What To Do After A Car Accident When You're Pregnant
Pregnant mothers must take extra care after car accidents, including minor fender benders. Even if you did not experience an impact on your abdomen and the accident seems injury-free, it is always best to contact your OB/GYN or midwife and get evaluated to make sure you and your baby are okay.
5 Steps Women Should Take After A Car Accident When You're Pregnant
The first step everyone should take after a car accident, even a minor “fender bender,” is to assess whether anyone was hurt. What seems like a small rear-ender, for example, may still result in whiplash, lacerations, or compression injuries - especially for older or more frail passengers. Pregnant women need to be especially careful to take note of their bodies and wellbeing after an accident occurs.
Let everyone know you are pregnant
Adrenaline is a powerful force. It makes injured people feel no pain even when injuries are present. This is why pregnant mothers must take special precautions after a car wreck. Adrenaline can mask underlying issues that deserve immediate medical attention.
If you make others at the accident scene aware that you are pregnant, they can help you get the support and care you need.
Follow standard post-car accident procedures if it is safe to do so
If you are 100% sure you do not need immediate medical attention and everyone has been safely removed from the danger of passing traffic, take a few minutes to follow standard post-accident protocols:
- Contact the police
- Take pictures of the license plates of cars involved
- Get photos of other drivers’ licenses, vehicle registration, and insurance cards
- Take pictures of all of the vehicles involved for accurate damage reports
- Get the contact information of witnesses on the scene
Contact your healthcare provider
If you did not do so immediately after the accident, contact your healthcare provider after leaving the scene. Even if EMTs or medical first-responders gave you an all-clear, these providers are not specialty physicians like your obstetrician (“OB”). It is imperative that you speak with your OB or midwife to describe the accident, what and how your body was impacted, how you are feeling, and critical next steps.
In most cases, your medical providers will recommend coming in for an exam. By the time you arrive at the office, you should have recovered from the initial shock of being in a car accident while you're pregnant and you will be better able to assess if anything feels different than usual.
Let your auto insurance company know about your car accident when you're pregnant
The insurance companies want to know about the accident as soon as possible. Therefore, even though the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is two years, you are obligated to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident takes place.
Your insurance agents will initial information about the accident from you. Your insurance company will then continue its investigation by utilizing the information from the police report, other witness testimony, and in-person inspection of the vehicles and the accident site. Be sure to inform your insurance company that you are pregnant and let them know you visited the doctor. If you have not already seen your medical provider, odds are your insurance company will encourage you to do so.
Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer for peace of mind
Some accidents are more straightforward than others. If you are not feeling comfortable with the way the police or the insurance agents are handling your car accident, schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Being in a car wreck when pregnant is not only scary, but it also takes the focus off the most essential things in your life – the joy of your impending motherhood.
Rather than field the stress, anxiety, and logistics associated with a car accident, a competent personal injury attorney can provide expert advice and handle all of that for you. In addition to peace of mind, we make sure the insurance companies (a for-profit industry) do not take advantage of your situation and rush your case through by offering a minimum payout in order to trick you into pursuing what you deserve.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are certain instances when you should pursue support from a personal injury lawyer after an accident. Examples include:
- You have sustained serious injuries
- Someone involved in the accident was killed
- Other parties claim you were at fault when you were not
- Insurance companies are not settling promptly
- It is clear the insurance companies are offering you less money than you know you are entitled to
- Accident-related bills add up to $10,000 or more
- Injuries you have sustained are known to have long-lasting effects
- You are getting conflicting or confusing information from your insurance company representatives
Do any of these ring true for you? If so, contact Burneikis Law. (510) 328-3238. We will compassionately accompany you as you navigate through the insurance claims process. The attorneys at Burneikis Law will give you peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery after having a car accident while you're pregnant. Our initial consultations are always free and carry no obligation.