Between the “advice” and expectations from well-meaning family to the stress of the unknown that lies ahead, pregnancy is a wondrous but also worrisome time. If you've been involved in a car accident while pregnant, you’re undoubtedly not only worried about injuries to yourself but also injuries to your unborn child. It’s important to understand your rights and the best way to approach an injury claim after you’ve been in a car crash while pregnant.
What to Do After An Auto Accident While Pregnant
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
In a serious car accident, a witness or bystander may call 911 for emergency medical help. If you’ve been in a car accident while pregnant, it's especially important to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. If you don’t feel hurt at the scene, make sure to see your doctor and let her know that you’ve been in a car accident and report any type of injury or symptom (physical or emotional), even if it seems minor.
File a Police Report
Reporting an accident is mandatory in most states, including New Jersey. In fact, any accident that causes more than $500 in damage is required by law to be reported. If the police are called to the scene, they will make notes about the accident scene as well as take statements from you and any other victims or witnesses. When speaking to the police officer, try to relate as many details of the accident and vehicle as you can. Consider getting an extra copy of the police report for yourself and records.
Continue to Monitor You and Your Baby’s Condition and Report All Effects
Your OB-GYN should continually monitor your baby’s condition and any complications that could arise because of the accident. You should also report any emotional trauma you’re experiencing from the additional stress or mental anguish caused by the accident. Once the baby is born, you should let your child’s pediatrician know about the accident so that any effects can be caught early.
What to Know About Filing a Claim After a Car Accident While Pregnant
You may want to consider delaying your claim until after the birth and the first few months of your baby’s life. Some of the issues caused by the accident may not be apparent until your baby is born or a few months old. By delaying your claim until the medical prognosis is known, you are giving yourself the best chance for compensation for the needed medical treatments and therapies needed for your child. Once you file and settle a claim, you cannot re-open it if you discover other medical issues down the road. That’s why it's so important to not accept the first, lowball settlement offer from the insurance company. Contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you of your options.
However, just because you may decide to wait, you should not wait to start the process. The statute of limitations for filing a claim in New Jersey is 2 years from the date of the accident but the process typically starts well before that time frame.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney is essential to maximize your compensation from damages. He or she can provide you with invaluable advice and will normally handle a case on a contingency basis, meaning that they will not charge you out-of-pocket. Skilled car accident attorneys have experience dealing with insurance companies, law enforcement, doctors, and others, which means they can significantly streamline the investigation and recovery process for you.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help
Are you considering talking to an attorney about a car accident while pregnant? At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we approach every case with compassion and empathy. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.