The months and weeks leading to a baby’s birth are often filled with joyful anticipation. However, sometimes the unexpected happens, such as a car accident. Injuries to the mother and unborn child can range from seemingly minor to the most serious, including those resulting in death.
According to SafeRide4Kids, car crashes are the single leading cause of maternal death and result in about 3,000 miscarriages every year.
Protecting Mom and Unborn Child
Whether a passenger or a driver, the most important action a pregnant woman can take is to wear a seat belt every time she’s in a vehicle. Some moms-to-be worry that wearing a seatbelt will somehow hurt their baby, or they don’t like to wear one in the last trimester because it’s not comfortable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s illustrated guide shows how to wear a seat belt during pregnancy and offers these tips:
- Be sure to position the shoulder belt, lap belt, and seat correctly.
- Leave airbags turned on.
- Seek medical assistance following an accident even if it’s a fender bender, and there are no apparent injuries.
Accidents Can Cause Serious Medical Conditions
Even when safety precautions are followed, motor vehicle accidents still happen and can result in serious health issues for the pregnant mother and her unborn child, including:
- Trauma-induced injuries to the mother, such as cardiac arrest
- Uterine injury
- Internal bleeding
- Placental abruption, in which the placenta (which provides nourishment and oxygen to the developing baby) separates early from the uterus.
- Rupture to the protective amniotic sac
- Fetal trauma
- Birth defects
After a Car Accident in New York
If possible, get the other driver’s name, address, and insurance carrier, as well as contact information for any witnesses. It can’t be stated often enough, but with even what seems to be a minor car accident, a pregnant woman should seek immediate follow-up medical care for herself and fetal monitoring for her unborn child.
New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning all vehicle owners are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which covers medical costs, lost income, and death benefits. However, beyond what one’s insurance company pays in claims, under state insurance law, additional damages can be recovered when the accident was caused by the other driver if injuries are “sufficiently serious”; this includes miscarriage.
Damages can be sought for:
- Emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Current medical bills or future medical costs
- Lost wages
Understanding Your Loss and Working for You
The injuries sustained from a car accident can have serious consequences for mother and baby. The Yonkers car accident attorneys at Sayegh & Sayegh PC will be trusted advocates if you decide to file a claim or would like more information about the steps involved. To learn more, call (914) 222-8161 or contact us online.