Vehicle collisions can lead to severe injuries for all the occupants involved. However, a pregnant woman involved in a car crash has a greater risk of unique injuries. That’s because pregnant occupants have a different relationship between the steering wheel and seatbelts than non-pregnant occupants. This can lead to uncommon injuries not only for the pregnant woman but also to their growing fetus.
It is always advisable to seek immediate medical attention if you are pregnant and were involved in a car crash as a precautionary measure to ensure your fetus’s health.
Below is a list of injuries unique to expecting mothers.
Placental abruption is a common cause of fetal loss in an automobile crash. It happens when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall, disrupting oxygen supply and nutrients to the fetus. This type of injury can occur even when pregnant women are correctly using a seatbelt. However, the risk of placental abruption increases with women who are in the later stages of their pregnancy.
Uterine rupture and lacerations are rare during pregnancy. Injury to the uterus in car accidents almost exclusively happens during pregnancy. That’s because a woman’s uterus is much larger at that time. When a uterine rupture occurs, the likelihood of fetal death is nearly 100%. The mother may also face complications, such as internal bleeding.
DIRECT FETAL INJURY
Direct fetal injury (DFI) doesn’t occur often. During the first three months of pregnancy, the pelvis still protects the uterus. However, as the baby grows bigger, the uterus begins to protrude from the abdomen. During this stage of pregnancy, the fetus can suffer a direct injury in a car accident. Usually, the skull is the most common direct fetal injury. It can lead to severe injuries for the fetus, including miscarriage.
A fetus is protected by the uterus and the amniotic fluid, which acts as a shock absorber. If a pregnant woman hits the steering wheel or another part of the car, the impact can puncture the fluid. When the amniotic fluid is low, it can lead to miscarriage. Also, suppose the expecting mother loses oxygen as a result of the car accident. In that case, it can also lead to a miscarriage.
Premature birth happens when a woman delivers her baby before the fetus is considered “full term”— before 37 weeks. Premature babies can have a myriad of health issues. The stress of a car accident can cause a woman to deliver her child prematurely.
Pregnant women face many unique injuries to themselves and their fetuses when involved in a car accident. Aside from the safety concerns, expecting mothers will face more financial damages than other car crash victims. Not only will the mother need medical attention and monitoring, but so will the fetus.
The time after an automobile collision may be particularly stressful. If you were involved in a car accident while pregnant, you might have the right to financial compensation. However, it is vital to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose to protect your rights.