What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident While Pregnant in Texas
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Car accidents can be scary for anyone, but if you are pregnant when one occurs, you may have concerns not only for yourself but also for your unborn child. Even if you yourself may not have been visibly injured, you may wonder whether your unborn child may have been injured.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (888) 449-1160 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Seek Medical Attention
In any car accident, it is vital that a victim seek medical attention afterward. However, pregnant women have an even greater need to seek medical attention after a car accident because their unborn child may be at risk. According to a study by the University of Pittsburg, 82% of fetal deaths occurred due to car accidents. If you are pregnant and get into an accident, no matter how minor, you should seek medical attention for the sake of your child—despite not having suffered major injuries yourself.
Here are some potential injuries you may suffer after a car accident while pregnant:
- abdominal pain
- vaginal bleeding
- back pain
- uterine contractions
Potential Harm to an Unborn Child After a Car Accident
Though the mother’s womb is excellent at protecting the baby, the womb was not made to handle the forceful impact of a car accident. For instance, car accidents have been known to cause placental abruption in pregnant women. The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy and attaches to the uterus. Its primary function is to supply the baby with nutrients and oxygen. If placental abruption occurs, however, the placenta gets separated from the uterus and can decrease or even block oxygen and nutrients from getting to the baby. Such blockage can cause the unborn baby to suffer brain damage. Note that placental abruption may not necessarily affect the mother directly, and it can occur without the mother being aware. You should always seek medical attention after a car accident.
When you file a car accident claim, you have the burden of proof to show that the other party was negligent. This means that you must present evidence that the negligent party was indeed negligent. To prove your case, you must substantiate your claim with evidence. Evidence can be photographs, medical bills, witness statements, and the like.
Recording Details of Accident
Be sure to always document and retrieve evidence from the scene of the accident. In a car accident, the police will generally write a report of the accident. This report often determines who was at fault. Be sure to get the name, address, license number, plate number, and insurance information from all the drivers involved in the accident. Also, if a driver involved in the crash was driving for an employer at the time of the accident, you should obtain the name and contact information of the driver's employer as well.
Gathering Witness and Police Information
Witness testimony is often critical in car accident cases. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get the names and contact information of the witnesses. If any of the witnesses took photographs or video recordings of the accident, ask them for copies. If you have a camera at the scene of the accident, take some pictures of the scene.
How to File a Claim
1. Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Filing a personal injury claim can be physically and mentally taxing. An experienced lawyer may help you make the process of filing a claim less exhausting by taking some of the heaviest responsibilities off your shoulders.
Once you file a claim with a court, a judge may set a date for a trial, but also order you into mediation, which is a process in which the parties to try and find a compromise without going to trial.
If mediation fails to achieve an agreement between the parties, your case may move into the discovery or investigative phase. In this stage, collect all of the relevant documents and evidence necessary to file a claim. These include medical bills, witness statements, official reports, employment reports, etc. This stage is also where depositions may occur. Depositions are interviews conducted by lawyers with people who have information pertinent to your case.
4. Case Settlement
Case settlement may occur at the mediation phase, but case settlement may also occur during the discovery/investigative stage. If an insurance company sends you an offer, be sure to discuss the offer with your lawyer. Do not simply accept the offer as your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the insurance company for a more favorable offer.
If, after discovery, no settlement is reached, then your case may go to trial. Two types of trials exist: bench and jury. Bench trials are trials where the judge hears the evidence, applies the laws applicable in your case, and make a ruling. In jury trials, the judge plays a lesser role, but he or she will still set which laws apply to your case. Unlike a bench trial, however, the jury will decide the outcome of your case.
Compensation for women who were involved in a car accident while pregnant can include the following:
Economic losses include the following:
- past and future medical bills
- past and future lost wages
- damaged property
- past and future loss of earning capacity
Non-economic losses include the following:
- past and future emotional anguish
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of activities
Contact Zinda Group
If you have been involved in a car accident while pregnant and wish to seek compensation, you do not have to go through the legal process alone. Zinda Law Group has experienced attorneys who have helped many car accident victims get their life back on track and we have plenty of resources to help you pursue the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident while pregnant, call Zinda Law Group at (888) 449-1160 to receive your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. If we don’t win your case, you will not owe us anything.
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