What Should a Pregnant Woman Do After a Car Accident?

Severe car accidents can be upsetting to those involved. But expectant mothers have an additional reason to be concerned. Following a car accident, expectant mothers worry about themselves and their babies. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to see when an unborn baby is injured. Even when a mother appears unhurt, her baby can sustain serious, often life-threatening injuries.

If you or your child are injured, call car accident lawyers Los Angeles for guidance and advice.

You should know the following things about car accidents, including the steps you should take after an accident.

Risks to Babies From Car Accidents

Although babies are relatively safe protected inside the womb, sudden or intense pressure exerted on a mother’s abdomen can be life-threatening for her and her child.

  • Uterine Ruptureoccurs when the muscular uterine wall tears, causing potential bleeding, abdominal pain, and changes in uterine contractions, possibly leading to death for the mother and child.
  • Placental Abruptionis a serious complication where the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, starving babies of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. It can also cause the mother to go into premature labor or suffer a miscarriage.
  • Miscarriagea mother can miscarry after she suffers an impact or trauma during an accident.
  • Premature BirthBirth before the 37th week is premature because the unborn child hasn’t had enough time to develop fully. A car crash may cause a pregnant mother to labor prematurely, causing possible medical issues for the unborn child. A preemie can develop congenital disabilities that last its lifetime. Some disabilities include blindness, heart defects, autism, intellectual disabilities, lung problems, and hearing loss.
  • Coup and Contrecoup Injuriesa coup injury occurs when an object hits the head. In contrast, a contrecoup injury occurs when the head hits a stationary object. Both injuries can occur during car accidents.
  • InfectionDuring accidents, foreign bodies such as glass, metal, plastic, and fluids can enter the blood and tissues of mothers and their unborn children. If left untreated, those foreign substances may cause sepsis, an often fatal blood infection.
  • Fetal Injuries – During accidents, babies can sustain internal injuries like internal bleeding and or head trauma.
  • Maternal ShockWhen a mother loses blood after an accident, her body struggles to pump the remaining blood to her vital organs. During that time, the mother’s blood flow is directed away from the baby.

How Can Expectant Mothers Help Protect Their Child?

While some expectant mothers minimize the time they spend driving, others refuse to drive at all.

Following are some suggestions to help expectant mothers protect their unborn children.

  • Let Someone Else DriveExpectant mothers who drive risk more significant injury than if they were passengers. During accidents, steering wheels can injure an unborn child. Often, the best position for an expectant mother is near the vehicle’s center, away from other objects.
  • Drive SafelyAlthough we can’t control how other people drive, we can regulate how we drive. Expectant mothers should obey all traffic laws and be particularly aware of their surroundings. Drivers who are not distracted tend to get in fewer accidents. Expectant mothers should always wear a lap and shoulder belt, with the lap belt under the baby and across the upper thighs.
  • Move The Seat BackPregnant drivers should move the seat back, far away from the steering wheel as possible while still maintaining control of the vehicle. Also, they should tilt the steering wheel away from the abdomen so it doesn’t hurt the baby during an accident.
  • Never Drive SickMorning sickness and lightheadedness are common pregnancy symptoms. If you don’t feel well, wait until you feel better or have someone drive you.

If You Have an Accident, Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Law Firm

If you are involved in an accident, remain calm and think clearly. If your baby is hurt and you panic, it may affect your judgment.

  • Get off the RoadIf accident conditions require, get off the road to safety unless you are injured and cannot move.
  • Call the PoliceWhen you call the police, let them know you are involved in an accident and pregnant. Listen carefully and thoroughly answer the dispatcher’s questions.
  • Get Medical HelpIf injured, immediately seek medical attention. If you are unaware of any injuries, you should still seek medical care. If medical personnel arrive at the accident scene, let them check both you and your baby. Emergency personnel have different treatment protocols for expectant mothers, so you must tell them you are pregnant. Then follow-up with your obstetrician and primary care doctors.
  • Call a Car Accident Injury Attorney Los AngelesExperienced car accident lawyers Los Angeles can steer you in the right direction. They can investigate your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

Document Everything

Even during minor accidents, you should always document everything. When, where, and how the accident happened, who was involved, including any witnesses? Take pictures or videos, at different angles, of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. Gather names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, driver’s licenses, and insurance information, etc. Confirm that the driver’s licenses match the people driving, and take photos of the driver’s and passengers involved in the accident.

When talking with police officers, provide all pertinent accident scene information and cooperate fully. Ask when and how you can get a copy of the police report. Ask the names and contact information of emergency personnel. If you receive medical care at a hospital or clinic, get the names of the doctors and nurses who treated you and what treatment you received.

Within 24 hours, call your car insurance company to notify them what happened and file an insurance claim if necessary.

Contact a Car Accident Injury Attorney Los Angeles

Expectant mothers can incur significant medical expenses for themselves and their unborn children. Premature delivery, inpatient and outpatient medical care, doctors’ visits, neonatal care, and psychological trauma can be very costly.

If you or your baby suffered injuries in a car accident, call a Los Angeles car accident law firm for help.

Contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers. We understand California accident laws and injuries to expectant mothers and their babies.

Call (877) 771-8175 for a no-cost evaluation­

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