Car Accident While Pregnant
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Being involved in a car accident is a frightening and stressful event in and of itself. Being involved in an accident while pregnant can be a nightmare. Understanding what to do and how to respond to being involved in a wreck as an expecting mother can end up making a huge difference when it comes to the safety and well-being of you and your baby. Understanding your rights may also help ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash while pregnant and would like to seek a settlement, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our experienced Las Cruces injury attorneys.
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT
1. Seek Prompt Medical Attention
The first and most important step after being involved in a car accident is to seek appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible. Even if the car accident was a “minor” one, it may still be in your best interests to call paramedics or visit the emergency room after a crash. This is because even minor physical injuries, stress, and emotional trauma associated can negatively affect the health of both you and your baby. Therefore, it is critical to be proactive and seek treatment as soon as possible after being involved in a car crash.
Women who are in the third trimester or latter portion of the second trimester should also be sure to keep a close eye on potential symptoms that can occur immediately after a car accident. The presence of any or a combination of these symptoms often means that something may be wrong. The symptoms to keep a lookout for include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Premature birth
- Vaginal bleeding
Other symptoms may arise hours, days, or even weeks after being involved in a car crash. The presence of any or a combination of these symptoms should also be taken very seriously and should prompt you to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Swelling of the face or hands
- Abdominal pain
- Recurring and severe headaches
- Dizziness and vomiting unrelated to pregnancy
Although these represent some of the most noticeable and concerning symptoms, it is important to remember to seek medical attention if you are feeling unwell for any reason. Erring on the side of caution is always a good choice when it comes to protecting the health of both you and your baby.
2. Document the Accident
Another important, yet often overlooked step in the process is to document the accident. Documenting the accident means keeping an organized and running record of all files relating to the accident. This personal record of your accident may include:
- Copies of any police reports or accident reports
- Photographs of the vehicles and resulting damage
- Photographs of your injuries as a result of the accident
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Witness statements, if any
- Medical bills
- Pharmacy bills
- Rehabilitation bills
- Car repair estimates
By keeping a running record of these documents from the time of the accident until settlement or trial, you can strengthen the value of your claim. This means putting yourself in a better position to prove the extent of your injuries and damages. In contrast, failure to keep such a record may make it difficult to prove the extent of your injuries and damages, thereby damaging your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses.
3. Contact a Car Accident Attorney
A car crash involving a pregnant woman may give rise to several causes of action which can form the basis of a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you believe the car collision was caused by the other driver, you can file a claim or take legal action against the other driver’s insurance company. If the policy limits of the insurance coverage are inadequate to cover the losses and expenses that you incurred as a result of the car accident, then it is possible to take legal action against the other driver in a personal capacity. Wrongful death suits may also be an option in cases where the car crash led to the death of a viable fetus. These types of lawsuits allow the surviving family members to sue for loss of companionship, loss of wages, and funeral expenses.
The third and final step should be to contact a car accident or personal injury attorney. The attorney may speak with you in person or over the phone to gather information relating to the facts and circumstances of your accident and resulting injuries. From there, the lawyer may be able to provide helpful legal advice regarding your available options.
WHO CAN I SUE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
Usually, the most appropriate person to sue after a car accident is the driver who caused the accident. If the driver was driving negligently, he or she may be held liable for any injuries that manifest as a result of the crash. For instance, if the driver was driving while intoxicated or texting while driving, the victim may be able to pursue legal action against the driver.
The Driver’s Employer
If the driver is an employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, then the driver’s employer may also be held responsible under a theory of vicarious liability. If the employer was negligent in its hiring, supervision, or retention of the at-fault driver, then the employer may also be directly responsible under a theory of negligence.
A Third Party
Sometimes a third party party may be liable, such as an automobile parts manufacturer. For instance, if the car crash was a result of a tire blowout, and the tire turned out to be defective in manufacture or design, then the tire manufacturer may also be subject to liability.
A victim of a car accident may be able to pursue compensation for injuries sustained as a result of the crash. “Damages” is the term used to refer to the monetary compensation which may be awarded to a victim. The damages that may be awarded to a victim of a car accident may be separated into two broad categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to quantifiable costs incurred by the victim of a car accident. In car accident cases, economic damages may include:
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pharmacy costs
- Lost income and wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Rental car costs
In general, accidents that result in severe injuries and property damage lead to greater awards of economic damages than relatively minor accidents.
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that cannot be easily quantified. Rather, non-economic damages are subjectively evaluated by a jury in a lawsuit. The types of non-economic damages that may be available in a car accident case include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection or companionship
- Emotional distress
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If the at-fault party’s actions were especially reckless, egregious, or intentional, a court may also award the victim punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the wrongdoer.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
A “statute of limitations” is a legal time-limit on which a person must file a lawsuit. Failure to initiate a lawsuit by within the statute of limitations results in the victim being effectively barred from litigating the claim in court.
New Mexico has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims such as injuries resulting from a car accident. New Mexico also has a three-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. Thus, for example, if an expecting mother was injured in a car accident on May 1, 2020, she must file a lawsuit by May 1, 2023 to preserve her claim. In certain cases, the three-year statute of limitations may be extended or “tolled.”
Because filing a timely lawsuit is critical to the outcome of your case, it is important to consider discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide valuable guidance regarding the timeliness of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
OUR LAS CRUCES ATTORNEYS ARE READY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
At Zinda Law Group, our Las Cruces car accident attorneys have plenty of experience handling and settling car accident cases, including those involving expecting mothers involved in a car crash while pregnant. Our team has the resources necessary to help build the strongest claim following a car crash. Further, our dedicated attorneys have helped pregnant mothers and expecting families secure fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That's our No Fee Guarantee.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Las Cruces injury lawyer, or if you would like to learn more about what options are available to you after being involved in a car crash, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.