved in a car accident while pregnant and then realized the injury to her baby later.

A car accident attorney can inform you of your legal rights and help you file an injury claim promptly so you do not forfeit your right to compensation.

How Can Car Accident Injuries While Pregnant Be Prevented?

While it is impossible to control other drivers’ actions while on the road, there are preventative steps that expectant mothers can take to protect themselves from being injured in an accident. They include:

  • Wear your seatbelt properly. Your lap belt should sit below your belly and rest on your pelvic bones, and the shoulder strap should go across your chest and not your stomach.
  • Move your seat as far back as possible while driving to give yourself at least ten inches of space between your abdomen and the steering wheel. In late pregnancy, allow others to drive, if possible.
  • Ensure your car’s safety equipment works correctly, including airbags and brakes.
  • Avoid freeways when feasible. Higher speeds create higher risks.

What is the Leading Cause of Fetal Deaths?

Tragically, car accidents are the leading cause of fetal deaths. In addition, injuries such as lack of oxygen, a violent blow to the mother’s abdomen, and other distress can lead to the unborn child suffering fetal trauma.

If you are pregnant and have been involved in an accident or believe your baby suffered injuries due to the accident, call Khan Injury Law 206-430-6096 today to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with one of our highly qualified legal professionals.

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