Roughly 200,000 pregnant women are involved in police-reported auto accidents every year in the U.S. For many of those women, the injuries suffered in the accident are not just their own. Their unborn children may also be injured.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident while pregnant, and your baby was also injured, you may be eligible for compensation for you and your unborn baby. Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers in Fort Worth are prepared to discuss your claim during a free consultation to see what legal options may be available to you.
Below, we discuss the dangers of accidents while pregnant and why your claim may be worth more.
Common Dangers to Pregnancy Due to Auto Accidents
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, motor vehicle accidents are the largest single cause of traumatic fetal injuries and mortality. It is estimated that 1,500 to 5,000 fetal losses occur annually due to auto collisions. However, the loss of an unborn baby is not the only danger for expectant mothers who are involved in vehicle accidents. Other injuries may include:
- Placental abruption – This occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, severely restricting blood and oxygen flow to the fetus, and often requiring emergency cesarean section.
- Uterine rupture – Although rare, this occurs when the wall of the uterus tears or ruptures and the baby immediately begins losing all oxygen, requiring immediate delivery to avoid further injury to the child.
- Maternal shock – Some pregnant women involved in an accident may go into hypovolemic shock due to the loss of large amounts of blood if their injuries are severe. The fetal mortality risk when an expectant mother goes into shock is 80 percent.
- Direct fetal trauma – When the fetus itself suffers an injury, rather than an injury by way of the pregnant woman, it is known as direct fetal trauma. This usually occurs by way of head injuries to the fetus in the womb, as it may be the biggest target due to the fetal positioning.
Car crash injuries while pregnant may also lead to post-birth injuries, having serious implications for the life and health of both mother and child.
Medical Costs May Be Higher
Due to the additional, and most likely emergency, care of an expecting mother involved in an accident, medical costs are likely to be a lot higher than cases involving accidents with similar injuries to non-pregnant women. The cost of an emergency cesarian section alone may be significant.
Additionally, there are future costs of care to consider if the injuries to both mother and child were significant. If an emergency delivery was necessary due to the accident, there is a higher likelihood of birth defects in the child that may require more medical care in the future.
If a child suffered a birth injury due to an accident during pregnancy, parents may be able to claim compensation for things such as:
- Prescription drugs
- Occupational therapy
- And more
Parent may also be able to claim compensation for lost wages due to time taken from out of work to care for the child.
Emotional Damages May Be Worth More
Parents-to-be always hope for a healthy baby, so injuries that occur prior to and post-birth may be even more distressing for many. Not to mention the stresses, anxiety and hormonal dysfunctions associated with pregnancy in the first place.
An expectant mother involved in an accident may be able to claim more compensation for emotional damages due to the added emotional suffering after she or her unborn baby were injured.
If your case makes it to trial, a jury may be more inclined to side with an injured mother than with the insurance company trying to withhold compensation. But the insurance company is going to try its hardest to deny or underpay your claim. That is why it would be in your best interest to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys as soon as possible to begin building a strong case on your behalf.
What If the Mother Loses the Baby in the Accident?
Unlike most states that require a child to be born alive before its death, Texas allows parents to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of an unborn child. Therefore, if you have a miscarriage due to the injuries you sustained in an accident while pregnant, you may file a claim on behalf of that unborn child.
Call an Experienced Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident while pregnant, you may be able to file a claim for compensation for injuries to you and your unborn child.
Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they need and have secured millions on their behalf.
The consultation is free and there are no fees unless we win.
Call (817) 920-9000 to learn more.