When we think about car accident injuries, we think about the passengers and the driver, family members and friends. However, injuries to fetuses resulting from car accidents also occur to thousands of families each year. The trauma, emotional distress and mental anguish resulting from the loss of an unborn child can be devastating to an expecting couple, especially if conceiving has not been easy. Injured survivors in such wrongful death cases suffer financial losses including medical expenses and may also suffer psychological issues such as depression.
Fetal Car Accident Injuries are Common
According to Advocates for Auto Safety During Pregnancy (AASP), car accident injuries pose the greatest risk of maternal trauma leading to fetal death. In the U.S. about 4% or about 160,000 pregnant drivers and passengers are involved in a police reported car accident each year.
AASP provides a list of suggestions on how to reduce or avoid the risks of a fetal car accident injury during pregnancy:
- Reducing travel,
- Decreasing crash risk, and
- increasing occupant protection.
Use Seat Belts Properly While Pregnant
The proper use of restraint systems is especially important for pregnant women. In a car accident, a seat belt is the best protection for both you and your unborn child. Three point belts should be used at all times. According the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the lap belt should be worn along the hipbone, under the abdominal bulge, as low on the hips as possible, and against the upper thighs–never above the abdomen, as this could cause major car accident injuries. The shoulder belt should lay across the chest (between the breasts) and away from the neck. Never place the shoulder belt off the shoulder, behind your back or under your arm.
The safest position is in a middle seat equipped with a shoulder harness. If your vehicle has an airbag, always leave it operational and continue to wear your seatbelt—airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. It is best to have at least ten inches between yourself and the steering-wheel column, particularly if it has an airbag. Consider using the passenger seat until the baby is born if airbag/steering wheel clearance cannot be maintained, especially late in pregnancy. Finally, purchase and ride in vehicles with high vehicle safety ratings.
Contact Us About Your Car Accident Injury
If you have been involved in a car accident injury and have sustained injuries to you or your child, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC Attorneys at Law today. We offer a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys, who will review the details of your case and advise you on the best approach to getting the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury.