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What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Posted in Car Accidents on March 23, 2020
A car accident can be a serious occurrence in Washington state. Car accidents can lead to severe injuries, significant property damage, expensive medical bills, and other physical, emotional, and financial issues. If you are pregnant at the time of your accident, you not only have to worry about the effects of the collision on you — you also have to think about the impacts on your unborn child.
Car accidents during pregnancy can have wide-ranging impacts, and can be a source of unneeded stress for you and your family. After a collision, it is important to remain calm, receive prompt medical attention, and contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss what happens next.
Common Types of Pregnancy-Related Car Accident Injuries
If you are pregnant during a car accident, the collision can put you and your unborn child at risk for significant injuries. Some of the most common pregnancy-related car accident injuries include the following.
- Miscarriage is a rare risk during a car accident, since the amniotic fluid protects the child from harm. However, if you suffer injuries to your stomach or uterus or you experience cardiac arrest during the accident, miscarriage can occur.
- Coup injuries occur when a moving object hits your head, and contrecoup injuries occur when your head hits a moving object. Your child is not at risk of these injuries occurring to him or her, since the womb protects him or her from the foreign objects. However, you may suffer a coup or contrecoup injury, and your baby could suffer injuries as a result of shaken baby syndrome.
- A car accident can lead to fetal trauma, or injuries to your baby’s body or brain. If you suffer a lack of oxygen while you are in distress, experience a blow to the abdomen, or experience any other injuries or infections as a result of the collision, your child could be at risk.
- Car accidents can lead to the development of a high-risk pregnancy. Medical professionals label a pregnancy high-risk if the mother has a pre-existing medical condition. If you develop health issues after a car accident, you can have a high-risk pregnancy and require special care and observation during labor and delivery.
Can You Sue If You Are in a Car Accident While Pregnant?
Washington operates on a traditional fault insurance system, which requires the driver responsible for the accident to pay for the damages that other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians suffer during the collision. Under Washington state law, you have three main legal options following a car accident.
- You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You can file a claim with your insurance company, if you have the appropriate coverage.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit in Washington civil court.
You do have the option to file a lawsuit if you are in a car accident while pregnant, but this may not be the first course of action you take. Typically, drivers will file an insurance claim first, and if the insurance company refuses to settle or policy limits are not sufficient enough to cover their injuries, they proceed to the lawsuit stage.
To decide what course of action to take, speak to your attorney first. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be more feasible to file a lawsuit first — especially if your potential damages are higher than what the insurance company would pay you. Always speak to a lawyer before discussing your claim with an insurance representative.
Contact Colburn Law Today
If you are in a car accident while pregnant and suffer an injury to you or your unborn child, you have the right to collect compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit in Washington civil court.
Contact a Seattle car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and begin planning your next steps. A Seattle car accident lawyer can provide a number of benefits for your case, including access to resources, knowledge of the legal and insurance processes, and the ability to handle all necessary paperwork so you can focus on recovery.