Car Accident Cases Involving Pregnant Women in Norfolk
Automobile accidents are dangerous for anyone who is involved, but they pose a particularly serious risk to women who are pregnant. The jarring force that can come from a violent collision between vehicles can have a number of harmful effects on both mother and child, some of which may even be life-threatening.
Because of the unique hazards they face and the expensive nature of associated medical care, car accident cases involving pregnant women in Norfolk are often a lot more complicated than standard-issue car wreck claims. Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable car accident attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could be crucial to ensuring you and your unborn child can get the medical attention and financial recovery you need after such an unfortunate incident.
What Effects Could a Car Crash Have on a Mother and Unborn Baby?
One of the most common injuries that unborn children may experience as a result of car accidents is placental abruption. This occurs when the placenta separates partially or entirely from the uterine wall, preventing the baby from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to develop. For mothers, this condition can lead to hemorrhaging, internal bleeding, and premature labor, and it may significantly increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Depending on the type of accident they are involved in, an unborn child may also or alternatively sustain a direct injury due to trauma sustained during a wreck. Other common injuries seen in Norfolk, VA car wreck cases involving pregnant women include uterine rupture and lacerations, both of which may be life-threatening to the mother and child if not immediately addressed by a qualified medical professional.
It is also very common following the trauma from a car accident for the mother to start experiencing contractions or other complications, which often require fetal monitoring, and additional test and observation.
The Mother and Unborn Child May Both Have Separate Injury Cases
When a pregnant woman is injured in a motor vehicle accident, she can make a personal injury claim for her physical injuries and ailments resulting from the accident. For example, if a serious car accident causes a mother to go into early labor resulting in an emergency delivery with c-section and a longer hospital stay, the cost of the c-section and additional hospital stay, along with the associated pain, scarring, and terror, is compensable under Virginia law.
The unborn child involved in a car accident may also have a separate personal injury claim. For example, if the unborn fetus experiences physical injury within the womb an injury claim can be made for those injuries to the child.
A very common and tragic example would be a ruptured placenta following a car accident resulting in a premature birth. The mother would have an injury claim result from her injuries and the early birth. If the child is born prematurely and requires additional care, testing and even a lengthy stay neonatal intensive care (NICU) the associated bills and discomfort experienced by the baby.
Death of an Unborn Baby or Fetus as a Result of an Accident
There was a time under Virginia law that if a woman miscarried or a fetus died as a result of a car or truck accident, the mother was limited to pursing her own personal injury claim.
In 2012, Virginia amended its Death By Wrongful Act law to include the death of an unborn child. Now, Virginia Code Section 8.01-50(B) states that that now in the tragic case of a fetal death, the natural mother of the unborn baby can bring a wrongful death claim for the loss of the child.
Pregnant Mothers Seeking Increased Compensation in a Car Wreck Claim
No matter what specific injury a pregnant mother or her unborn child suffers in a car accident, their ensuing medical expenses are likely to be much greater than those another accident victim might face. As any expecting mother knows all too well, prenatal medical care can be costly even under the best circumstances, and the specialized care that pregnant women may require after a serious accident can lead to additional financial burdens that parents may not be prepared to take on.
These extra costs—not to mention the importance of ensuring an unborn baby is as healthy as possible following an accident—are a big reason why retaining a skilled personal injury or wrongful death attorney in Norfolk can be so important for car accident cases involving pregnant women. A dedicated lawyer could demand payment not only for emergency medical expenses, wage losses, and other damages resulting from a car wreck, but also ensure expecting mothers are compensated for future losses as well. These expenses could potentially include the costs of premature childbirth and any expenses associated with a developmental disability on the part of the child.
Our Norfolk Attorneys Could Help Pregnant Women Pursue Car Accident Cases
No mother wants to imagine they might get caught up in an auto accident while they are pregnant. If someone else’s negligence caused you or your child to suffer physical injury in this way, understanding and taking advantage of your legal options may be critical to preserving both your future prospects and those of your unborn baby.
Seeking positive outcomes to car accident cases involving pregnant women in Norfolk, VA is generally much easier with help from a seasoned lawyer. Call today for a free consultation.