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Finding out how a pregnancy can affect a personal injury claim.

A personal injury accident can be a stressful, troubling experience. Thousands of people die every year as a result of negligent drivers. Tens of thousands of injuries occur as a result of a property owner’s negligence. Personal injury accidents become even more severe if you suffer an injury while pregnant. Not only do you fear for your safety, but you will also likely worry about the health of your unborn child. 

If another person’s negligence resulted in your injuries, you have a right to recover compensation. An attorney at Gerling Law can walk you through the compensation available to personal injury victims and discuss a pregnancy’s impact on a personal injury claim. Contact our office today so we can start reviewing your case.

Pregnancy and Car Accidents

No one anticipates suffering injuries in a car accident. Inevitably, pregnant women end up in car crashes every day. In fact, car accidents are one of the most common dangers to pregnant women. Car accidents are the most significant single cause of traumatic fetal injury and mortality. 

Every year, approximately 200,000 pregnant women are involved in a police-reported car accident in the United States. These accidents result in between 1,500 and 5,000 fetal losses. This does not include the fetuses who survive the collision but suffer permanent disabilities outside the womb.

Common Pregnancy Complications After Being Injured in Car Accidents

Placental Abruption

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before the baby is ready to be born. When this occurs, it can severely restrict blood and oxygen flow to the baby. Placental abruption is a common type of pregnancy injury or complication that can result from an auto accident. 

The placental abruption is common in auto accidents because the sudden force of impact experienced during an accident jolts the womb forward rapidly inside the mother’s body. This force is enough to rip the placenta away from the uterine wall. Placental abruptions can also be caused by significant compression of the mother’s abdomen against seat belts and steering wheels. Placental injury in car accidents is more likely in the later stages of pregnancy than in early stages.

A placental abruption is a serious medical emergency and a severe threat to the life of the fetus. It can restrict growth, deprive the baby of oxygen, cause premature birth, or result in a stillbirth. Additionally, a placental abruption can result in a significant amount of blood loss. 

Maternal Shock

If a pregnant woman suffers serious injuries in a car accident, her body may go into hypovolemic shock. This occurs when a large amount of blood volume is lost, and the body compensates by reserving available blood for the most vital organs. This can put the fetus at extreme risk. 

Uterine Rupture

Uterine rupture is a rare obstetric event that occurs when the wall of the uterus tears or ruptures during pregnancy. When the uterus ruptures, the baby will start losing oxygen and must be delivered immediately to avoid permanent injury or death. 

Signs of Pregnancy-Related Injuries

You should always seek medical attention after a car accident. Medical attention is especially important if you are involved in a car accident while you are pregnant. A doctor can give you a full medical evaluation to determine if the collision caused complications for you or your baby. After you are cleared by a doctor, they will ask you to watch for signs of fetal distress. Some of these signs include:

  • Fainting or dizzy spells,
  • Change in the strength or frequency of fetal movements,
  • Vomiting unrelated to morning sickness,
  • Vaginal bleeding,
  • Leaking fluid,
  • Increased vaginal discharge,
  • Contractions,
  • Unexplained abdominal pain,
  • Chills or a fever, and
  • Reduced or no fetal movement.

Depending on the impact the car accident had on you and your baby, your doctor may consider your pregnancy “high risk” after an auto accident. This simply means you will need extra monitoring and observation until you go into labor.

How Does a Pregnancy Affect Personal Injury Claims?

When you file a personal injury claim, you seek compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of the responsible party’s negligence. There is an extra layer to your losses and injuries when you are pregnant. When a pregnant person suffers an injury, it typically requires more extensive testing and observation than for someone who is not pregnant. The monetary losses you may claim after a personal injury accident include:

  • Hospital bills,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Lost income,
  • Future costs of medical care, and
  • Emotional suffering.

If your pregnancy is labeled high risk after an accident, you will likely face higher medical bills due to spending more time in the hospital. This can limit your ability to work, allowing you to seek recovery for your lost wages. Additionally, if your unborn baby suffered any long-term health conditions as a result of the accident, you can seek compensation for the future costs associated with their care.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Injury Claims? Contact Gerling Law Today to Find Out

Gerling Law has over five decades of experience helping clients through challenging and emotional times. We are committed to holding negligent parties responsible for the harm they inflict on others. Our lawyers offer patience and compassion while fighting aggressively for the justice and compensation you deserve. Gerling Law has recovered over $500 Million for injured plaintiffs in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident while pregnant, contact our office today. We offer a free initial consultation so we can get the basic information about your case. Additionally, we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means we do not charge you a fee unless we secure a settlement or judgment in your favor.

Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.®

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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