Car accidents are the most frequent cause of death among children in the United States. Child passenger safety is a major concern for public health care professionals across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both report that car accidents present a greater threat to American children than anything else. In 2008, car accidents claimed an average of four lives each day among those ages 14 and younger. These victims face a variety of issues related to their age, from the psychological to developmental issues.
If you or your child were involved in an accident and sustained injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. Dealing with injuries is difficult enough for an adult, but for a small child who is incapable of understanding the accident, it can be even more stressful. Watching your child go through a trauma and face extensive medical treatment is difficult on its own without knowing that the accident was caused by a negligent or reckless driver.
Tragic car accidents claim the lives of numerous children each year, and they can destroy the lives of those who survive with catastrophic injuries as well. Injuries may range from a broken bone to major spinal cord damage, leading to paralysis, traumatic brain injury or death. Some victims of catastrophic accidents fall into a vegetative state while others sustain lasting injuries and disabilities. From cognitive impairment to mobility issues, children with severe brain damage may be unable to live a normal life.
Younger car accident victims who sustain physical injuries may also suffer from emotional and psychological damages. Emotional pain can affect the way children socialize and develop cognitively, impairing their ability to interact with the world around them. Suffering from a catastrophic injury, such as an amputation, can have a significant impact on a child’s self-esteem as well.
The consequences of injuries that occur in a motor vehicle accident can last a lifetime even if they occurred in only a split second. Working with a personal injury lawyer is essential when dealing with any personal injury case, but especially when a child is involved. Insurance companies are known for making low-ball settlement offers without considering the long term effects of the victim’s injuries. Even if an offer seems generous at the moment, keep in mind that your child may need long-term care that will cost more than the settlement offer. Such costs may include:
- Transportation costs
- X-rays and lab fees
Insurance companies can also be intimidating when they are determined to pressure you into a settlement. Dealing with intimidation tactics is difficult when you are already dealing with the aftermath of an accident. A Phoenix accident lawyer is there to represent your child’s best interests and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you. Many insurers will offer a different settlement if they know that you have legal representation.
Child injury cases are unique because they affect your entire family. They can also lead to long-term consequences for the victim that adults would not usually experience. Car accidents can result in debilitating injuries that affect mobility, cognitive abilities and lead to social problems if not treated carefully. It is important that you and your child receive compensation for all of the damages that were sustained and will continue to progress in the future.
Seeking Legal & Financial Help
While money can not make up for the damages sustained in an accident, receiving damages can help you cover the financial losses sustained and give you the time you need to focus on helping your child recover. Financial damages can also help you ensure that your child receives the best possible medical care. There are a variety of secondary expenses associated with paralysis and other catastrophic injuries, including:
- Mobility aides
- Vehicle accommodations
- Home accommodations
Working with a personal injury attorney is the best way to increase your chances of a successful personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help bring the negligent driver to justice and ensure that your child’s medical needs are covered in a settlement or lawsuit. Having a dedicated personal injury attorney can also take some of the pressure off of you when it comes to dealing with lawyers, adjusters and other aspects of a lawsuit. Before you accept a settlement, have a consultation with an attorney who is dedicated to looking after the rights of auto accident injury victims and their families.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cantor Crane for their insight into auto accidents involving children.