When Car Accidents Cause Miscarriages, What Legal Options Do Mothers Have?

by Staff | July 4th, 2022

States don’t include pregnancy status in their accident report databases, but researchers estimate 92,500 car accident-related injuries to pregnant people every year in the U.S. These accidents cause more miscarriages than any other source of trauma.

Research indicates that 1,500 to 3,000 fetal losses occur each year due to trauma from auto accidents. These estimates may not reflect the full scope of the problem due to the absence of reporting requirements and injuries sustained early in pregnancy.

Nothing is more heartbreaking and emotionally devastating than a miscarriage due to a preventable car crash. The terrible loss can result in emotional distress and mental anguish for the mother, which is usually the basis for a claim against the negligent party. Berg Injury Lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to recover restitution for your tragic loss.

How Car Accidents Cause Miscarriage

According to a 2014 study, pregnant women injured in car accidents require hospitalization more often than any other cause. Accidents can cause several injuries that lead to miscarriage, even if the mother seems okay.

  • Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches partially or entirely from the uterus, hindering or severing blood flow to the fetus. This injury accounts for 60-70% of all miscarriages.
  • Premature rupture of the membranes happens when the water breaks before the baby’s due date. This injury dramatically increases the risk of infection and can lead to miscarriage.
  • Uterine rupture can cause hemorrhaging in the mother and fetus. It can lead to fetal loss if it occurs before the fetus can survive outside the uterus or if surgery doesn’t happen quickly enough.
  • Direct trauma to the fetus can cause fatal brain or internal organ injuries.
  • Maternal trauma can damage the mother and fetus’ shared systems, leading to miscarriage.

Every pregnant person should seek medical attention immediately after a motor vehicle accident because injuries to the placenta may not present symptoms right away. Many cases of miscarriage after an accident involve no observable harm to the mother.

If you’ve suffered a miscarriage caused by a car accident, trust the personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to help you get compensated for your loss.

Your Legal Options

If a reckless driver causes your accident, your lawyer may file a personal injury claim. California allows you to pursue compensatory damages for your injuries. You can seek non-economic damages for factors such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life. You can also seek economic damages for calculable expenses like medical bills and lost wages.

If the other car driver acted with malice, fraud, or oppression, for example, the driver was drunk; you may file for punitive damages. The state does not cap compensatory or punitive damages, except in medical malpractice cases.

Unfortunately, California does not allow you to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of your unborn child. The only exception may be if the accident induced labor and your child was born alive but subsequently died due to injuries received during the collision.

Why You Should Hire an Experienced Lawyer

An experienced car crash attorney can help you pursue maximum compensation for your car accident injuries. They can investigate your accident to determine the other driver’s percentage of fault and calculate a fair settlement for your injuries and the emotional fallout of the accident.

Investigate your accident

Your lawyer can investigate your accident to prove the other driver bears liability for your loss. This process includes reading accident reports, studying photographs of the scene, recreating the accident, interviewing witnesses, and looking at your medical records.

Calculate a fair settlement

Personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with attaching monetary figures to non-financial losses. They can use state guidelines to determine a fair amount and consider records of emotional distress, such as a journal where you discuss the emotional impact of the event or therapy receipts.

Negotiate your claim

Lawyers understand the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims. When you don’t have a lawyer, the insurance company may try to get you to make a statement, ask to see your medical records, or suggest you undergo an independent medical evaluation.

The company might also use a variety of excuses, such as requesting additional documents to delay a settlement with the hope you will give up or get you to settle for less than you deserve. Your lawyer can keep your case moving forward and negotiate for the best outcome on your behalf.

Try your case

If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, your lawyer can take the claim to court. Your legal team will prepare you to testify, cross-examine defense witnesses, and provide expert witnesses to substantiate your arguments.

Challenges to Your Claim

Cases in which a car accident causes a miscarriage present unique challenges. You need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help you win your case and hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions.

The defense may argue aggressively that their client did not cause your loss or that your loss doesn’t merit the damages you request. Some arguments that insurance companies or defense lawyers use include:

  • You have other children, so the loss doesn’t matter as much
  • You have a history of abortion or miscarriage
  • You didn’t know about the pregnancy until the accident
  • You don’t have a partner
  • You might have miscarried anyway

Your lawyer must prove that your accident caused your miscarriage to win a settlement. This typically requires a statement from your doctor and an expert medical witness asserting that your injuries accident-related caused the miscarriage. The statement must also agree that the miscarriage would not have happened if not for the accident.

Berg Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Case

Car accidents cause more miscarriages than any other source of trauma in the U.S. The Oakland car accident lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers understand the challenges these cases present and how to navigate them. If you lost a child or children due to a miscarriage after a car accident, our legal team will fight aggressively to protect your rights, even in the face of pushback from insurance companies, because you deserve justice and compensation. Contact us to schedule your free case review.