Pregnancy is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. One of the times it’s especially nerve-wracking is when you’re in a car crash. Between 2006 and 2012, the NHTSA reported approximately 112,300 pregnant women were in car crashes. In those cases, approximately 2 percent of the fetuses didn’t survive the crash. Fetal death in a car crash is not common.
If you’re in a car accident in any stage of your pregnancy, it’s stressful and is likely to leave you scared and uncertain. That’s understandable. If you’re in a car accident while pregnant, make sure you do these things in this order.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
Protect yourself and your unborn child by wearing a seat belt. It may not be comfortable, but it’s the best way to avoid being thrown forward or to the side during a collision. The seat belt should go across the shoulder and chest and not across your neck. The lap belt should be below your belly and not over it.
Why wear your seat belt? In the same NHTSA study, they found that 99.9 percent of the women who wore seat belts did not have any injury to the placenta or uterus, which is a leading reason for a fetus to go into distress.
Ask for Paramedics
If possible, ask for paramedics to be called. While trauma to the fetus isn’t likely thanks to the protective amniotic fluid and muscle of the uterine wall, it’s best to get checked out. You could have head injuries, and your unborn child needs you to be healthy, too.
When the paramedics arrive, tell them how far along in your pregnancy you are and ask to go to the hospital. The fetal heart rate will be monitored. Your OB/GYN may request an ultrasound to make sure the placenta is still attached and that the fetus is okay.
While you’re waiting for paramedics to arrive, have someone at the scene take photos of the crash. If you have to take them, try to do them while sitting down. If you have a dash cam, store the footage and save the files on the SD card or to the cloud if that’s an option.
Call Someone to Meet You at the Hospital
You’re going to be stressed. You will also probably be sore where the seat belt and possibly airbag hit you. Don’t expect to drive yourself home. Have a significant other, best friend, or family member meet you at the hospital. You’ll be calmer if you have a support person by your side. That person can also help by starting paperwork related to the medical care you receive and accident forms that the police and insurance companies may need.
Listen to the Doctor
After you’ve been monitored, carefully listen to the doctor’s instructions. Make sure you know warning signs for issues. If you don’t feel the baby kicking for hours and hours, call and ask to be seen. Explain you were in a car crash. Take it easy. If the doctor tells you to take a few days off of work, do so. If you’re worried about lost income, auto insurance will cover that. Also, make sure you attend follow-up appointments.
Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
After an accident, auto insurance companies get to work. Someone is sent to appraise the damages to your vehicle. They estimate the current value of your car to see if it would cost more to fix it than to replace it. They look at your medical bills and expenses like lost income or rental cars. Using this information, they come up with the settlement offer. You are not obligated to accept the settlement. The insurance company’s goal is to give you a fair settlement without being excessive. That amount may not be enough.
The car insurance company rarely factors in the time it’s going to take you to find a replacement car. If they’re paying for a rental for one week, you may struggle to find a car in the same condition as yours that’s within an hour of your home. They’re not thinking of the hours you’re spending trying to find a new car.
Request a consultation with a personal injury attorney. Bring any evidence you’ve already obtained, such as the accident report, investigating officer’s name, and the other driver’s name and insurance information. An attorney can tell you if you have a case or if the settlement offered by the insurance company is fair.
Call Trial Lawyers For Justice to discuss your car accident. Don’t settle with the insurance company without first talking to an expert in personal injury cases. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.