As an expectant mother, you take care to avoid injury and live a healthy lifestyle so that you can give birth to a healthy baby. Unfortunately, some threats to your future child can be unavoidable.
One such threat is a car accident. Crashes can cause serious injury to both the mother and the unborn child, leading to complications in the pregnancy and, in some cases, loss of the fetus. These added concerns can make arriving at a settlement more complicated for pregnant women than for most car accident victims.
If you were injured in a car accident while pregnant, no amount of money can ever truly make up for the loss of your child. The amount you can seek in an injury claim will depend on the extent of your injuries, the extent of complications to your pregnancy, and whether the fetus survived.
Texas law is particularly favorable to expectant mothers. Understanding what factors can affect your case will help you to determine what legal steps you need to take. When you are ready to discuss a personal injury claim, the Houston car accident lawyers of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. are here to help.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident While Pregnant
There are a number of important steps you should take immediately after the accident. These are similar to the steps that anyone involved in an accident should take, but the pregnancy brings in additional concerns.
Here are the basic steps you should take immediately after being injured in a car accident while pregnant:
- Call 911, even if you do not think you need an ambulance. The police who arrive will write up a report that will later be used as evidence.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident.
- Talk to any witnesses you see nearby and record their accounts of the accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Seek medical attention, even if you think you are fine. Make sure the doctor you see knows that you are pregnant.
- See your OB/GYN, even if you think the fetus is fine. Injuries to or even loss of a fetus may not be immediately apparent, but your OB/GYN will be better equipped to see what damage has been done.
- Save all medical records. You will need these if you need to file an injury claim.
After you have taken every step to ensure you and your unborn child’s safety and to gather evidence, you should discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney to find out more about your legal options.
How Fetal Injuries and Pregnancy Complications Can Affect Your Settlement
Any car accident victim can seek damages for medical costs, car repairs, pain and suffering, and other, miscellaneous recovery-related costs. Being pregnant introduces other related considerations. Here are some of the ways that injuries to the fetus and complications to your pregnancy can affect your settlement:
- If the fetus is injured, you can seek compensation for medical expenses and ensuring a safe delivery.
- If your injuries complicate delivery, you can seek compensation for delivery-related costs, such a C-section.
- If your baby is born prematurely as a result of the accident, you can seek compensation for the medical costs associated with premature birth.
- If your baby is born with injuries or birth defects as a result of the accident, you can seek damages for their resulting medical bills, present and future.
- In any case, you can seek compensation for pregnancy-related care you would not otherwise have needed and for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the complications to your pregnancy and injuries to your unborn child.
These are just a few examples of factors that can affect your settlement. No two car accidents are alike, particularly when pregnancy is involved.
How Losing the Baby Can Affect Your Claim
Any injury while pregnant is cause for great distress. Some expectant mothers face an even greater tragedy as a result of their car accident: the loss of the baby. In many states, losing a fetus could simply mean additional damages for emotional trauma in a personal injury claim. In Texas, however, pregnant women who lose their pregnancy as a result of an accident can actually file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the child.
Under Texas law, for a wrongful death claim, “death” includes for “an unborn child, the failure to be born alive.” An unborn child is considered an individual eligible for a wrongful death claim from the moment of conception. This means that no matter how far along you were before the accident, if it resulted in the loss of your pregnancy, you can seek additional compensation in a settlement or judgment through a wrongful death claim.
Understanding What These Factors Mean for Your Settlement
There are a number of legal options to seek compensation for injuries to you or your unborn child in a car accident. Since personal injury suits are an already-complicated process further complicated by pregnancy-related concerns, it is difficult to give any sort of average amount of compensation you can expect. All of this will depend on the specifics of your case. An experienced Texas injury lawyer can help you to understand what factors are at play in your case and to determine how much you might be able to receive in a settlement.
If you were injured in car accident while pregnant, the Houston car accident lawyers of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys understand how pregnancy complications or the loss of an unborn child can affect a settlement and will fight to secure as much compensation for you as possible.
For more information on how we can help, call us or contact us online now for a free consultation and advice about your best legal options.