Car accidents are dangerous; but for certain vulnerable populations, like pregnant women and unborn children, they pose extra threats that more often result in serious injury and death.
After an accident, knowing the right steps to take to protect yourself and your claim is hard enough. For an expecting mother, it can be even more difficult and scary. Even if you felt the accident was minor or low impact, you should always get medical attention. During different stages of a pregnancy, the risks to the baby change.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident during your pregnancy, speak with an experienced and aggressive lawyer immediately. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle for the lowest amount possible which is simply not enough, and far less than you deserve. You need someone you can trust to ensure you get the medical treatment and compensation you and your family require.
There are only a few qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyers we trust. We turned to them to learn more about the extra risks accidents pose for pregnant women and steps they can take to be as safe as possible.
The Dangers of Car Accidents to Pregnant Mothers
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death and serious injury for pregnant women and their unborn children. Sadly, it’s estimated that only about 48% of prenatal care providers cover topics like road safety and the dangers of driving for pregnant women.
For expecting mothers, the car accidents can cause:
- Pre-term labor
- Birth defects
- High-risk pregnancy
- Placental abruption
- Delivery complications
Placental abruption is the most common car accident injury for pregnant women. It occurs in 5% of low-impact accidents, and 30-50% of high-impact auto accidents. The pressure from a seatbelt, impact from an airbag or jolt from an accident can all cause the placenta to rip away from the uterine wall. This can cause severe blood loss, organ failure, lack of oxygen to the baby and be fatal for mother and fetus.
Safe Driving Tips for Pregnant Women
While all forms of vehicle crashes can be dangerous for expectant moms, accidents that occur at speeds of 50 mph and above are particularly risky. In fact, research shows that speed is a greater risk for unborn babies than the type of impact. If you can’t avoid being behind the wheel, choose routes where you can keep your speed below 50 mph.
The risk also increases throughout a pregnancy. In the first trimester for example, the baby is well protected by the mother’s body. This is the safest time to be on the road for both the mother and unborn baby. During the second trimester, the risk of injury increases to 42% and is even greater in the 3rd trimester. If at all possible, reduce the amount of time you spend behind the wheel after the 1st trimester. Even seemingly harmless accidents during the 3rd trimester can cause threatening injuries to a fetus.
What to Do After an Accident When You’re Pregnant
No matter how serious or minor the accident may have seemed, you should always get medical attention especially when you’re pregnant. And never rely on the at-fault insurance company to give you the compensation you deserve. Contact a trusted and experienced car accident attorney immediately after an accident so they can protect your case right away.