If a Miscarriage Occurs after a Car Accident
Expecting a baby is exciting, hopeful and scary. The mother does all she can to take exceptional care of her body and her growing child within. Eating a proper diet, taking pre-natal vitamins every day, and abstaining from the things adults love but babies shouldn’t have like sushi, wine and unpasteurized cheese; expecting mothers do all they can to prepare for a healthy and strong bundle of joy from the first indication they are with child.
Life continues to march on around us and plenty of pregnant women commute to work every day, drive to the market, and all the other little tasks that put humans behind the wheel of a vehicle. The chance is slim, but car accidents can and do occur. If a pregnant woman is involved in a car accident, even a minor one, the risk of losing the baby is increased exponentially. A collision that results in no visible damage to the vehicle can sometimes be the worst kind for an expecting mother because the body absorbs the impact rather than the automobile.
The most common cause of miscarriage following auto accidents is blunt force trauma to the abdominal region. Blunt force trauma can result in placental abruption, maternal shock, or maternal death.
Mothers who lose their pregnancy due to sustained trauma from an auto accident are entitled to compensation from all at-fault and liable parties. However, approximately 10% of pregnancies naturally end in miscarriage without anyone being at fault, especially the grieving mother. Establishing liability after a car accident that may have resulted in a miscarriage can be difficult, but is not impossible if the car accident was indeed the cause for the loss of the baby.
Establishing Liability in a Negligence Case
Here are the steps a court will go through to establish whether or not negligence occurred in a car accident and where liability should be assigned:
1. Duty: the at-fault party had a duty of care to the injured party. Drivers on the road owe other drivers, passengers and pedestrians a general duty of care to drive in a safe and reasonable manner so to prevent accidents and harm.
2. Breach of Duty: the at-fault party breached the duty of reasonable care. Breach of duty can include: speeding, driving under the influence or while intoxicated, distracted driving (texting, eating, grooming), running a red light or failing to stop at an intersection, and drowsy driving.
3. Cause: the established breach of duty was the approximate and foreseeable cause of the accident.
4. Harm: the accident resulted in discernible physical harm to the victim.
Compensation Sought for Tragic Loss
Expectant parents (particularly the mother, whose body undergoes massive changes preparing for childbirth) suffer from severe mental anguish following the loss of a pregnancy. The mother experiences debilitating psychological pain and suffering, sometimes including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fear of trying for another baby in case another miscarriage occurs.
These symptoms may require months or even years of rehabilitation treatment, often in the form of therapy. Aside from the costs of mental recovery, other significant costs include:
- All medical and rehab expenses incurred
- Future medical and rehab needs
- Loss of work, lost salaries and wages
- Loss of future income and income capacity
- Recovery for property damage
Dealing with Tragedy through Litigation
If you have been involved in a car accident that caused you or your partner to lose a child, you should seek legal counsel. Nothing can replace the life you were preparing for, but compensation can help with the physical consequences from medical bills, loss of income and the ability to work, and property damage.