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Car Accidents Increase Risk of Fetal Death or Injury| Laporte Car Accident Lawyer

Guy DiMartino Oct. 25, 2016

A recent medical journal notes that fetal death and injury are increased in car accidents. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine looked at the risk of fetal injury in car accidents. The concern for healthcare providers has to do with blunt trauma to the abdomen. The force or pressure can damage organs and/or the fetus.

The authors reviewed over 800,000 files and determined that car accidents caused a higher incidence of:

  • Premature rupture of the membranes

  • Placental abruption

  • Premature birth

  • Stillbirth is 3x more likely to occur in pregnant woman not wearing their seat belts

Indiana Child Wrongful Death Statute

If a pregnant woman is injured in an automobile crash, and the fetus passes away because of the injuries, can the parents bring a claim for the wrongful death of their baby? In 2002, the Indiana Supreme Court said no in Bolin v. Wingert.

This is what happened in Bolin. A pregnant woman was rear-ended and suffered a miscarriage. She brought a claim under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act. The trial court dismissed the case finding that she could not bring the claim. The Supreme Court agreed with the trial court finding that a “child” under the law is not an 8-10 week old fetus. The court did allow the mother to proceed with her pain and suffering claim related to her miscarriage.