Car accidents are always scary. But for a pregnant woman, the fear is amplified by the additional risk to the unborn baby. All accidents, from simple fender-benders to head-on collisions, pose a danger to the developing fetus. In fact, even slamming on the brakes unexpectedly can harm the baby.
If you are pregnant and in an accident, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention. Only trained medical professionals can perform the necessary tests to ensure neither the baby nor the mother suffered any injury. There are a variety of medical conditions associated with car accidents that do not present immediate symptoms, so waiting for symptoms to appear could be waiting too long. In most cases, significant injury to the child is apparent fairly quickly. Signs to look for include vaginal bleeding, leakage, abdominal pain, and cramps (or contractions). But in some cases, a placental abruption has occurred, where the placenta detaches from the uterus. If this occurs, an emergency C-section may be necessary if the fetus is of a viable gestational age. Placental abruption is also associated with a variety of dangers to the mother, including risk of hemorrhage and infection.
Injuries suffered by the mother can be more difficult to diagnose and can take much longer for symptoms to manifest. Pregnant women are at risk of a significant back injury in the case of a car accident, but the symptoms, including back pain, can be confused for general pregnancy symptoms. Other injuries caused by car accidents, including vertigo and whiplash, can also share symptoms with pregnancy.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident while pregnant, getting justice for them and their unborn child is important. Determining whether or not the pregnant woman or the fetus were damaged in any way can be difficult and expensive. Please, consult with a qualified attorney who can provide you with direction about how to proceed.