Car accidents can be frightening, even when they are relatively minor fender-benders. But they can be even more terrifying for pregnant women because a car accident could harm the child even if the accident is low-impact in nature. Most minor car accidents won’t harm the baby at all, but because of the risk involved, it’s always recommended to see a doctor immediately anyway.
Why is being involved in a car accident while pregnant dangerous?
Car accidents are actually one of the most common reasons that pregnant women suffer injuries that affect their children. Nonetheless, only 27% of healthcare providers will discuss driving while pregnant with their patients.
The jolting movements and potential blunt force of a car accident could cause complications for a pregnancy. Possible effects of a car accident on a pregnant woman include:
- Pre-term labor
- Birth defects
- Internal bleeding
- Creating a high-risk pregnancy
Emotional trauma can impact your unborn child
Even the emotional strain of being involved in a car accident can affect your unborn child. Long-term mental stress can result in birth complications as well, including losing your child. This is one of the key reasons why even a low-impact accident, that doesn’t directly harm the baby, can still affect your pregnancy or your unborn child’s health.
Other physical effects of a car accident on a fetus
Of course, your womb is nature’s way of providing vital protection for your baby, but if your stomach is impacted or if you have a sudden stop that jolts your body, the placenta could separate from the uterus. This occurrence is called “placental abruption,” and it can lead to very serious complications in your pregnancy. This condition happens most often in the third trimester, but it can actually occur any time after 20 weeks.
Pregnant women and their children may also suffer from coup and contrecoup injuries that occur when a person’s head strikes a stationary object. While this type of injury is far more likely to affect just the mother, the baby can suffer from this type of damage as well. Essentially, the child suffers from “shaken baby syndrome” before even being born.
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What should you do if you’re in a low-impact car accident while pregnant?
If you’ve been in any kind of car accident while pregnant, you should be examined by your doctor as soon as possible. Catching complications early will help you address them immediately, which can have a significant impact on you and your child.
Keep in mind that getting an examination is a good idea no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. A thorough exam should also take place even if you feel fine after a car accident. Even minor accidents such as parking lot accidents can lead to severe problems for pregnant women.
Contact our experienced attorneys today to learn more
If you have suffered birth complications after a car accident while pregnant, you have legal options. You may be able to recover expenses related to additional medical care, lost time away from work, and more. Call the personal injury attorneys at John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.