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Car Accident Cases Involving Pregnant Women in Chesapeake, VA

While anyone involved in a motor vehicle collision is at risk of sustaining serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, women who are pregnant have an especially high risk of suffering catastrophic harm in situations like this, either to them or to their unborn child. Either way, financial recovery following this kind of incident can be especially complex, but also important in light of the specialized medical treatment that pregnant women need both before and after childbirth.

Car accident cases involving pregnant women in Chesapeake often necessitate guidance from personal injury lawyers experienced in navigating cases of this type. An experienced and compassionate Chesapeake car accident attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could be a crucial ally for you and your entire family in the wake of an incident like this.

Unique Risks for Pregnant Women in Car Wrecks

The amount of force involved in a crash between two motor vehicle vehicles even at relatively low speeds is often enough to cause lasting physical harm to the occupants of both cars, ranging from comparatively minor injuries like ligament strains and broken bones to permanent disability or disfigurement caused by damage to the face, spine, or brain. In addition to all these types of injuries, pregnant women are susceptible to several unique forms of harm that may permanently alter their life or that of their unborn child.

One of the more substantial risks that pregnant women are exposed to in the event of a car crash is a placental abruption. This occurs when the placenta separates either partially or entirely from the uterus prior to childbirth. Placental abruption can lead to the fetus being deprived of essential nutrients and oxygen, and it can also lead to a pregnant woman suffering from internal bleeding or hemorrhaging, going into labor early, or miscarrying.

Uterine injuries and blunt force injuries directly to unborn children are also unfortunately common effects of car accidents in Chesapeake involving pregnant women. The injuries, harms and losses experienced by both mother and unborn (or prematurely born) child can be claimed as damages under Virginia law. A qualified attorney could discuss in detail on a case-by-case basis what damages and compensation may be available to both a pregnant woman and her child following a motor vehicle accident.

Filing Deadlines for Car Accident Claims in Chesapeake

Most personal injury cases involving adults arising from car accidents in Virginia are subject to a two-year statutory filing deadline in accordance with Code of Virginia §8.01-243. Because this statute of limitations only allows two years after the date an accident occurs for an injured person to start seeking civil compensation, it is generally best to promptly consult with an experienced Chesapeake personal injury lawyer.  The statute of limitation for a child in many cases is tolled until the child is 18 years old.

Sometimes following a Chesapeake car accident, the mother will be forced into labor and deliver a child prematurely.  This often leads to longer hospital stays for both mother and child, and well as large medical expenses as a result.  Unfortunately, being born prematurely can also come with additional complications and difficulties for the child.

There are other occasions following a car accident in which a pregnant mother begins to experience contractions, but doctors are able to intervene and prevent premature birth.  While a mother’s body does a great job of protecting an unborn child, there are certainly instances in which the unborn child is injured.

While prompt consultation with a personal injury lawyer is always advisable, an experienced injury attorney will often recommend that someone wait until after the child is born to be sure that are no complications at the time of delivery that may be linked back to the car wreck.

Common Injuries that Pregnant Women Experience During a Car Accident

Pregnant women and their unborn children involved in a car crash have a particularly high risk of sustaining traumatic harm as a result of the incident. On top of common crash-related injuries like broken bones, soft tissue injuries, and traumatic brain and spine damage, there are several unique forms of harm pregnant women can experience in these situations that could put both their life and that of their unborn child at risk.

Injuries to pregnant women in Chesapeake car accidents can make for especially complex personal injury claims and cases, so having an experienced attorney’s help can be especially important to achieving a positive outcome. The team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could assess a pregnant woman’s case if she suffered injuries in an auto accident and determine if she has the grounds to make a personal injury claim.

Placental Abruption

The single most common cause of fetal loss connected to automobile accidents is placental abruption, which involves the placenta being separated from the uterine wall and therefore depriving an unborn fetus of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to develop properly. The location of the placenta within the uterus has little to no effect on a mother’s risk of sustaining this injury. Any compression of the mother’s body between vehicle components or from an airbag deployment could potentially lead to this type of harm, sometimes even in relatively minor incidents.

Placental abruptions are correlated with a substantial increase in fetal mortality rate, primarily because this injury often leads to early delivery but otherwise can have few noticeable symptoms. These injuries may also cause severe hemorrhaging and/or internal bleeding inside the uterus, putting the mother at risk of serious long-term harm. After seeking any necessary medical attention for the injuries she sustained in a car accident, it is advisable for a pregnant woman to speak with an experienced Chesapeake attorney.

Uterine Injuries

Because the uterus increases substantially in size during pregnancy, it is, unfortunately, more prone to sustaining structural damage in the event of a car accident. Accordingly, another common injury sustained by pregnant women in car wrecks is uterine rupture. This occurs when the uterus tears in one or more places due to external trauma.

Uterine injuries often stem from pressure placed on a pregnant woman’s abdomen by a tightening seatbelt, although it can also stem from an impact against the dashboard, steering column, or another part of the car’s interior. Tears and lacerations of the uterus can occur even without any external object penetrating a pregnant woman’s skin. Because some of these injuries can go unnoticed it is always a good idea for pregnant women in Chesapeake to seek medical attention quickly after a car accident to ensure they and their unborn child have not sustained serious or potentially life-threatening injuries.

Direct Fetal Injuries

In some circumstances, unborn children can sustain direct trauma during a car wreck, potentially putting them at serious risk of future disability or disfigurement even sometimes without their mother sustaining serious physical injury herself. Direct fetal injuries most often take the form of head trauma sustained due to an external impact, which can lead to birth defects and other serious conditions.

Other Injuries Pregnant Women May Suffer in Chesapeake Car Accidents
Even if neither mother nor unborn child sustains any direct injury during a car crash, there are other types of harm that can lead to serious long-term consequences for both parties. Physical and emotional stress from a wreck can lead to complications like premature delivery, low birth weight, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and emergency cesarean delivery, any of which could leave a newborn child with lifelong health problems.

Other Injuries that Pregnant Women May Suffer Following a Car Accident in Chesapeake, VA

Even if neither mother nor unborn child sustains any direct injury during a car crash, there are other types of harm that can lead to serious long-term consequences for both parties. Physical and emotional stress from a wreck can lead to complications like premature delivery, low birth weight, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and emergency cesarean delivery, any of which could leave a newborn child with lifelong health problems.

A Chesapeake Attorney Could Help a Pregnant Woman Following a Car Accident

Litigation following car crashes can be complex in numerous ways and for numerous reasons. Unfortunately, this difficulty can be especially tricky to handle in car accident cases involving pregnant drivers in Chesapeake. Therefore, in these cases, seeking assistance from knowledgeable legal counsel can be especially important to achieving fair recovery.

A seasoned auto wreck attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could be the ally you and your family need to be sure you are paid fairly and treated fairly by the insurance companies.

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