What Should I Do if My Child was in a Car Accident?

Posted on: March 30, 2021

Any parent would be distraught if their child was involved in a car accident. However, the next steps the parents take after the motor vehicle accident can help alleviate the burden of the related expenses. When car accidents involve children, it may leave the parents wondering what legal steps they can take to ensure compensation for their child’s injuries. A child’s injury will often lead to expensive medical bills. The injury may be severe enough that it causes the parents to miss work to take care of them, leading to lost wages. It can also take an emotional or mental toll on the child as well, especially for children who suffer from severe injuries or paralysis.

Parents interested in compensation for their child’s injuries sustained after a collision should hire a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help a family collect the necessary evidence to hold the guilty party accountable for their actions while also securing much-needed funds to cover medical bills and other expenses related to the child’s injury.

What are Some Common Injuries Sustained by Backseat Passengers?

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), backseat passengers are often more at risk for injuries. In fact, the IIHS found that even in a head-on collision, it is safer for a passenger to be in the front seat. This is alarming, especially since many child passengers sit in the back seat. This heightens the risk of injury, leading to more expenses.

In the study, the IIHS found that many of the backseat passengers suffered head injuries, unlike those in the front seat who often suffered chest injuries. However, many serious injuries can occur from being a backseat passenger, including face lacerations, chest injuries, and head and neck injuries. These injuries may be more severe because many vehicles lack airbags in the back seat, making serious injuries more likely.

What if My Child was Injured in Another Vehicle?

Children who sustain injuries as a passenger in another driver’s car accident are considered fault-free passengers. Immediately after the accident, the driver or the child’s parent should take the child to get medical attention. This can help identify any hidden injuries that may have occurred as a result of the accident. The child’s parents should also collect some of their own evidence, including a copy of the police report and the driver’s auto insurance information.

Since the child is considered a fault-free passenger, any injuries that occur as a result of the accident are covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. This means that the reckless or negligent driver will end up being responsible for the expenses. The child may also be covered by underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. If the child’s injuries are particularly severe, they may receive coverage from their parent’s auto insurance company. Another option for the family is to have their lawyer file a passenger injury claim.

What is a Passenger Injury Claim?

A passenger injury claim is a type of personal injury claim for passengers who sustained an injury during a car accident in another person’s vehicle. Filing a passenger injury claim can help alleviate some of the financial burden of the child’s injury.

To prevail in a passenger injury case, the victim and their lawyer must prove that the other driver is liable for the accident and that the victim suffered damages as a result. In a two-person accident, at least one of them will be considered at fault. The at-fault driver will be responsible for the child’s injuries and the subsequent expenses. In a single-person accident, the person driving is likely considered at fault due to negligence.

How can I Help My Child After the Car Accident?

After the parent or guardian ensures that the child seeks medical attention for any injuries and collects evidence, they may be approached by the insurance company for details about the accident. The child may need to provide testimony about what happened; however, children may not accurately recall the accident, and they are unfamiliar with the legal language as well. To help make this process easier, someone the child trusts should be present while they talk to the insurance adjuster.

Parents are encouraged to contact a lawyer to help handle the case. A lawyer can ensure that the child and their family receives a fair settlement offer to cover the total expenses related to the car accident. Many insurance companies try to avoid giving a fair settlement offer but having a lawyer present can help maximize the proposal.

A lawyer can also help a victim and their family if they choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This may be necessary if the insurance company fails to give the victim fair compensation for the expenses related to the accident.

Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Families Affected by Serious Collisions

If your child was in a car accident, there may be legal options available. A Hazlet car accident lawyer at Mikita & Roccanova will hold the guilty party accountable while also ensuring that you receive all entitled compensation. For a free consultation about your case, contact us online or call us at 732-705-3363. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.