Car Accidents While Pregnant: The Dangers and Medical Follow-Up
Car accidents are scary. They’re even more frightening when they happen while you’re pregnant. Besides the peril to you, your unborn child could be harmed. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 170,000 accidents involving expectant women every year. At Norris Law, we have a professional car accident lawyer in Athens, GA who is ready to help you in all your car accident lawsuits.
Here are some medical complications to watch out for after a wreck while you’re carrying, along with guidelines for seeking medical attention for your coming bundle of joy.
Post-Crash Pregnancy Complications
Many types of pregnancy difficulties can arise after vehicular incidents. A contrecoup injury occurs when your body is forcefully pushed in multiple directions. When this happens, the effect on your unborn child is similar to that of shaken baby syndrome. This can result in developmental delays and birth defects.
Premature births are more likely to occur after an accident. When infants exit the womb early, medical problems commonly arise. Your child might have trouble eating or breathing on his or her own. Anticipate additional medical bills if one of these scenarios happens, and save documentation of unexpected charges in case you wind up filing a lawsuit.
A mother’s placenta might become separated from the wall that lines the uterus. Should this occur, the fetus might not receive enough nutrients, resulting in lower birth weight or poor physique. Additionally, mothers may experience severe blood loss that requires a transfusion.
Post-Crash Pregnancy Safety and Medical Consultations
You must take immediate safety measures after a crash. Move off the road unless you are too injured to do so, in which case you should remain as still as possible until help arrives. Promptly seek medical attention if you experience serious problems, such as vaginal bleeding, loss of consciousness, or pelvic pain.
In instances where a serious injury did not occur, you should still schedule a follow-up with your doctor, particularly if you develop facial swelling, painful urination, chills, or severe headaches. Pay particular attention to your baby’s movements. Any deviation could be a sign of looming trouble. Depending on what it is that your obstetrician discovers, you may be referred to a specialist who deals with high-risk pregnancies. These doctors, known as perinatologists, can be expensive but are sometimes necessary.
Should your infant be injured as the result of someone’s negligence, you should be compensated. Even if your child comes into the world healthy, the additional costs of assuring a safe birth should be passed to the responsible party. Contact our car accident lawyer at Norris Law to discuss the details of your situation. Litigation may well be the appropriate path forward.
As an Athens, GA car accident lawyer knows, you don’t have to stop driving just because you are an expectant mother. But it is important to be aware of the risks so that you can take certain preventative measures. By reducing your risk of injury in the event of an accident, it can minimize pregnancy-related issues. Here are some safety tips to consider to help you drive more safely during pregnancy. And if you find yourself in a car accident while pregnant, please contact us at Norris Injury Law as soon as possible.
Allow enough steering wheel space.
Give yourself plenty of space between your body and the steering wheel for maximum comfort and safety. The steering wheel brushing up closely to your belly is probably going to be uncomfortable, and even the slightest jolt forward can cause the wheel to hit your body if you are sitting too close. Consider having someone drive you where you need to get to if sitting as a driver becomes too troublesome.
Never unfasten your seatbelt.
It may seem like a silly reminder, but it’s an essential one. Some people may think that using a seatbelt is risky while pregnant, when in fact the opposite is true. This is because the seat belt ensures that you are sitting in the best position for airbag protection, that the impact from the collision doesn’t eject you from the vehicle, and prevents you from being tossed within the car in case of an accident. The seatbelt will only present a risk if used improperly. Always use a 3-point seat belt, position the shoulder belt over the center of the chest, and make sure the belt on the lap sits as far back underneath your belly as possible (not across).
Drive only short distances.
Driving for extended periods of time or long distances can be risky during pregnancy. Driving too long can cause you to feel exhausted, which can hinder your focus while driving. It can also increase your risk of having deep vein thrombosis (DVT) where your veins develop a blood clot. If you do have to drive a long way, make frequent stops, walk around and stretch during these stops, and plan your route to avoid overcrowded highways.
Ensure maintenance of vehicles.
Car safety is important for everyone, but it is necessary for expectant mothers who may have higher risks in the event of a collision. If you are not able to do so yourself, ask someone to help you check that the seatbelt is working properly, the vehicle has a working airbag, and that the seat-adjustment system and other functions are operational. As an Athens car accident lawyer explains, if there was a problem with a car part that contributed to the accident, then the manufacturer could share liability.
Pack snacks and water.
Consider packing a few snacks and water, and always having these readily available in your vehicle. You can then pull over and take snack breaks, since eating or drinking while driving could interfere with your concentration. As a mother-to-be, it is particularly important that you stay energized and hydrated at all times. Packing even for short distances can make the difference as you go about your day, and keep you from feeling dehydrated or hungry while driving.
Staying safe while pregnant is of the utmost importance. We can imagine the stress that it would put on a mother-to-be if a car accident were to happen while carrying a little one. If you were injured because of a careless driver, reach out to an Athens car accident lawyer at Norris Injury Law now for assistance.