As a parent, there are few things more terrifying than your child suffering a serious or life-threatening injury. When an injury is the result of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may have legal standing to hold them liable for the harm your child has suffered.
However, the actions you take in the immediate aftermath of an accident or injury are important. These actions may impact everything from your child’s ability to reach the fullest possible recovery to the settlement you can achieve in a personal injury claim. Here’s some information to consider if your child has been hit by a car:
What To Do if Your Child Is Hit by a Car
If your child was a victim of a car vs. pedestrian accident, their health and safety should be your number one priority. While still at the scene of the accident, call 911 and tell the operator that a child has been hit by a car. Describe the location of the accident scene as clearly as possible so that emergency responders can easily locate you.
Although your instinct may be to hold and comfort your child after a serious accident or injury, never attempt to move someone who appears to be suffering from a head or neck injury, as this could cause additional, irreversible harm. Allow emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to evaluate your child for injuries and to transport them to the hospital if necessary.
If your child is not immediately transported to the hospital following a pedestrian accident, we recommend taking them to the emergency room to be evaluated for injuries. Don’t wait for an appointment with their pediatrician to seek medical care, as life-altering injuries might not be readily apparent to you.
If a car hits your child, you should also be sure to:
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Include photos of the vehicle and its license plate.
- Get the driver’s information, including their name, phone number, and driver’s license number.
- Ask witnesses to stay at the scene while you wait for the police to respond, and get their contact information so your lawyer can record their statements.
- Follow all medical treatments recommended by their doctor, including imaging tests, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and more.
- Document your child’s injuries and the ways in which their life has been affected.
- Speak with a personal injury lawyer about your family’s legal right to compensation.
Your son or daughter may require extensive care following an accident. A lawyer will help preserve their right to compensation, which can cover financial losses related to medical bills as well as non-financial losses for things like mental anguish and pain and suffering.
How Pedestrian Injuries Differ Between Adults and Children
The injuries that children suffer in pedestrian accidents differ from those suffered by adults. According to a study entitled “Pedestrian accidents: adult and pediatric injuries” published in the National Library of Medicine, adults are more likely than children to suffer fatal injuries in pedestrian accidents. The study also determined that adults suffer more severe injuries.
This discrepancy often comes down to where pedestrian accidents take place. Children are more likely to be hit by a car in their neighborhood or in a parking lot, where vehicles are already moving at a slower rate of speed. When children do travel along roads with more traffic at higher speeds, they typically have a parent, guardian, older sibling, or another adult with them.
None of this is to say that children do not face the risk of profound and even life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car. In these types of accidents, small children are at a high risk of suffering:
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken ribs
- Broken arms and legs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Major organ damage
- Nerve damage
Don’t leave your child’s future health and wellbeing up to chance. Speak with an experienced attorney from Buckingham & Vega Law Firm today to help secure your child’s right to compensation.
Lowering Your Child’s Risk of Being Hit by a Car
We cannot control how motorists choose to drive. What we can do, though, is teach our children the safest ways to walk home from school, cross the street, and ride their bikes. If your child regularly plays outside or in areas near roads, teach them to:
- Cross at corners or marked crosswalks.
- Look both ways at least twice before crossing the street.
- Listen for cars that are approaching but may not be visible yet.
- Walk on the inside portion of the sidewalk when traveling with an adult or older sibling.
- Check for cars before retrieving a ball or toy that has rolled into the road.
- Put their phone away when walking, even when on the sidewalk.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike.
Whenever possible, supervise your kids outside. Do not allow small children outside without adult supervision. The age at which your child is able to safely play outside by themselves is dependent on a number of factors, including their level of maturity and the safety of your neighborhood.
Fighting for Your Child’s Right to Compensation
A childhood injury can have a lifelong impact, both physically and mentally. The Albuquerque pedestrian accident attorneys at Buckingham & Vega Law Firm want your child to have the best possible chance of recovery, and we are prepared to put our experience to work for you.
There is no time to wait—your child is hurting and the clock is already ticking on your right to take legal action. For an opportunity to speak with an attorney in Albuquerque who will fight for what is right, contact our law office for a free consultation as soon as possible.