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Injuries To A Fetus After A Car Accident


In an age where thankfully, most pregnancies without other medical complications happen without incident or problem, it may surprise you to learn that the most common cause of the death of a fetus is not medical error, or anything that has to do with medicine. It has to do with a car accident.

Fetus Deaths After an Accident

By some estimates, car accidents are the leading cause of the death of a fetus. There are as many as 5,000 pregnancy terminations or deaths of fetuses, all caused by car accidents.

And no, a mother doesn’t need to suffer a direct impact to the stomach to sustain injury to a fetus—in fact, regardless of where the impact was suffered, it doesn’t even take a major impact at all to result in the death (or severe injury) of a fetus. Even a moderate impact, such as the kind that is often sustained in “routine” car accidents, can end up costing the life of an unborn child.

Stress on the Mother

And it’s not just the impact on the fetus that can terminate the pregnancy. Just the stress of the mother, in dealing with the aftermath of the accident and her own injuries, can be enough to damage the fetus, or cause problems with the child within the womb.

Preeclampsia, a condition related to a mothers’ high blood pressure, can lead to the placenta tearing, damage to the fetus’ organs, or death.

Common Conditions Brought on by Accidents

The typical impact of a car accident can damage a fetus in a number of different ways.

One common way is what is known as shaken baby syndrome—something usually associated with babies after they are born.

All this means is that the baby’s brain has been shaken, and damaged, inside the skull, because of impact. It is no different than an adult who suffers a concussion, except that the baby’s brain and skull aren’t fully developed, and the damage caused to the brain can be lifelong and permanent, if not deadly.

A fetus can suffer an abruption, which is where the placenta separates from the woman’s body. This can be life threatening—not just to the fetus, but to the mother. Other non-fatal but equally catastrophic events can occur, such as being born prematurely, or having internal bleeds.

And there is the ever prevalent risk of a miscarriage, which is known to be brought on by trauma to the baby or the mother.

A Lifetime of Damages

Anytime premature delivery is a risk, as it is in many conditions caused or brought on by car accidents, there is always the risk of lifelong disability, either physical or mental. Because the child/victim is just a fetus, this means that there may be a lifetime of medical needs, or lost wages, if the disability is so severe that the child would never be able to work as an adult.

Did you have a fetus injured in an accident, or complications during pregnancy because of an accident? Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today.




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