According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 170,000 car accidents involving pregnant women occur each year in the United States. Research suggests that car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic fetal injury or death.
Seat belt use among pregnant women is crucial for reducing the risk of injury to both the mother and the unborn baby. However, studies show that only about 60% of pregnant women consistently wear seat belts. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women wear seat belts properly adjusted and positioned under the abdomen, with the shoulder belt placed between the breasts and off to the side of the belly.
There are some significant health effects that potentially can impact a pregnant woman who is the victim of a car crash:
The impact of the crash can cause direct injury to the fetus, leading to complications or even loss of the pregnancy. This can include fractures, head injuries, or damage to vital organs. The severity of the fetal injury can vary depending on the force of the impact and the position of the fetus within the womb.
The stress and trauma from the accident can trigger premature labor, putting the baby at risk for health problems. Premature babies may have underdeveloped organs, difficulty breathing, and require intensive medical care. The mother may also experience complications during preterm labor, such as infection or uterine rupture.
The sudden jolt or impact can cause the placenta to detach from the uterus, leading to heavy bleeding and endangering both the mother and baby. This can result in significant blood loss, which may require emergency medical intervention. Placental abruption can also lead to complications such as fetal distress and oxygen deprivation.
The pregnant woman may sustain injuries such as fractures, internal bleeding, or organ damage, requiring immediate medical attention. These injuries can pose a threat to the mother’s health and may impact her ability to provide care for herself and the baby. The severity of maternal injuries can vary depending on factors such as seat belt usage and the presence of airbags.
The psychological impact of a car crash can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, affecting the well-being of the mother and potentially influencing the baby’s development. The mother’s emotional state can impact her ability to bond with the baby and may even affect the baby’s neurodevelopment. It is important for pregnant victims to receive support and counseling to cope with the emotional aftermath of the accident.
Increased Risk of Miscarriage
The trauma from the accident can increase the risk of miscarriage, especially during the first trimester. The physical and emotional stress on the mother’s body can disrupt the delicate balance necessary for a healthy pregnancy. It is crucial for pregnant individuals involved in car crashes to receive medical evaluation and monitoring to mitigate the risk of miscarriage.
Injuries sustained during a car crash can affect the baby’s development, leading to long-term cognitive, physical, or behavioral issues. These delays can manifest as learning disabilities, motor skill deficiencies, or behavioral problems later in life. Early intervention and appropriate medical care can help mitigate the impact of these developmental delays.
Complications During Delivery
If the mother experiences injuries or complications as a result of the car crash, it may impact the delivery process and require specialized medical interventions. This can include the need for a cesarean section or additional monitoring during labor. The presence of maternal injuries can also increase the risk of complications during delivery, such as excessive bleeding or infection.
Impact on Breastfeeding
Injuries or emotional distress from the accident can affect the mother’s ability to breastfeed, potentially impacting the baby’s nutrition and bonding. Breastfeeding provides essential nutrients and establishes a strong emotional connection between the mother and baby. Mothers who have experienced car crashes may require additional support, such as lactation consultants, to overcome breastfeeding challenges.
Legal Rights of a Pregnant Woman Following a Car Crash
If you are a pregnant woman who has suffered health effects as the result of a car accident, The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Doan Law Firm car accident lawyer in Houston by calling us any time at (800) 349-0000. The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee for you. Our firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.