Pregnant women involved in an auto accident can sue the liable party to recover damages for pregnancy-related issues suffered due to the incident.
However, filing a lawsuit can be complicated and overwhelming, more so when you’re pregnant. Here is what you should know regarding whether you can sue for pregnancy complications following a car accident.
Do I Need to Seek Medical Attention Despite Having No Symptoms of Injury?
Yes, you do. Ideally, you should seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Even if you don’t have symptoms, some injuries do not show up right away; it could be weeks or months before you notice the injury. If left unaddressed, these may lead to serious and costly complications, especially when you are pregnant. Your unborn baby may already have injuries that could have long-term complications.
It’s best to visit your doctor, despite being in a fender bender and feeling no heavy impact to your abdomen. Moreover, having yourself checked by a professional strengthens your case that the pregnancy complications resulted from the accident, not your negligence.
What Pregnancy Complications May Arise After an Auto Accident?
The impact of car accidents often causes bodily injury to the people involved. However, pregnant women’s unborn children can suffer injuries, as well. Such injuries may include:
The placenta connects the fetus to the mother’s uterus and provides nutrients and oxygen to the developing child. Blunt abdominal trauma of the mother’s body during a vehicular collision can detach the placenta from the uterus, cutting off the lifeline to the fetus. If you are pregnant, you may have vaginal bleeding, pelvic cramps, abdominal discomfort or tenderness, and uterine contractions if this occurs.
Although the normal gestational period is 40 weeks, a baby that is born before the 37th week is considered preterm. The earlier the birth, the more complications an infant will have. They will require more care, resulting in higher medical expenses.
A car accident can inflict acute trauma or stress on pregnant drivers or passengers, causing early labor and delivery.
Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Both miscarriage and stillbirth relate to the loss of a baby. However, pregnancy loss that occurs before the 20th week of gestation is referred to as a miscarriage, whereas pregnancy loss after that time is a stillbirth. Keep an eye out for blood, cramps, and pelvic or back discomfort.
While there are several risk factors for miscarriage and stillbirth, a pregnant woman’s involvement in vehicle incidents significantly raises her risk due to the physical and psychological damage.
Direct Fetal Injury
Regardless of the impact’s severity, the force from car crashes can also directly harm the fetus inside. In such instances, the most commonly injured part of the fetal body is the head since it is the largest. Injuries to the unborn baby may include brain injury, skull fractures, and splenic rupture, which can have long-term effects.
Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PROM)
This adverse pregnancy outcome may occur due to trauma from auto accidents. When the membranes or layers of tissue containing the amniotic fluid break earlier than your 37th week of pregnancy, you require immediate medical attention. Depending on how far along you are, you may be induced to labor or undergo medication and bed rest to prevent infection and let your baby develop further.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your lawsuit, you may be awarded the following compensation:
- Past and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, check-ups, physical examinations, laboratory tests, medicines, and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and benefits, loss of future earnings, or loss of earning capacity
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Wrongful death damages as applicable
Remember that the settlement amount varies for every case since there are no established rules on estimating compensation. The best way to estimate the value of your claim is to maintain records of your incurred financial losses. To calculate your future losses and non-economic damages for pain and suffering accurately, work with an experienced legal professional.
How Much Time do I Have to Sue?
According to Code of Virginia § 8.01-243, those injured in an accident like vehicular collisions have two years to recover compensation from liable parties. Once this deadline passes, you may be unable to pursue a claim, even if you have concrete evidence of suffered injuries.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Contact Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Today
Some women are unaware that they can sue for pregnancy complications following a car accident. If you are unsure of your rights, the attorneys at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, can advise you. We can help you navigate the process of seeking compensation for pregnancy complications and other injuries resulting from a car accident.
Our team will manage your case if you want to sue, providing you with legal advice so you can focus on recovering after the harrowing experience. Call (571) 229-1800 today to schedule a free initial consultation.