The traumatic experience of a car accident is magnified tenfold if your child gets hurt. It's common to feel helpless and unsure as to how to move forward to not only get them the best medical care but also to secure financial compensation to cover costly recovery expenses when the accident wasn't your fault.
I understand what a difficult time this can be, and as a skilled San Diego car accident lawyer, I'm dedicated to fighting for rightful settlements. So, let me explain the typical injuries many children experience and what California laws protect minor children's personal injury claims.
Common Injuries Children Suffer in Car Crashes
Even if your child doesn't appear injured, our personal injury attorney adds, it's critical to get them immediate medical care after a car accident. So many medical conditions present symptoms days or weeks after a collision, so having a physician's exam right away is crucial.
If your child is young and might not be able to understand or communicate with you about how they feel, the doctor has already set in motion diagnostic evaluations that help protect their health.
Typical child injuries due to car accidents include:
- Head and neck issues. Whiplash, concussion, broken neck, traumatic brain injury(TBI), and skull fractures are just some of the devastating injuries that happen to children. Brain injuries can be especially catastrophic because they can cause permanent changes to their emotions, memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.
- Airbag impact. Most airbags deploy at a minimum of 100 mph—that's an incredible amount of sudden force. Children who have the highest risk of nose, dental, or neck injuries are those who are younger than 13 or shorter than four ft. nine in.
- Lacerations caused by glass. The tiniest of glass fragments can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Chest injuries. Children can suffer broken ribs, collapsed or punctured lungs, or internal bleeding because of collision impact, restraints tightening, or failure to use seat belts at all.
- Fractures. Serious fractures to a child's wrist, legs, arms, pelvis, or other bones are common in car accidents. While some children fully recover, others can experience permanent limitations of movement that affect their activities and quality of life.
- Spinal injuries. Tremendous crash force or ejection from the vehicle might result in spinal cord damage that causes partial or complete paralysis.
- Psychological trauma. Trauma from the accident and coping with severe medical conditions can result in nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions.
Special Procedures You Must Follow When Settling a Child's Injury Claim
In California, you must follow specific rules when settling your child's car accident case. One key factor to know is that you're required to obtain court approval of the settlement. This is true whether you resolve their claim with or without litigation.