Pregnancy can be a time of anxiety as much as it is one of hope and wonder. As a pregnancy progresses, changes occur in a woman’s balance and center of gravity. The idea of suffering a slip and fall accident while pregnant is a frightening one for the expectant mother concerned about herself and her child.
Unfortunately, the hazards that cause slip and fall accidents in New York City do not cease to exist when a pregnant woman enters a grocery store or shopping center. Slippery floors, cluttered aisles, uneven walkways, potholes and other dangers can cause a pregnant woman to fall and hurt herself and, in some cases, her baby.
Your body generally does a good job of protecting your unborn child during pregnancy. Still, after a slip and fall accident, it is important to consult your OB/GYN if you are pregnant. If you and/or your child are injured in a fall that was not your fault, you should speak to a slip and fall accident lawyer about whether to seek compensation for your medical costs related to the accident. David Resnick & Associates, P.C. offers a free consultation to review your claim.
Falling While Pregnant: Don’t Blame Yourself
Slip and fall accidents during pregnancy are not uncommon. As a baby grows in the womb, the mother’s center of gravity moves forward, making it easier for her to lose her balance and fall, particularly during the third trimester. A pregnant woman who encounters a hazard that throws her off balance may have a difficult time avoiding a fall.
Falls are the most common cause of minor injury during pregnancy and are estimated to cause 17 to 39 percent of trauma associated with emergency department visits and hospital admissions, second only to car accidents, researchers said.
A study published by Maternal and Child Health Journal says 27 percent of women surveyed had fallen during pregnancy. Among them, 35 percent reported falling two or more times, 20 percent sought medical care and 21 percent had two or more days of restricted activity because of a fall. Only 1.5 percent reported premature labor or delivery due to a fall.
The two factors accounting for 72.5 percent of the falls were stairs and slippery surfaces. Further, a quarter of falls involved women who were carrying additional loads, even though their pregnancy had limited their ability to see the floor and their feet. Women also fell while wearing inappropriate shoes such as high heels and because they did not use handrails on stairs or because handrails were absent.
Women 20 to 24 years old were almost twice as likely to fall compared to those over 35 years.
Fall Injuries During Pregnancy
Falls during pregnancy may result in injury to the mother, including:
- Sprains / strains
- Head injury
- Rupture of internal organs
- Premature separation of the placentafrom the uterus
- Rupture of the uterus and membranes
- Maternal or fetal death
Should I Be Worried About My Baby If I Fall While Pregnant?
The Mayo Clinic explains that your body is designed to protect your developing baby during pregnancy. The walls of the uterus are thick, strong muscles that protect the womb, and amniotic fluid surrounds and cushions the fetus. During the early weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is tucked behind the pelvic bone.
Minor falls during early pregnancy are typically not of concern. But, during the second and third trimester, trauma to your abdomen could harm your baby, the Mayo Clinic says.
The What to Expect site says, “At every stage of pregnancy, your belly is meant to withstand some pretty tough circumstances in order to protect your baby. … It would take a severe accident for any blow to penetrate beyond those protective layers and affect your baby.”
Contact your doctor after a fall to explain what happened and discuss any pain or other symptoms you are experiencing. After a fall toward the end of your second trimester or anytime during your third trimester, see your health care provider as soon as possible, the Mayo Clinic says.
Seek emergency care after a fall if you experience:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Uterine contractions
- Inability to feel the baby move or reduced movement.
Should I Contact a Lawyer About a Slip and Fall While Pregnant?
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by a New York property owner’s negligent maintenance or failure to correct or warn about a hazard, you may have a valid legal claim against the party or parties responsible for your fall.
Commercial property owners and managers who invite guests to commercial venues such as stores, restaurants and theaters have a responsibility to know of any dangerous conditions on the premises and to correct them or adequately warn visitors about them.
Homeowners have similar obligations toward invited guests. If you can show that the property owner failed to meet their legal responsibility for your safety and this negligence led to your accident and injury, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
A NYC personal injury attorney from David Resnick & Associates can assess your accident and potential to bring a successful injury claim during a free consultation. We can investigate the cause of your accident and gather evidence to show your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. In many cases, we are able to negotiate a slip-and-fall settlement without going through a trial.
A proper settlement should provide full compensation for all your losses, including pain, suffering and the distress of harm or possible harm to your baby. If you are contacted by an insurance company and offered a quick settlement, you should have an experienced New York personal injury attorney review it before you agree to accept or sign anything.
Contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., for a free consultation about your slip and fall accident, and we can help every step of the way.