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Can Car Accidents Cause Miscarriages?

Car accidents can be very traumatizing, and trauma can, in some circumstances, cause a miscarriage. That certainly isn’t to say every car accident involving an expectant mother will result in a miscarriage – far from it. However, when a pregnant woman is involved in a serious car accident, it is very understandable to be concerned about her safety and that of her unborn child.

Unfortunately, riding or driving in a car can put pregnant women in a dangerous position. The seat belt pushes against the lower and upper portions of the belly and can put excessive pressure on the unborn baby in the event of a sudden crash. Likewise, the expectant mother may slam into the steering wheel, dashboard, or door in a crash, causing trauma to her belly.

While in the mother’s womb, babies are extremely delicate. Because their health and wellbeing depend solely on their mothers, anything that happens to the mother can significantly affect their own physical and mental development. If the mother is injured in a crash and loses oxygen, for example, it could affect the baby’s oxygen supply, causing brain damage and other serious impairments. Likewise, direct trauma to the mother’s belly could cause the fetus to suffer a broken bone or another similar injury.

Are Miscarriages Often Caused By Car Accidents?

Research tells us that most miscarriages take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, so it may surprise some women to learn that a car accident while in the early stages of a pregnancy, even before the baby begins to show, could result in a miscarriage.

According to a study published in the American Family Physician, 1 in every 12 miscarriages is complicated by trauma, and car accidents are one of the most common forms of traumatic injury. The study goes on to say, “Motor vehicle crashes account for more than 50% of all trauma during pregnancy, with 82% of fetal deaths occurring during these crashes.”

How Could Common Car Accident Injuries Affect Pregnant Women Differently?

Any sudden trauma, such as a car accident, can place a woman at risk for miscarriage. In most cases, however, the crash itself causes an issue that results in miscarriage.

Common car accident injuries include traumatic brain injuriesspinal injuries, broken bones, bruises, lacerations, and road rash. These injuries could be substantially damaging to anyone, pregnant or otherwise, but pregnant women may sometimes be more affected by these injuries.

If a pregnant woman breaks a rib, for example, that broken bone could harm the baby within her womb. Or, physical trauma to her abdomen could do more than just bruise her belly, it could directly harm the baby within.

Besides the physical impact, it is also important to look at the ways in which stress can impact the health of both mother and child. Car accidents are often very high-stress situations, and they can cause the mother’s blood pressure to rise exponentially. Even if the mother survives the crash without a single scratch, high blood pressure could endanger both her and her unborn baby. High blood pressure in a pregnant woman can be extremely dangerous, especially if she is already high-risk, or if she is towards the end of her term.

Car accident injuries can cause pregnant women to experience any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm labor
  • Placental detachment
  • Miscarriage

I Suffered a Miscarriage or Fetal Injury After a Crash—What Now?

If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident while pregnant, the most important thing to do is seek medical attention immediately. Whether you’ve called an ambulance or booked an appointment with your doctor, depending on the severity of the crash, the next step should be to speak with an attorney about your accident. If you were harmed due to someone else’s negligence or mistake, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the liable party. Insurance payments can only go so far, and if you lost your baby during a car accident, or if you or your unborn child experienced any injury, the resulting expenses can be hefty indeed. In such cases, you should hold the liable party accountable for their actions.

Can I Get a Settlement for a Miscarriage Caused by a Car Accident?

After any car accident in Los Angeles, you are allowed to seek compensation for your damages as long as you can prove that you were not 100% at fault for the accident. If you suffered a miscarriage as a result of the accident—whether the miscarriage happened right away or after a few days or weeks—you may be able to obtain compensation for any medical expenses you incur. The same is true if the accident results in premature birth. You may also be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress caused by the accident.

Contact BD&J today if you need to speak with one of our experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys.