Pregnancy and Motor Vehicle Crashes

We live in a country that is currently rife with division and full of complicated issues. But if there is anything that seems to bring everyone together, it’s pregnancy and childbirth. In fact, countries around the world celebrate the renewal of life with fun and interesting traditions.

For example, in the Dominican Republic, some expectant mothers predict the sex of their children by choosing to sit in one of three chairs under which silverware has been hidden. One utensil represents a boy; another a girl; and the third means the gender is undetermined. 

But on a serious note, we also understand that special care and attention during pregnancy is imperative. Meeting women’s special health needs during pregnancy can help increase the probability of a healthy child and mother. But some dangers to pregnant women and their babies arise externally, and a pregnant woman is often at risk for sustaining greater harm when injured than others.

A good example is a motor vehicle accident. In this article, we will explore the issues associated with pregnancy and motor vehicle crashes.

Elevated Dangers

Obviously, motor vehicle crashes are dangerous for everyone. However, research indicates that car accidents pose heightened dangers to pregnant women and their unborn babies.

One meta-analysis study determined that pregnant women involved in accidents appear to have increased risk for complications, such as placental abruption, premature delivery, and caesarian section. Additionally, the study shows that motor vehicle accidents were associated with fetal deaths more often than any other cause except obstetric trauma.

Other Types of Injuries Associated with Pregnancy and Motor Vehicle Crashes

Certainly, pregnant women can suffer the same types of injuries suffered by others in automobile accidents. However, there are many additional types of injuries that may result. Below is a sampling:

  • Birth defects - Sometimes the accident causes problems with the pregnant mother’s child. Some are mild and easily treated. Others are extremely serious, such as brain damage.
  • Premature birth - The physical trauma in car accidents, as well as the mother’s stress, can contribute to premature births. This may result in complications. Even if the baby is born healthy, additional expenses are generally incurred to care for the child.
  • Miscarriage - An automobile wreck can result in a miscarriage. This can be a devastating blow to the entire family.
  • Placental abruption - This refers to the placenta separating from the uterus in full or in part before the baby is born.

A Pregnant Mother’s Rights

Treatment and recovery can be more complicated for a pregnant woman. In fact, medical staff are sometimes challenged because the pregnancy can mask some indications of certain injuries. Medical treatment is always expensive, but in the case of a pregnant woman, additional medical requirements may result in even higher costs. 

When a pregnant mother suffers injuries due to the negligence of another, she is entitled under Oregon law to be made whole. This includes the recovery of damages such as doctor, hospital, and other medical bills; drug costs; lost wages; rehabilitation costs; future medical expenses; disability; pain and suffering; and wrongful death damages where applicable. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify and quantify these damages.

Call with Questions

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident while pregnant and you or your baby suffered injury or death, you will likely have questions about your rights. The experienced Oregon personal injury attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to answer them. Nothing is more important than protecting pregnant women and their children from harm. We believe the best way to offer that protection is by holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions. Please call us with your questions or for a free consultation.


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