When you have been injured in a car accident while pregnant, you can file a lawsuit to recover pain and suffering compensation and economic loss damages from the at-fault driver who caused the crash. You can also file a wrongful death lawsuit if the crash results in a miscarriage of your pregnancy.
It is hard to think of anything more terrifying than being involved in a crash while expecting. Regardless of how seriously you were injured, you must seek medical care as soon as possible. It is important to report your pregnancy to the EMTs who come to the scene of the crash, emergency room personnel, your obstetrician and any other medical specialists you are seeing.
Pain and suffering compensation after car accident while pregnant
If you were injured in a car accident while pregnant, then you may be able to sue the at-fault driver who caused the crash to recover compensation for your pain and suffering as well as economic damages for “excess” medical expenses and lost wages.
In order to recover pain and suffering compensation, Michigan’s auto No-Fault law requires that you be able to show that you suffered an injury and that these injuries meet the threshold test of being a “serious impairment of body function.”
Excess medical expenses and excess lost wages cover those medical bills and wages whose amounts exceed what is covered under the applicable auto insurance policy and/or what is guaranteed to crash victims under the No-Fault law. Proof of a “serious impairment of body function” is not required for excess medical expenses and excess lost wages.
If you suffered a miscarriage
If you have suffered a miscarriage after a crash, then you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused your crash for “wrongful or negligent act against a pregnant individual . . . [which] results in a miscarriage . . . by that individual . . .” (MCL 600.2922a(1); 600.2922(1); 500.3135(1))
A miscarriage occurs when the trauma of an automobile crash results in the death of an embryo (before the end of the 10th week of pregnancy) or a fetus (beginning with the 11th week of pregnancy).
You may be entitled to recover pain and suffering compensation, damages for “the loss of the society and companionship of the deceased,” and damages for “reasonable medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses.” (MCL 600.2922(1) and (6); Johnson vs. Pastoriza, Michigan Supreme Court, 2012, #142127; M Civ JI 45.02 Wrongful Death – Damages)
A wrongful death lawsuit for a miscarriage after a car accident while pregnant must be brought by the personal representative of the estate of the embryo or fetus whose death resulted from the miscarriage. ((MCL 600.2922a(1); 600.2922(1) and (2))
If you were injured in a car accident while pregnant, then you may be entitled to recover No-Fault PIP benefits to pay for crash-related medical bills and to reimburse you for wages you have lost your injuries have disabled you from returning to work.
No-Fault benefits after an automobile crash will also pay for your transportation and mileage costs for traveling to and from doctor appointments as well as for your household replacement services and attendant care services.
In order to recover No-Fault benefits, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits with your auto insurance company within one (1) year of your crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4)) Failure to file this application will result in you being disqualified from ever being able to apply for, recover or sue for No-Fault benefits as a result of the crash that caused your injuries. If you do not have your own auto insurance coverage, then you will generally file your application for No-Fault benefits with your spouse’s insurer, the insurer of a relative who lives in your home or with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
It is important to remember to file an application for No-Fault benefits on behalf of your child once you give birth after your car accident while pregnant. This way, you will ensure that your child will receive any and all No-Fault medical benefits coverage that he or she may need as a result of crash-related injuries suffered while in utero.
Injuries to be aware of
Injuries that a woman or a fetus may suffer from after a car accident while pregnant include: (1) Preterm labor and premature birth; (2) Birth defects; (3) Coup-Contrecoup brain injury; (4) Placental abruption; (5) Premature rupture of membranes (PROM); and/or (6) a High–risk pregnancy.
Symptoms to be aware of
If you experience any of the following symptoms after being in a crash while expecting, you should seek immediate medical attention: (1) Changes in fetal movement or activity; (2) Vaginal bleeding or spotting or increase discharge; (3) Swelling of your fingers or face; (4) Severe or constant headaches; (5) Abdominal or shoulder pain; and (6) Vomiting (that is not related to morning sickness)
Injured in a car accident while pregnant? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you were injured in a car accident while pregnant and have concerns and questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced automobile crash lawyer at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.