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Car accidents can be extremely traumatizing for pregnant women. Not only is the health of a mom-to-be impacted by a car accident, but so is the development of her unborn child or children.
Lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries to an unborn baby or pregnant mother are rare. One reason is because these cases may be fact-intensive, thus requiring extensive time, effort, and analysis by a legal professional.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in New Mexico while pregnant, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with one of our New Mexico personal injury attorneys.
car accidents and pregnancy
Driving while pregnant can present many new dangers to unborn babies and mothers alike. Based on the frequency of pregnancy-related crashes in the general population, it is estimated that between 1500 and 5000 fetal losses occur each year in the United States as a result of maternal involvement in automobile crashes. Even if the fetus survives, complications arising from early emergency delivery of a premature fetus can lead to long-term negative consequences for the child. Studies indicate that many children grow up with extensive disabilities as a result of injuries sustained while in utero.
Pregnant women face even greater risks of injury to themselves and their unborn children when they are involved in a car accident while pregnant. More specifically, the accident rate for women in their second trimester is nearly double that for non-pregnant women. Pregnant women are 47% more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident that requires emergency treatment, compared to when they were not carrying a child.
Studies have also analyzed how vehicle safety features protect pregnant women involved in car accidents. Experts have indicated that proper seat belt use is the simplest way to protect an unborn child in an automobile accident. In the majority of fatal crashes, the mother was not wearing a seatbelt.
Pregnant women are undeniably more vulnerable in automobile collisions, and they are more likely to require special medical attention if injured. For these and a few other reasons, these accidents can be devastating for expecting mothers and families.
TYPES OF PREGNANCY INJURIES FROM CAR ACCIDENTS
If you are pregnant, both you and your baby can suffer injuries as a result of a car crash. These injuries can vary largely depending on the specifics of your accident. Here are some of the most common injuries pregnant automobile accident victims sustain:
Premature birth occurs when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control, premature births affected one out of every ten infants born in the United States in 2018. That year also marked the fourth straight year in which premature birth rates rose. Studies have found elevated rates of premature labor among auto accident victims. In some cases, doctors can stop premature labor with medication and other interventions. In other cases, the baby is born too early and either cannot survive or suffers from permanent disabilities.
Pregnancies are labeled “high-risk” when there are complications with either the mother or the baby that need careful monitoring and observation. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there are many reasons a pregnancy could be classified as high-risk. Existing health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or HIV can complicate pregnancy. Maternal obesity can increase a child’s risk of heart disease by 15 percent as well as increase the risk of other medical conditions in the unborn child.
Multiple births also complicate a pregnancy. Pregnancy can also be deemed high-risk due to an unexpected collision during pregnancy—such as a car accident.
High-risk pregnancies tend to result in greater medical expenses. They can require more doctor’s visits, more medications, more ultrasounds, and more electronic fetal monitoring. They are also very stressful for a mother who is worried about the health of her unborn child.
A placental abruption is a serious condition in which the placenta partially or completely separates from your uterus before your baby is born. A study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the mortality rate for all births was 8.2 out of every 1000, but in cases of placental abruption, the mortality rate was 119 out of every 1000.
Because the uterus is enlarged during pregnancy, it is more susceptible to injury. Abdominal injuries sustained in a car crash can cause life-threatening complications to both mother and child. In cases of uterine rupture, the mortality rate for unborn children is near 100 percent.
A miscarriage occurs when an embryo or fetus dies before the 20th week of pregnancy. In serious car accidents, the mother is subjected to very powerful forces, and the baby cannot always withstand the trauma to which he or she is subjected. Some mothers suffer tragic miscarriages as a result of car accidents.
Direct fetal injury caused by a car accident is uncommon. When they do occur, head injuries are the most common because the head is the largest part of the unborn baby. The head trauma suffered by an unborn child in a car accident mimics that of “shaken baby” syndrome. The child’s brain can rock forward to hit the front of the skull, then back again to hit the back of the skull, potentially causing brain damage.
Both direct fetal injuries and premature birth can lead to birth defects; both can be caused by car accidents. Birth defects lead to costly medical procedures and rehabilitative services that may be required for the child’s entire life. The child might need emergency surgery or a lengthy stay in the ICU after he or she is born. Birth defects often lead to poor developmental outcomes, and this means that many children suffering from birth defects must complete years of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other types of rehabilitation.
If you or your unborn child sustained injuries in a car accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation from the responsible party. Car accident claims, especially those involving pregnant women, can be costly and burdensome for victims. A car accident lawyer may be able to help you assess your damages and file a claim seeking compensation for your losses.
CAN I SEEK COMPENSATION FOR THE DEATH OF MY UNBORN BABY?
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for pregnant women and the top leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. Although many women and unborn children escape accidents unharmed, others are not so lucky. New Mexico recognizes a parent’s right to pursue a wrongful death action against the responsible party for the death of their unborn child.
Through cases and common law, New Mexico courts have continued to expand a parent’s right to recovery. Today, in New Mexico, as long as the unborn child would be able to survive outside of the mother’s womb, then the right to maintain an action for wrongful death is allowed.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to financial compensation after a car accident for a variety of reasons, including the mother’s own injuries or the unborn child’s death. While there are many different types of compensation, pregnant women involved in car accidents may be able to request compensation for the following:
- Hospital bills
- Other medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Long-term disability expenses
- Lost wages, future wages, and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Recovering from an accident can be difficult, especially if you are struggling financially to repay expenses resulting from the accident. If you were injured in a car accident while pregnant, you may be entitled to legal compensation for the death of your unborn child or your own injuries. A New Mexico accident attorney can help you evaluate the merits of your claim and proceed more effectively through the filing process.
get help from zinda law group’s NEW MEXICO CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Pregnancy is supposed to be a wonderful time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, pregnant women and their unborn children are significantly more likely to be injured during a car accident than non-pregnant drivers. In New Mexico, injured mothers have many options when seeking compensation from the party responsible for the accident.
In some cases, it may be difficult to choose the correct avenue for redress. If you were involved in an auto accident while pregnant, you should contact a New Mexico lawyer who handles personal injury cases as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse for any damages sustained during the car accident.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. Moreover, the sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident while pregnant, call Zinda Law Group, the personal injury law firm near you, at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico personal injury lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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