What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident with Kids

In 2014, more than 121,350 children ages 12 and under were injured in car accidents in the U.S. Small children and infants are more susceptible to being hurt in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children under age 1 had higher rates of head injuries, thoracic injuries, rib fractures and concussions. The most common injury for children under the age of 8 involved in car accidents was a cerebrum injury—a type of brain injury.

Being involved in an accident with a child is any parent’s nightmare. As a parent, your primary concern is for the health and safety of your child. And while an accident is terrifying, the best way to help your child is to remain calm and clear-headed.

Immediately after the accident, you need to call 911 and request medical help. You should certainly assess your child for injuries yourself, but it is also imperative to get paramedics on the scene to evaluate your child right away. If it is safe to do so, you should move your vehicle away from traffic as soon as possible. Although your first instinct is to comfort your child, you should avoid moving him until first responders arrived. Moving a child who has suffered a serious injury, such as to the brain or spine could do more damage. Thus, it is best to wait for the paramedics, who are trained to transport children properly to stabilize them.

Whether or not your child has any visible injuries, it is best to have him checked out by a doctor. Injuries can be undetectable by the naked eye, and symptoms can also manifest over time. If the doctor does not believe your child is injured, you should continue to monitor them over the coming days and weeks to be safe. You should also request that the emergency room or urgent care center records be sent to your pediatrician, who will likely want to do a follow-up with your child.

Here are some behaviors you should look out for in your child after an accident:

  1. Vomiting without reason. If your child does not exhibit other symptoms of illness but begins vomiting after an auto accident, that should be cause for concern. Usually, vomiting is a sign of a minor head injury. However, in some cases it could indicate a more serious problem, like a traumatic brain injury. Take your child to be evaluated by a doctor right away to rule out serious injuries.
  2. Mood or behavior changes. After an accident, keep a close eye on your child’s behavior. If there are drastic changes in his mood, or if his sleep pattern has altered significantly, there could be an injury that was not visible right away. Moreover, your child could be suffering from psychological or emotional trauma, for which he may need treatment. Look out for other behavioral changes, like loss of appetite or loss of interest in normal activities.
  3. Excessive crying or screaming. If your child cries right after the accident, that is normally a good sign. That means your child hasn’t lost consciousness or become dazed by a head injury. However, if she continues to cry more than normal, she might be in pain. This is especially true for very young children who cannot yet communicate verbally. You should have your child seen by a doctor if she is crying excessively and cannot be consoled.

If you are not with your child 24/7, make sure you alert any other caretakers, family members or teachers of the accident, so they can be on the lookout for any unusual behavior from your child.

Replace Your Child’s Car Seat

After an accident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends replacing car seats—even if your child was not in the seat at the time. The forces of a crash can cause issues to the construction of the car seat, even if you do not notice any visible damage. The insurance company should also cover the cost of replacing the car seat.

Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

If your child has suffered injuries as a result of a car accident, seek the help of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Accident claims, particularly those involving minors, can be complicated. If you are taking care of your injured child, the last thing you want to do is deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They will undoubtedly try to settle the case for far less compensation than your child deserves. Instead of trying to go it alone, consult with an experienced attorney.

“If your child has been injured in an accident, our firm is dedicated to fighting for fair compensation,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

Recent Posts
Popular Tags

Walter Clark Legal Group

Walter Clark Legal Group
Skip to content