Researchers from Toronto recently found that women who are in their second trimester of pregnancy are significantly more likely to be involved in a car accident that requires medical attention. We blogged about this phenomenon earlier this year.
The researchers gathered information based on hospital visits, and it is not surprising that pregnant women may just be more likely to seek emergency treatment after a minor crash than they would otherwise. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, and it got us thinking; what should you do if you are injured in a car accident while pregnant?
Call 911 Right After The Car Accident
Pregnant or not, we always recommend seeking medical attention immediately after a car accident. Adrenaline can be known to dull pain. After a crash, adrenaline is pumping, and you might not realize how severe your injuries are.
If you’re pregnant, it is especially important to call 911 or emergency services if you experience any of the following after a crash:
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Pain in the stomach or pelvis
- You believe the umbilical cord is bulging into your vagina (Cord Prolapse)
**According to WhatToExpect.com, if you suspect cord prolapse, get on your hands and knees to take pressure off of the cord while you wait for help to arrive.
When to Call Your OB-GYN
Whether or not your accident was severe enough to go to the emergency room, we recommend you call your OB-GYN following ANY car accident.
Your doctor will tell you what symptoms to look for in the hours, days, and weeks after the crash. Typically, these symptoms include:
- Swelling in your face or fingers
- Noticeable change in the frequency or strength of your baby’s movements
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Severe or unrelenting headaches
- Leaking fluids or increased vaginal discharge
- Pain in the abdomen or shoulder
- Chills or fever
- Persistent vomiting that seems unconnected to morning sickness
- Dizziness or fainting
Again, these symptoms are what you will be told to look for AFTER you’ve already contacted your OB-GYN
High-Risk Pregnancies & Specialized Treatment
If any trauma occurs to the mother while she is pregnant—be it a car accident, a severe slip and fall, or an injury to the abdomen—the remainder of the pregnancy will likely be considered “high-risk.” A high-risk pregnancy can create complications before, during, and/or after the birth of the child that can affect both the mother and the baby.
With high risk pregnancy comes high medical bills, and lost wages. After the crash, an OBGYN will determine what specialized treatment is available to an expectant mother who has been injured. For example, while pregnant, you might not be able to undergo traditional physical therapy.
Premature Birth Caused By A Car Accident
A healthy pregnancy typically lasts about 9 months. In car accidents, the trauma of the impact can sometimes cause a woman to go into labor early, potentially leading to health risks for the baby and the mother.
In a Car Accident While Pregnant?
If you are involved in a car accident while you’re pregnant, the insurance company for the at-fault driver may try to deny medical bills due to your “pre-existing condition.” They may argue that bills associated with your pregnancy would not be covered. Because of the unique situation, it is especially important that you speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer right away. Our office always offers free consultations. Just call 314-444-4444.