The Dangers Of A Car Crash While Pregnant You Need To Know About

by Aug 18, 2022Auto Accident, Birth Injury

The Dangers Of A Car Crash While Pregnant You Need To Know About

by Aug 18, 2022Auto Accident, Birth Injury

Pregnant driver in boynton beach florida buckling her seat belt
Pregnant driver in boynton beach florida buckling her seat belt

The Dangers of a Car Crash during Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Pregnancy and car wrecks don’t mix. In fact, having a car crash while pregnant is the leading cause of fetal injury and death in the United States. Please keep reading to learn about this problem’s seriousness and how to prevent it. You’ll also learn about protecting your legal rights when you and your baby are victims.

Pregnancy and Driving

Pregnancy brings about many miraculous changes in a woman’s body, but they make her more vulnerable to injury in even a minor vehicle mishap. Although the enlarging uterus protects the fragile fetus, it also causes compression of many of the mother’s organs, including the diaphragm and lungs, the stomach and intestines, and the bladder. Changing hormones results in strong, unstable emotions.

Redistribution of increasing body weight and dimensions disrupts the center of gravity and sense of balance. In addition, adaptations of the circulatory system generate a higher risk of excessive bleeding. For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) devised a project called PRAMS, the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, for gathering specialized information during and after pregnancy. Reaching over 80% of American births, the PRAMs program works to reduce bad outcomes in vehicular collisions during pregnancy.

The Frightening Truth

Fasten your virtual seatbelts as we’re reminded of what we often forget about Newton’s Laws of Motion as they apply to a mother and fetus in a car crash. Here are some recent statistics:

  • Over 90,000 pregnant women are injured in crash events annually, and the number is growing. Due to unreported accidents, the number is probably much higher.
  • The baby’s life is dependent on the mother’s health. Both are at higher risk for significant injury as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Despite the increase in young children’s deaths by guns, fetal injuries are 15 times more likely to be fatal following a motor vehicle accident. At fewer than 20 weeks gestation, the fetus is often miscarried. At greater than 20 weeks gestation, the fetus is in significant danger of being stillborn.
  • Airbag use without seatbelt restraint increases the likelihood of fetal brain injury.
  • Improper seat belt application often leads to compression of the fetus’s skull and lifelong brain damage.
  • Fetal distress forces their immature heart to beat abnormally hard before it has adapted to life outside the womb.
  • Placental tearing, the detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall, rips the life-line connecting the mother’s system to her fetus. Significant bleeding, interrupted delivery of oxygen and nutrients, and interrupted removal of fetal wastes are irreversible and often fatal.
  • Amniotic rupture refers to sudden water breaking that initiates uterine contractions.
  • Uterine rupture often results in the death of both mother and fetus due to extreme blood loss.
  • Maternal shock occurs when severe bleeding, whether internally or externally or both, results in hypovolemia (dangerously low blood volume). Shock automatically diverts available blood to the mother’s vital organs to support maternal survival, meaning blood must be shunted away from the fetus.
  • Maternal death nearly always causes fetal death.
  • Premature birth before full term is traumatic because the fetus has not yet fully developed.
  • Low birth weight from injury or premature birth results in many barriers to an infant’s ability to thrive.
  • Birth defects of many kinds can affect the entire life of an infant who survives.

In the late 1990s, Mark D. Pearlman and D. Viano collaborated to design the first simulated pregnant crash test dummy to test the effects of several car crash variables. The study concluded that the 3-point restraint system appears to aid in preventing injury significantly. Since then, airbags are always recommended in conjunction with seatbelts.

Not Knowing Florida Law Can Affect You

The law is complex, so knowing the fine points can make or break the case. Pregnancy and car accidents generate delicate situations with many possible complications. Many are not easily apparent to untrained persons. Familiarity with legal precedents- court decisions that carry the weight of law in judging similar cases- is esoteric knowledge that only an experienced team of personal injury lawyers can use to defend you.

Do you know what the Florida Financial Responsibility Law is? How about the difference between simple battery and aggravated battery? How civil negligence differs from culpable negligence? Do you know what to do if the at-fault party approaches you with a release form? Are you aware of the details of no-fault insurance coverage? Before investigating the repercussions of a car crash while pregnant, learn about prevention first.

Preventing a Car Crash while Pregnant

Most of what people commonly call “accidents” are preventable. True accidents, by definition, aren’t preventable. Unfortunately, fewer than half of healthcare providers even discuss the dangers of driving while pregnant. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is true: an ounce of prevention is worth the life of you and your child. Here are some prevention techniques:

  • Ask your healthcare team about prenatal counseling relating to driving.
  • While pregnant, avoid driving whenever possible, especially in your last trimester. Being in the driver’s seat is more dangerous than riding as a passenger upfront or in the back seat. Try to arrange for “designated drivers.”
  • Wear your seatbelt without getting creative in arranging the straps. The lap belt should go under your abdomen but above your hips. Keep the shoulder belt above your abdomen across your chest. The chance for serious injury and death can be reduced by 50% with a correctly fitted seat belt.
  • Although you might find seat belt devices that have been specially designed for pregnant women, at this point, they haven’t been thoroughly tested to ensure compliance with safety standards.
  • If you must drive, slide the seat as far back as safely possible. Adjust the steering wheel to aim the airbag at your chest instead of your abdomen.
  • Sometimes a moving picture is worth a thousand words.

If You Are in a Car Crash while Pregnant

Here are some guidelines when you’re expecting and involved in a motor vehicle collision:

  • Take photos at the crash scene and record as many details as possible. Save evidence.
  • Always seek medical attention immediately after a car mishap, even if it seems minor and everyone involved denies any injury. Many internal injuries don’t show obvious symptoms until later.
  • Your doctor is trained to catch things you can’t.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders precisely so the insurance company won’t have ammunition to use against you.
  • Save medical records, expenditures related to the event, and all related documentation.
  • Keep a detailed journal recording your daily pain and disability to demonstrate how the event has changed your everyday life.
  • Contact a reputable Florida birth injury attorney. The faster you get legal help, the sooner the legal team can build your case. You can’t fight the system alone.

Your Rights

In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated the Winnable Battles project to fight major threats to U.S. public health by implementing evidence-based solutions. The good news is that the CDC has declared dangerous motor vehicle accidents a winnable battle.

Not only is the federal law on your side, but hiring an experienced Florida birth injury attorney will make sure that Florida law is on your side, too. These are some of the issues they’ll explore:

  • Your legal options
  • Effects on your pregnancy and the fetus
  • Compensation
  • Medical benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional pain and anguish
  • Cost of future medical care
  • The person or entity at fault
  • How to successfully file complaints

Remember that taking priority action immediately determines what will happen in the years to come.

Finding a Florida Birth Injury Attorney

Even though Florida is a pure no-fault insurance state, a capable team working on your case will ensure the best possible outcome because insurance companies like to haggle. You won’t be alone when you hire a local Florida birth injury attorney to navigate the legal system for you. Give us a call at (561) 806-5229 or contact us online.

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