Though you do your best to be cautious while pregnant, you can’t prevent accidents from happening. You can’t control whether another driver runs a stoplight or a store clerk forgets to mop up a spill. Because of these risks, you may get a personal injury in an accident while pregnant. It’s important to take certain steps after an accident while pregnant to prepare for a possible personal injury or wrongful death claim.
A Serious Risk: Placental Abruption
One of the most significant risks associated with an accident while pregnant is harming your placenta. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall and gives the fetus oxygen and nutrients. Placental abruption means the placenta completely or partially separates from the uterus’s inner wall before delivery, impairing the fetus’s oxygen and nutrient supply.
Placental abruption can lead to:
- Blood clotting issues,
- Kidney or other organ failure due to blood loss,
- Premature birth, or
When you go to the emergency room or your doctor after an accident, the doctors and nurses will examine you, the fetus, and the placenta for any signs that something is wrong. If your doctors send you home, watch for vaginal bleeding, leaking fluid, abdominal pain, contractions, or changes in the baby’s movement. Never hesitate to go back to the doctor.
See a Doctor Immediately
No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy or how you feel afterward, an accident could put the fetus at risk. It’s best to go to the emergency room or schedule an emergency appointment with your OB/GYN as soon as possible.
Talk About Your Mental Health
When you’re with your doctor, it’s natural to focus on your and your child’s physical well-being. But don’t discount how important your mental health is during your pregnancy. An accident, such as a car crash or slip and fall, and the fear that your baby is hurt can cause significant stress, mental anguish, and anxiety. Talk with your doctor about what you’re feeling to ensure they document the personal injury in your records.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders
If your doctor is concerned about the impact of the accident on the fetus or your ability to carry your child to term, they may recommend bed rest or other medical care. It’s best to follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully. If you pursue a claim for compensation, the other side can use ignoring the doctor’s orders against you.
Call a Lawyer for Help
If you suffered serious personal injury in an accident someone else caused, an important step is consulting a lawyer. You may be entitled to pursue compensation for injuries you and your baby suffered. If the worst happens and your child passes away shortly after the birth or is stillborn because of the accident, ask about pursuing a wrongful death claim. An attorney will review the facts of your case, including your medical records and bills, and advise you on the best way to move forward.