Yes. Preterm labor or premature birth can be caused by car accidents, and so can other pregnancy injuries. Any pregnant woman who is involved in a car accident needs to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible—even if there are no immediate signs of trouble. While preterm labor is rare, the risk in a car accident is real.
What is preterm labor?
A healthy pregnancy is considered to last approximately 37 weeks from the time of conception. When a baby is born earlier than 37 weeks, it’s called preterm labor.
Any case of preterm labor presents a very real risk to the baby. Generally speaking, the earlier a baby is born before the 37-week mark, the higher the risks are:
- Weeks 33–37: There is a chance of complications for baby, but in some cases the baby will still be born safely. The baby will still need to be monitored after birth just in case.
- Week 32 or earlier: Risk of complications are high. The baby may need assistance with eating and breathing—and will also need to be kept warm. Babies born this early are usually kept in a special controlled environment to help keep them alive.
- Week 26: The closer the birth is to this week, the more severe the complications generally are. Babies born this early face a high risk of dying. They will require intensive measures to help keep them alive and help them develop properly.
How does a car accident cause preterm labor?
There are many ways. One of the most common is seat belt injury. Seat belts are designed to keep us alive, and they’re good at that, but they can also put extreme pressure on the body—especially the abdomen.
Other possible causes include direct injury to the abdomen or fetus, miscarriage, and placenta abruption. Placenta abruption happens when the life-giving placenta that lines the womb gets disrupted and detached, potentially by the force of impact in an accident. It can be life-threatening for the fetus.
What are my rights if my baby was born preterm after a car accident?
This is one of the most difficult times a family can face. The priority at all times needs to be on getting the proper medical care, and having the moral support of those you love. Once you’re able to, you should also speak to a qualified car accident attorney. This is because your family’s loss was caused by an accident, and should be covered by insurance—but insurers are notorious for underpaying the victims in these painful, emotional cases.
We don’t believe that money can even come close to making up for what happened. But we also don’t believe you deserve to be stuck with medical bills, high treatment costs, missed work time and, in many cases, long-term pain for you or your family. That’s why you deserve to get the full amount you have a right to under the law.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
We can connect you with experienced car accident attorneys who know firsthand the pain a preterm birth can cause—and are ready to fight for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.