Automobile accidents are stressful under any circumstance, but when children are involved, it’s incredibly frightening. Whether it is a simple fender bender or something more serious, there are steps you can take to mitigate the unfortunate difficulties resulting from an accident.
Even before starting the car, always make sure children are properly strapped in and that car seats are correctly installed. When used appropriately, restraints will help keep children in place and limit the severity of impact. Severe impacts can cause short-term pain, psychological disorders, and permanent disabilities.
In the Event of a Motor Vehicle Accident with Children – At the Scene
It’s hard not to panic when children are involved in car accidents, but staying calm and following these steps will help keep everyone safe and protected:
- First, evaluate if you are injured or in danger (flames, gasoline leak, oncoming traffic).
- If unharmed, call 911 and report the accident. Be sure to get a copy of a police report.
- Check children to see if they have sustained any injuries and determine if there is an immediate danger. If a child cannot move, do not attempt to move them on your own, as moving them can exacerbate any injury. Wait for the Paramedics to take charge.
- Collect information: exchange insurance and driver’s license information with all parties involved. If possible, take pictures of the cars, the scene of the accident, and collect any witnesses’ names and contact information.
- Monitor children – it is important to look out for signs that might indicate a concussion, such as a loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, or slurred speech. Keep an eye out for symptoms that may occur after the accident, such as bruising, bleeding, headaches, or changes in eating, sleeping, or play patterns. If you are concerned, seek immediate medical attention.
- Check the car seat – Even if you cannot see it, there may be damage which can compromise the integrity of the seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that car seats be replaced after a crash.
What Happens if You are Injured? – After a Car Accident
Have you or the children in the car been injured? You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and medical care, pain and suffering, and other ongoing medical expenses.
Insurance companies are unlikely to provide more than the minimum amount of compensation for any given claim. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your options and protect your rights arising from the circumstances.
At Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC, we have more than 60 years of combined experience, with convenient office locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. We will be there to help pick up the pieces after an accident. Call us at 800-469-7429 to set up a free initial consultation. You can also contact us using our online form.