Most minor collisions and fender-benders do not result in serious injury to the occupants of the vehicles involved. However, when the driver or passenger is pregnant, there is a greater risk of injury, particularly to the unborn baby. If you are pregnant and involved in a car crash, it’s vital that you get medical attention as soon as possible. If the other driver is at fault for the crash, your next meeting should be with an Albuquerque car accident attorney to find out if you can hold the negligent driver liable for the injuries you and your baby have suffered. We take a look at the potential long-term costs of a car accident injury during pregnancy to help victims understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a crash.
How a Albuquerque Car Accident May Affect a Pregnancy
You know you are carrying precious cargo when you are pregnant. You take all of the recommended precautions to protect your baby, but you can’t avoid driving or riding in a car. When another driver crashes into your car, you risk the following devastating injuries:
- Maternal injury. As in any car crash, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, whiplash, or another catastrophic injury. Even if your baby escapes injury in the crash, your pregnancy could be put at risk while you are being treated and recovering from your injuries. Your doctor could decide that your pregnancy has become high-risk given your injuries, and your medical costs could skyrocket with additional testing, hospitalization, fetal monitoring, and more.
- Placental abruption. The biggest risk to your baby in a vehicle collision is that you suffer a placental abruption. This is when the placenta separates from the inner wall of your uterus, and it can be caused by the impact of a crash. Placental abruption can lead to hemorrhage, miscarriage, or premature labor. Even in the best-case scenario, you will need ongoing medical care, frequent checks on the baby, and you will likely be unable to work for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Pre-term labor. The jolt of a car crash could send you into early labor. Babies born before 24 weeks gestation are unlikely to survive. Between 24 and 28 weeks, the survival rate is about 60 percent, but long-term health complications are likely. After 28 weeks gestation, survival rates are close to 90 percent, but the baby could need months of extra care. The cost of caring for a pre-term baby can be astronomical.
- Fetal injury. The baby could suffer brain and neck injuries in a collision that are similar to shaken baby syndrome. If the abdomen is crushed by the seat belt, steering wheel, or airbag, the baby could suffer additional traumatic injuries.
- Emotional trauma. The stress, worry, fear, and sadness that follow a car accident can be debilitating for a pregnant woman or new mom. These emotional injuries could affect the pregnancy and increase the chances of post-partum depression.
If the Albuquerque car accident was not your fault, you should not have to bear the financial burden of these devastating outcomes. Our personal injury legal team in New Mexico will help you achieve the best possible result.
Potential Long-Term Effects of a Car Accident Injury During Pregnancy
A car crash attorney who understands the cost of long-term injuries will be prepared to demand a settlement that will compensate you for the years of medical care and support you and your baby will need. Potential costly outcomes of a car crash during pregnancy include:
- Birth defects. A baby who suffers permanent injury in utero could need a lifetime of medical care, therapy, adaptive equipment, special schools, and more.
- Premature baby. Medical care in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you have insurance, you should not be burdened with the cost if the crash was caused by a negligent driver.
- Emotional damage. Maternal depression, stress, and PTSD can affect a mother’s ability to bond with and care for her newborn, which can impact the baby’s health and ability to thrive. Ongoing counseling and support can be expensive.
- Lost income. If you are unable to return to work because of your injuries or because you have to care for your baby, the lost income could have a serious financial impact on your family.
Our experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyers understand that a car accident settlement is about more than the immediate costs your family incurs. We have the knowledge and resources to project the long-term financial impact of car accident injuries on an expectant mother and her baby, and we will put that to work for you.