If you were involved in a car crash while pregnant, it’s natural to worry about your health and the safety of your unborn child. You could have the right to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses if you or your baby suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another driver. You may also be entitled to compensation if the accident caused a miscarriage. An Atlanta car accident attorney from Butler Kahn can answer your questions about your legal rights and help you pursue the financial relief and accountability you deserve.
What Are the Medical Risks of Being Involved in a Car Accident While Pregnant?
Some of the potential injuries and medical complications an expecting mother can suffer in a car accident include:
- Placental abruption – An abruption happens when the placenta separates from the uterus before birth, cutting off the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
- Uterine rupture – An injury in which the uterus tears open, uterine ruptures most frequently occur in mothers who have previously undergone cesarean sections or other abdominal surgeries.
- Maternal shock – A complication arising from excessive blood loss due to physical injuries to the mother sustained during a crash, leading to a loss of blood flow to the fetus.
- Fetal trauma – The mother and her womb provide substantial protection to a fetus in a crash, but the child can still suffer direct physical injuries.
- Premature birth – The shock of a car crash and injuries suffered by a mother may cause her to go into early labor.
- Miscarriage/stillbirth – Injuries suffered by a mother or fetus and premature birth significantly increase the risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Should I Wear a Seatbelt While Pregnant?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all expecting mothers wear seat belts throughout their pregnancies. Pregnant women should adjust their seat belts so that the shoulder belt sits away from the neck, over the shoulder, and between the breasts. The lap belt should sit below the belly and across the hips and pelvic bone. Never place the shoulder belt behind the back or the lap belt across the stomach. A seat belt will help prevent a pregnant occupant from crashing into the vehicle’s interior or being ejected in an accident.
In addition, pregnant women who drive should leave space between their bellies and the steering wheel. Make sure the vehicle’s airbag system is on. Airbags work with seat belts to protect occupants in a crash.
What Compensation Can a Pregnant Mother Recover After Being Injured in a Car Accident?
A pregnant woman who suffers injuries in a car crash may have the right to seek compensation for losses like:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses, including hospital care, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, physical or occupational therapy, and prescription medication
- Costs of long-term care for temporary or permanent physical impairment, such as home health services or purchases of medical or mobility equipment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity and job benefits
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Reduced quality and enjoyment of life due to permanent disability or visible scarring/disfigurement
Can I Recover Compensation for the Death of My Unborn Baby in Georgia?
In Georgia, a mother can seek compensation from an at-fault driver for injuries their unborn baby suffers in a car crash. Furthermore, Georgia law allows families to pursue compensation for the death of an unborn child due to a car accident. The law permits legal action for the death of an unborn fetus that has reached the “quickening” stage, meaning the fetus can move within the womb. Quickening usually occurs at some point around the 16th week of pregnancy, although it can occur as early as the 10th week in some cases.
If your baby died after a car accident and they had begun moving in the womb, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against an at-fault driver to recover compensation for the full value of the life of your unborn baby.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim in Georgia?
Georgia’s statute of limitations on car accident claims requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of a crash. If you file suit after the deadline, the court may permanently dismiss your case. Because you have a limited time to pursue a car accident injury claim in Georgia, you should speak to an attorney about your legal options as soon as possible.
What Should I Do After Being Injured in a Car Accident While Pregnant?
Your health and your baby’s health are the priority after a car accident. Seek immediate medical attention for any apparent injuries and to check for others to the fetus. Some of the steps you can take to protect your right to compensation include:
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions. Complying with your doctor’s orders gives you and the baby the best chance of an optimal recovery. It also prevents the insurance company from arguing you did not take your injuries seriously.
- Obtain copies of the police accident report and all necessary medical records. The accident report will provide vital details about the crash. Medical records will serve as proof of your injuries or injuries to the baby.
- Collect evidence if you can. Most expectant mothers go straight to the hospital after a car accident. If you can, take photos of the accident scene and write down what you recall about the crash.
- Keep copies of any bills or invoices. You can seek compensation for many accident-related expenses after a crash. Your bills are proof of your financial losses.
- Gather your pay stubs if you miss time from work. Like your bills, pay stubs document the income you lost while recovering from your injuries.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer. You should not have to pay for your injuries because of someone else’s wrongful actions. An Atlanta car accident attorney can review your legal options and help you file a claim against the at-fault party(s).
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
Getting hurt in a car accident while pregnant is a terrifying experience. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Butler Kahn want to help in any way we can. We offer free consultations and strive to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. Contact us for your case review today. There’s no obligation — just free legal advice so you can make an informed decision about what comes next.