Even though your body is designed to help protect your unborn child, slip and fall accidents during pregnancy can still result in injuries. If you were involved in an accident caused by another party's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for harm to both you and your baby.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Can Cause Pregnancy Complications
Falls during the first trimester of pregnancy are unlikely to cause harm to your baby, even though you may be injured. The walls of the uterus are made of thick and strong muscles while the amniotic fluid acts as a cushion. Additionally, in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is still tucked behind the pelvic bone.
Falls during the second or third trimester are more likely to cause serious injuries to both you and your child. Any fall that involves a direct blow to the abdomen is of particular concern.
Symptoms that could indicate a fall has caused harm to your unborn baby include:
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Uterine contractions
- Baby isn’t moving
Slip and fall accidents during pregnancy can cause contractions, placental abruption, a loss of amniotic fluid, fetal skull injury, or fetomaternal hemorrhage. Women with an Rh-negative blood type have the potential for internal bleeding that could negatively affect the fetus, but an injection known as a Rhogam is sometimes used to reduce the risk of this complication.
Your care provider can determine if a fall has caused complications with your pregnancy by using a Doppler or ultrasound to measure fetal heart tones. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring may also be recommended.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident claim is a type of personal injury claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can file a claim if maintenance issues in the area where you fell were the cause of your accident. For example:
- You slipped on a wet floor because there was no sign.
- You tripped on ripped or loose flooring.
- You used stairs where there was no handrail to hold onto.
- You missed an obstacle in your path due to poor lighting.
- You fell due to unexpected trash or debris in the area.
- You tripped on a pothole in a parking lot.
It's well-known that pregnancy affects a woman's balance. However, this does not mean that you are automatically responsible for the accident. Property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to those who are lawfully on the premises, including individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that affect their balance.
If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident due to a factor not related to your pregnancy, you can still file a personal injury claim. Your settlement will simply be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident while pregnant, seeking medical attention should be your first priority. However, you should also take the following steps to help preserve your right to compensation:
- Report the incident to the owner or manager of the property where you fell.
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who saw the accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene from different angles.
- Write down your memories of the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Keep your clothing and the shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident as evidence.
The Value of Legal Representation
Although Louisiana law typically allows you one year from the date of the accident to file your claim, it's best to begin the process as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can prepare your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries and bonding with your baby.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?
If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.