According to insurance companies, a "low-impact" car accident is when there is little or no visible physical damage to the vehicle(s) involved. Another way that insurance companies have defined a "low-impact" accident is a crash in which the closing speed between the striking car and the struck car is less than fifteen miles per hour. Although many people, especially insurance companies, believe that individuals cannot get hurt in a low-impact car accident, that is simply not the case. And this is especially not the case for pregnant women.
Even minor trauma that results from a low-impact car accident can lead to placental abruption, premature labor, emergency caesarian section, bleeding, or birth defects. Both the actual physical trauma and the resulting emotional distress can lead to pregnancy complications, labor complications, and birth defects. Warning signs to watch out for include, but are not limited to: vaginal bleeding or discharge, dizziness, fainting, stomach pain, abdominal tenderness, persistent headaches, swelling in the hands and face, pain during urination, early contractions, and decreased fetal movement.
Placental abruption is the most common resulting injury from a minor trauma. Placental abruption occurs when the placental lining separates from the woman's uterus; this can cause the death of both the mother and/or the fetus. Vaginal bleeding is the most common warning sign of placental abruption; however, the bleeding is not always external. The bleeding can often times be concealed bleeding that occurs behind the placenta and is only visible upon an internal examination. For this reason, and many others, a pregnant woman should still seek medical attention right away even if she does not experience any symptoms after the accident.
The accident can have serious effects on your unborn child whether you are in your first trimester or just days away from your due date. The importance of seeking medical care promptly after the accident, no matter how minor, can make a huge difference for you and for your unborn child. This is true even if you were wearing your seatbelt properly - which is across your pelvis and not over your pregnant belly - and even if the airbag did not deploy.
If you need an attorney for legal advice on a low-impact car accident that occurred while you were pregnant, Chester County attorney John P. Winicov can help you. We will provide aggressive representation and we will handle your case with the care it deserves.