Pregnant While In a Car Accident?
Any type of car accident can be extremely dangerous and even consist of life threatening or life-long conditions. While some have more luck than others, what happens to those individuals that are expecting a child? Any injuries to the mother can also cause serious harm to the fetus, and may even result in a miscarriage. The physical and emotional traumas involved in a vehicle wreck could be enough to cause hemorrhaging, premature labor, traumatic injuries to the infant, or a miscarriage. The legal and insurance processes surrounding a car accident with a pregnant passenger can be more complex than a typical collision in Maryland, District of Colombia, and Virginia. Pregnant while in a car accident can be extremely scary, but taking the right steps after the wreck, is what will help you be able to cover all medical costs to ensure you and your baby are safe.
Call the Police
Maryland law requires an individual to contact law enforcement regarding a motor vehicle accident, if the following occurs:
- There are injuries or potential injuries
- One of the drivers lacks a valid license
- Alcohol may be a factor
- A vehicle will need towing
- The other driver refuses to provide information
- The other driver leaves the scene (attempt to get a description of the car and the plate number)
- There is a disagreement regarding the cause of the accident
A car accident while pregnant is a special case that typically compels a call to the police, even if the damages or injuries are minor.
Calling the police can create an official record of the collision, and help hold the at-fault driver accountable later. The police will document important details of the crash, as well as collect evidence such as photographs or interviews with eyewitnesses. Your insurance company may ask for the police report number during the claims process, or use a police officer’s determination of the cause of the crash to evaluate a claim.
Keep in mind that Maryland law code 20-107 requires that people in a car accident filing an accident report with the Motor Vehicle Administration for accidents that result in bodily injury or death. Both drivers have 15 days to file.
Go to the Emergency Room
Immediate emergency medical care is important after any car accident, but especially so when one of the victims is pregnant. Symptoms that especially point to the need for urgent care include vaginal bleeding, sharp pains in the pelvis or abdomen, umbilical cord prolapse, or a loss of consciousness. Swelling in the face or fingers, change in a baby’s movements, severe headaches, fever, dizziness, or fainting in the days following an accident could also be signs of an emergency.
Go to the hospital if you notice signs of anything amiss in the minutes, hours, or weeks after a car accident. Even if you feel fine, go to the emergency room right away after a car accident. It does not matter how far along you are in your pregnancy or where you sustained an injury. You or your baby could have suffered harms from the gravitational forces of the wreck, blunt force traumas, or the emotional stress of the accident. Prompt medical care could save you or your child’s life.
Going to the hospital after a car accident also shows an insurance company that you took your crash seriously, and did your part to prevent further damage. Delaying medical care, on the other hand, could tell an insurer you did not suffer serious injuries, or that perhaps you contributed to you or your baby’s injuries by waiting too long to seek care.
Call Your Insurance Company
After seeking medical treatment, the next step is to contact your insurance company to let them know you were involved in an accident. In some cases (and depending on your coverage) you may be eligible for a rental car that your insurance covers in the case that the wreck has left your car in inadequate conditions to be driven.
When you contact your insurance company they will request the information from the accident such as; where it took place, time of the accident, any injuries, who was involved, the other person’s contact information, and the police report.
It is extremely important to note that Maryland law supports contributory negligence. This means that even if you were considered a little at fault, you are found guilty as well and may not receive any compensation. If you feel there is even the slightest chance that you also caused the accident, contact a Personal Injury attorney at your earliest convenience. They will be able to help you determine if that is the case, and most important, they will be able to help prove that to the insurance company or in court.
In the case that the defendant admits to being at fault, we still recommend reaching out to a Personal Injury attorney, as some insurance company will only pay the minimum they can, specially when the victim is poorly informed.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Before saying yes to an insurance settlement, consult with a local Maryland car accident lawyer about the value of your car accident claim. If you or your baby suffered any injuries or traumas in the crash, the insurance company may try to categorize your pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. This could lead to a denial of coverage for your medical bills. As someone in a car accident while pregnant, you are in a unique situation. Consulting with an attorney can help you protect you and your child’s best interests.
Any further questions? Great! Feel free to contact Malloy Law at 202-464-0727.