Special Compensation: Pregnancy And Car Accidents

29 March 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog

Pregnancy often prompts the desire to be especially safe and healthy. After all, it's only natural to feel protective and take greater precautions when it comes to the health of your unborn child. Being involved in a car wreck while pregnant can create a situation that is far more serious than the same accident without an unborn child involved. Read on for more guidance on how to stay safe and what to do if you are in a car accident while pregnant.

The Dangers of an Accident

The main rule of thumb is to seek medical care, regardless of how minor you believe the accident to be. Even relatively minor jolts can cause trauma for your baby, even if you feel perfectly fine. The amniotic fluid in your womb works wondrously to cushion and protect your baby, but unfortunately serious complications do occur from car accidents, such as:

  • The start of labor; more seriously, the start of early or preterm labor, which is labor prior to 37 weeks.

  • Water breaking prematurely (which could result in labor, sometimes even preterm labor).

  • Placenta wall separation.

  • Birth before 20 weeks (miscarriage).

  • Stillbirths.

Keeping Safe While Driving

You must continue to use a seat belt while driving (or riding) in vehicles, even when pregnant. Be extremely careful about how you use the belt, however:

  1. Never use the lap only part of the belt; use the three point belt configuration.

  2. Lift up slightly on your lower belly and place the lap portion of the belt under your belly. Make sure the belt fits snugly.

  3. Guide the shoulder section between your breasts; never wear the shoulder part under your arms.

  4. Avoid some of the impact of an air bag by keeping your seat back as far as possible (and still allow safe driving). You can also help lessen the impact of any airbag inflation against your abdomen by keeping the steering wheel tilted slightly upwards.

  5. Try to limit your driving to only two or three hours at a time. Being pregnant can mean that you tire more easily, so take more frequent breaks and get out of the car and walk to help keep your legs from cramping and to help stay alert.

Being involved in a car wreck while pregnant can cause serious issues for you and your baby. If you or your unborn child are injured as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to special compensation due to the circumstances. The at-fault driver's insurance company will seldom be willing to compensate you in a fair manner, so contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Click here for more information about personal injuries and pregnancy.