Women do not stop driving when they become pregnant. And unfortunately car accidents do not discriminate between pregnant, non pregnant, men, women, children or any other classification. So a pregnant woman becoming involved in an car accident is not an unusual event. However, being pregnant and in a car accident does lead to a heightened medical examination by first responders and other medical personnel. This heightened examination is not only to examine the well being of the baby, but also the changes in the mother’s body that could lead to a premature birth of the child.
Three Things To Do If You Delivered Prematurely Following A Car Accident
- Gather medical records: It will be important to thoroughly review all of your medical records from the beginning of pregnancy leading up to the delivery. These records will help support any claim that the car accident caused the premature birth. For example, one of the most common notations in your medical records will be your blood pressure. Often times the car accident will send your blood pressure sky high. If doctors cannot control this, it may lead to a premature birth of your baby. The medical records will be able to establish a consistent pattern of blood pressure in the weeks prior to the car accident, and then the sudden spike following the car accident. If there are no other outside factors, the conclusion will be the car accident most likely caused the spike in blood pressure.
- Talk to your doctor: Express your concerns about the car accident to your doctor – even if you have only been in a car accident but haven’t delivered, you should still express your concern to your doctor and ask them for signs to look for that may be unhealthy for you or your baby. If you already delivered prematurely, ask your doctor whether they think it was because of the car accident. Your doctor’s goal is to keep you pregnant full term – they know the benefits of this for the baby. If you deliver prematurely, they have – in a sense – not accomplished their goal of keeping you to full term, therefore they will likely be very open about their thoughts on why you delivered prematurely. This may also provide you with some answers that will help alleviate any concerns about the car accident. Your doctor may have a perfectly sound explanation that does not involve the car accident. You need to know this answer because of you try to take action against the other driver, you can be sure they will take your doctor’s deposition and discover these facts at some point. It is better to know all the information up front.
- Have your baby examined: With any premature birth, you need to have the child’s doctors keep a close eye on any problems, especially developmental issues. Obviously developmental issues may not be observed immediately, but you should not wait to have an open dialogue with your child’s doctors about the possible impact of being born premature. These doctors are going to be the key to any claims against the other driver because being premature alone is not necessarily a bad thing. It is only if the premature birth creates some problems with your child, that you would look to the other driver for compensation to pay for the additional care and issues caused by the accident.
So, should you file a lawsuit against the other driver for causing you to have a premature birth? It is hard to say without knowing the information above. The real question comes down to whether you can prove any harm was done. Sometimes premature births result in the baby being taken away immediately and places into a special unit for monitoring. This can be devastating to the mother to not get to hold, hug and love on her child immediately after birth. There are also often additional costs involved that would not be present in a full term birth. You can see how damages can begin to develop that would support a lawsuit. Add these types of facts to some developmental issues with the child, and you have a very serious claim. But if your child develops, and you have minimal costs above those of a regular full term birth, you may want to simply be grateful that everything worked out well for you, and move on with the matter – lawsuits are not fun.