Car accidents are incredibly quick and disorienting, especially when your child is present and might be injured. Here are some things to keep in mind so that you know what to do if your child is involved in a motor accident.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even seemingly minor injuries can turn out to be serious, especially if you or your child is disoriented and does not realize the extent of the injury. Very young children may be too shaken to convey what they are feeling, and children or teenagers with head injuries typically do not notice that anything is wrong. Many other types of injuries will not begin to hurt until several minutes or hours have passed, and injuries to the spine, joints, and muscles may not become painful enough to notice for several weeks. Get to a hospital or another medical provider to be examined as quickly as possible.
Try to Document Everything from the Car Accident
As with any car accident, make sure you document everything relating to the accident and any resulting injuries. Keep a record of all medical attention that you or your child receives, including the date, attending physician, and costs of any follow-up appointments. Collect medical bills and records of injuries and treatment from the hospital, the doctor and, if physical therapy is required, the therapist. Ask your medical providers to document any injuries, since a medical professional’s report is more credible in court than personal accounts.
If a doctor recommends follow-up treatment, whether physical therapy or check-ups, it’s best to accept and attend every appointment, since insurance companies frequently try to argue that skipped appointments prove that the injuries were not as severe as you claim.
If your child has been injured in an accident when you were not present, either because he or she was driving or because another adult was supervising, it may be difficult to get hold of all the relevant information and documentation relating to the accident. In these cases, collect whatever you can and make sure you have contact information for everyone who was involved, and consider contacting an attorney to help you determine and acquire any information you may need.
Seek Legal Assistance
There are a number of complications that may arise when your child is in a car accident. Whether you were present or not, you are considered responsible for the actions of your child for as long as he or she is a minor. In addition, if your child was driving your car or a family vehicle, you are liable for any supposed negligence, recklessness or inexperience on the part of the child. If your child is involved in an accident while he or she is driving, it is a good idea to seek legal advice right away.
On the other hand, in most states, the statute of limitations for a personal injury suit can be extended if the injured person is a minor. Frequently, the suit can be filed at any time until two years after the child turns 18.
Contact Heuser & Heuser!
Regardless of the circumstances, if your child has been involved in a car accident, you can contact Heuser & Heuser, LLP for advice on your options or for a free consultation.