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After a Car Accident, a Pregnant Woman's First Priority

A car accident can be a frightening experience for anyone, but for a pregnant woman it can be especially nerve-wracking. Not only does she need to think about damage to the car and her own injuries, she must consider possible injury to her unborn child.

If you are pregnant and in a car accident, your first priority is getting medical attention. Worrying about fault and hiring auto accident lawyers can come later.

Risks to a Pregnant Woman in a Car Accident

The sudden stopping motion, either from the crash or from braking to avoid a crash, can jostle a woman enough to harm her baby. You do not need to suffer a blow to your abdomen for your baby to be injured; even a low-speed impact could cause injury, especially in a high-risk pregnancy. A more serious accident can increase the risk of causing a high-risk pregnancy.

The trauma of a car accident can increase the chances of a number of pregnancy complications, including:

  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Cesarean section
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Birth defects
  • Placental abruption (the placenta detaches from the womb)

If any of these things happen to you after your car accident, personal injury lawyers experienced with auto accident injuries can help you determine if you have a case against the other driver.

Get Immediate Medical Attention After a Car Accident

It is always a good idea to see a doctor if you have been in a car accident, but it is especially important for a pregnant woman. Even if you do not believe you were injured in the crash, your baby could be. The risk of injury is higher after the 12th week of pregnancy because the fetus is no longer protected by your pelvis. Tell the paramedics and doctors you are pregnant so they can check on your baby.

Whether or not you have already seen a doctor, if you notice any of these symptoms after a car accident, go to the emergency room:

  • Dizziness
  • Swelling in your fingers or face
  • Severe headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in your shoulders or abdomen
  • Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Persistent vomiting not caused by morning sickness
  • Your baby's movements change

You will eventually need to file insurance reports, damage claims and possibly personal injury claims, but your first priority immediately after the crash is to take care of your unborn child. After you have gotten the necessary medical care, a personal injury lawyer can help you with your legal issues.