Children Injured in Car Accidents
As a parent, one of the most difficult experiences is when your child suffers harm in any way. You do everything you can to ensure their safety, and use extra caution when they are in the car with you. Still, while you make sure to follow all safety laws, no one can control the negligence of others.
If your child has recently been injured in a car accident, we are truly sorry for what this experience has caused you. While we cannot possibly imagine how difficult this time may be for you and your family, we want to help.
You may have discovered this page looking for guidance or advice for what to do next. Perhaps you have also struggled with the guilt every parent is prone to when their child is hurt, believing that you could have somehow prevented it. As parents ourselves, we want to assure you that you did nothing wrong. You may not have been able to control the safety of the road, but you can seek justice for your child and your family – and we can help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, more than 121,350 children ages 12 years and younger were injured in car crashes in the United States.
The attorneys at The Flood Law Firm are experienced in handling cases just like yours, and we want to help you move forward.
Time is of the essence, and if you feel you are ready to discuss your claim today, the attorneys at The Flood Law Firm are ready for your call. Contact us by calling (860)-346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Your child’s and family’s best interest is our top concern.
When a Child Is Injured in a Car Accident
As a parent, it’s difficult to see your child in pain, especially when not much can be done to help comfort them.
Though toddler seats, booster chairs and other safety resources for children have helped prevent serious injuries from taking place, some collisions are so severe that injuries still occur.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control revealed that the deaths of children under the age of 13 in automobile wrecks have declined since 1975. Unfortunately, these types of accidents still account for one out of every four unintentional injury deaths.
What to Do after Your Child Is Hurt in a Car Accident
If you and your child are involved in an automobile wreck, general guidelines apply:
- check for injuries
- seek immediate medical attention
- make a police report
- take images of the crash scene
- record images of injuries to ensure the best medical attention
A child’s injuries can often present difficulties, as he or she may not be able to convey where they are hurt. For this reason, it can also be hard to determine if the child has recovered, or received the proper care for their injuries. While an ER visit is prudent, it is not the final step.
Even if your child has been cleared by the emergency room staff following an accident, it is still necessary to make an appointment with a pediatrician, preferably your child’s regular pediatrician. This doctor will have a record of your child’s medical history and be able to compare his or her current condition to their pre-accident condition.
This examination will be helpful (and essential) if you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim.
After the crash, be sure to keep a detailed account of your child’s behavior. If he or she starts acting differently or responding in a way that lacks resemblance to their pre-accident behavior, inform the pediatrician. Regular follow-up appointments are imperative, too, to help document your child’s progress and determine whether meeting with a specialist is necessary.
Helping a Child Cope after an Accident
Helping a child cope after an accident can prove to be challenging. Your child may not be able to communicate his or her feelings, and you may not be able to understand what or why they are experiencing it.
Depending on the nature of the crash, your child’s injuries can range from mild to severe. The healing process can be confusing for the child, specifically if surgery or hospitalization is needed.
Injuries aren’t the only consequences a child can experience after an accident. Be aware of both emotional and psychological issues, such as nightmares, anxiety, struggling to concentrate, unexplained crying, and social changes.
It’s unsure how long these issues will last, but there are ways to help ensure your child is as comfortable as possible during this time.
While meeting with a pediatrician to examine your child is important, it is just as important to get back into a routine – the same routine you were in prior to the car accident. This will help provide structure and a sense of security that children need at a young age.
Also, encourage your child to participate in regular activities, and resist the urge to be overbearing or too protective, as it could create panic or a feeling of danger. Though you may be inclined to give your child special treatment, it’s better to set rules and expectations. Remember, the best thing for your child is to restore his or her environment pre-accident.
It’s also a good idea to talk about the accident and discuss what happened.
When speaking to your child, consider these tips:
- Address the collision, don’t avoid it
- Exercise emotional self-control
- Resist lying or altering the facts
- Avoid dwelling on the negative aspects of the wreck
- Praise your child for the progress they’ve made
- Remind your child they are safe now
- Affirm your child, remind them they are not to blame
- Finish the conversation on a positive note
While your child’s health and recovery matters, don’t forget about yourself too! Take time to ensure you’re getting the care and treatment you need to move on from the wreck. You can speak with your lawyer about the accident and the trauma and fear openly, and confidentially. Get plenty of rest, seek support from family or friends and get back to a healthy and productive routine.
Common Child Car Accident Injuries
The intention of this portion is not to frighten or induce panic. Instead, familiarizing yourself with possible injuries following an accident can help you identify issues and better prepare for treatment.
Common injuries sustained by children involved in a car crash include:
- Thoracic (Rib and Lung)
- Upper Extremity
- Lower Extremity
Injuries can often be hard to notice, or even take several days to form. Seatbelt placement can leave marks in areas which may have suffered and injury and so it is important to notice what is tender or painful and make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. Some injuries can only be determined by a medical examination from a doctor.
Elements of a Child’s Personal Injury Claim
Concerning a child’s personal injury claim, there are two options to consider:
- The child’s claim for his or her own damages
- The parent’s claim for reasonable expenses
The first claim centers around your child’s own damages, and examines pain and emotional stress and his or her ability to earn a living in the future. This claim will belong to only the child, and will not expire until their 20th birthday.
The second claim is for the parents, and includes expenses such as medical bills or treatment. This claim will belong only to the parents and must be settled, or at least filed as a lawsuit, within three years of the date of the accident.
Parents and children also have the option of combining their claims and filing a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. In this case, the parent has the legal right to control the affairs of the child.
Since these types of cases are complicated and time sensitive, contacting a Connecticut car accident attorney to help you with the process is recommended as soon as possible.
How to Contact a Connecticut Car Accident Attorney
Having your case evaluated is as simple as giving us a call. We are ready and available to hear your story, and our firm has decades of combined legal experience handling cases just like yours. From making phone calls on your behalf to collecting medical records, we will handle all aspects of your case, so that you can focus on what is most important: taking care of your child.
Contact The Flood Law Firm today by calling (860) 346-2695 for a no-cost, no-obligation to assess your claim and determine the best course of action. We want to help you and your family move on with your lives.