Being involved in a car crash can be devastating for a pregnant woman. Don’t put off getting legal help. Contact the car accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm today to start a free case review. We’ll protect your legal rights and demand justice and compensation from at-fault parties. We’ve recovered over $1 billion for clients. Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011.
Table of contents
- Dangers of Car Accident Injuries While Pregnant
- Most Common Injuries in a Car Accident With a Pregnant Woman
- Risks Associated With Accident Injuries While Pregnant
- Wrongful Death Claim After Fetal Demise in a Car Accident
- Compensation for Damages When a Pregnant Woman Has a Car Accident
- Determining the Average Settlement for a Car Accident While Pregnant
- Free Case Review With Our Law Firm for Car Accidents While Pregnant
Dangers of Car Accident Injuries While Pregnant
Car accidents are unfortunately all too common and can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women. In addition to the typical injuries that anyone can suffer in a car accident, pregnant women can also experience a range of unique and potentially life-threatening trauma . These injuries include abdominal trauma, head injuries, fractures, and soft tissue damage.
It’s crucial for pregnant women who have been involved in a car accident to seek immediate medical attention and take steps to protect both their health and that of their unborn child.
Risks Associated With Accident Injuries While Pregnant
The risks associated with a car accident injury while pregnant can include the following:
- Miscarriage: Car accidents can cause physical trauma that can result in a miscarriage . It is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20-week mark. Symptoms include bleeding or spotting in the vaginal area, lower back or abdominal pain, and discharge of fluid or tissue from the vagina.
- Preterm labor: If a pregnant woman is injured in a car accident, it can cause the uterus to contract prematurely, leading to preterm labor and delivery.
- Placental abruption: A car accident can cause the placenta to detach from the uterus, which can be very dangerous for both the mother and the baby .
- Fetal distress: A car accident can cause fetal distress, leading to brain damage, developmental delays, or other complications for the baby . This often occurs during late pregnancy. The symptoms are low amniotic fluid levels, changes in heart rate, and less fetal movement.
- Premature rupture of the amniotic sac: When the sac ruptures before labor begins at about 37 weeks, the fetus may develop respiratory distress, higher infection risk, and premature birth .
- Maternal injury: A pregnant woman can also be injured in a car accident, impacting the mother’s health and well-being .
Wrongful Death Claim After Fetal Demise in a Car Accident
The risk of a miscarriage is higher in the first trimester of pregnancy when the fetus is still developing, and the placenta is not fully attached to the uterine wall. A severe impact or sudden deceleration can cause the uterus to contract, leading to a miscarriage. However, unlike other states, California does not allow a wrongful death lawsuit for the demise of a viable fetus, even if it reaches 37 weeks (where it is usually called a stillbirth).
In California, an unborn child is not legally a person, as described in Justus v Atchison (1977 California Supreme Court) . The argument is that until the fetus is born, it is impossible to file a claim for the death of a family member, the usual path for most such lawsuits.
However, a wrongful death lawsuit is possible if the mother delivers a viable fetus at the accident site or soon afterward and the baby dies due to their injuries. Babies born after a car accident often suffer severe emotional and physical injuries, particularly neurological ones.
Compensation for Damages When a Pregnant Woman Has a Car Accident
Here are some of the damages that a pregnant woman may be able to sue for if she or the baby is hurt in a car accident:
- Medical expenses: A pregnant woman can sue for the cost of medical treatment related to the injuries she or her baby suffered in the accident, including hospitalization, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If a pregnant woman cannot work due to the injuries she suffered in the accident, she may be able to sue for lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: A pregnant woman can sue for the physical and emotional pain and suffering she and her baby experienced in the accident.
- Loss of consortium: If the pregnant woman’s spouse is also affected by the accident, such as loss of companionship or sexual relations, they may be able to sue for damages.
The mother can file a lawsuit for damages such as the time, money, and related expenses of caring for the injured baby. In addition, the state can file criminal charges against a reckless, intentional, or negligent act that causes the death of a fetus under California Penal Code 187 .
It is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand the legal options available in a particular case.
Determining the Average Settlement for a Car Accident While Pregnant
While every case is unique, pregnant women involved in car accidents may sometimes see higher than average car accident settlements. This is due to the fact that they may suffer from physical and emotional trauma from the crash, which can result in medical bills that include the unborn child. Some injuries require time off work or mean missing out on job opportunities due to complications arising from the accident. Pain and suffering are also considered when calculating an appropriate settlement amount for cases involving pregnant women in car crashes.
The experienced team of car accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm will analyze and pursue full and fair compensation for any damages or losses incurred. We will also provide critical advice on filing a lawsuit if necessary and will handle the negotiation process with insurance companies to secure a strong settlement.
Free Case Review With Our Law Firm for Car Accidents While Pregnant
Call Wilshire Law Firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. Our award-winning legal team will evaluate your case, answer your questions and provide future options. Call us at (800) 501-3011, or contact us online. We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fees unless you win. Don’t hesitate to call. It is crucial to start as soon as possible after the auto accident before evidence is lost or disappears.