Even at the moment of impact, your first thought was of your children in the backseat. Would they be okay when the accident was over? What could you do to protect them now?
How to Help Protect a Baby or Young Child at the Car Crash Scene
After the trauma of a car accident, it is essential to:
- Call 911. Make sure that first responders are on their way. One call to 911 should send police and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to the scene of the crash. Police can investigate what happened and write a report. The EMTs can quickly evaluate your child and, if necessary, transport your child to the hospital.
- Try to prevent a secondary car crash by setting up cones, putting on your flashers, or otherwise alerting drivers of your presence. You don’t want to risk a secondary impact that could cause your child further injury. A secondary accident could be particularly dangerous if your child is already hurt or if your child’s car seat was compromised during the first collision.
- Do not move your child until first responders come. If your child has a spinal cord or brain injury, you do not want to risk making it worse. Therefore, it is essential to leave your child in the same position and to let trained professionals move your child after assessing any potential risks. If you are physically able to do so, then you may move toward your child, and you may attempt to console your child until the EMTs arrive.
- Accept medical help for your child and yourself. Your child needs to be seen by a doctor to check for injuries, and if you are hurt, then you need to be treated so that you can take care of your baby. Often, this means a trip to the hospital for a complete evaluation.
These steps are important, and then, there are still steps you can take to protect your child after the car accident scene has cleared.
How to Help Protect a Baby or Young Child After an Accident
In the days, weeks, and months following the crash, you can continue protecting your child by:
- Calling your child’s pediatrician. If emergency room doctors care for your child, it is essential to follow up with your child’s own doctor to ensure that your child gets the proper care. Your pediatrician may schedule an in-office follow-up appointment if your child is discharged from the emergency room, or your pediatrician may come to see your child at the hospital if your child is admitted to a facility where the pediatrician has privileges. Additionally, your child’s doctor may provide you with referrals to other doctors and specialists as needed. Depending on your child’s unique injuries, this may include an orthopedist, neurologist, plastic surgeon, or physical therapist, for example.
- Watching carefully for symptoms of injury. These symptoms may include excessive crying, sleepiness, the inability to be consoled, lack of interest in rattles or toys, lack of interest in eating, or any other change in behavior. If any of these symptoms develop in the hours or days after the accident, then you should get prompt medical treatment for your child, even if your child was seen by a doctor soon after the crash.
- Getting a new car seat. Car seats should be replaced after moderate or severe accidents and after some minor accidents. A car seat that has been in a crash may not provide adequate safety if another crash occurs.
- Notifying any babysitters, daycare workers, or other caretakers of the crash. Everyone should know what happened so that your child can be watched carefully and so that any symptoms of a possible injury can be reported to you and your child’s doctor.
- Getting the right ongoing medical help. If you think your child needs the specialized care of a specific type of doctor, such as a neurologist or an orthopedist, then you might have to fight for it. However, you should not have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Instead, these costs should be part of your child’s accident recovery.
While you ensure your child gets necessary medical care, you may also ensure your child’s legal rights are protected.
It’s Up to You to Protect Your Child’s Legal Rights
Your children did not cause the wreck and should not have to live with the significant injuries they suffered in the car crash. Instead, they should get the legal help that they need to make a fair recovery.
Your child’s recovery may include compensation for past and future medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering. Additionally, if your child suffered a permanent injury and will be unable to work as an adult, then future lost income may also be part of your child’s recovery. Without this financial recovery, your child may suffer more than they have to after a car accident injury.
Babies, toddler, children, and teens age 17 and under cannot bring their own personal injury lawsuits. Instead, they count on their parents to protect their legal rights.
You have legal standing to bring a lawsuit for the benefit of your child, but you don’t have to do it alone. Instead, evaluate your claim with an experienced car accident lawyer, negotiate with insurance companies, and take your child’s case to court, if necessary.
Over the past 50+ years, Hupy and Abraham has helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Let’s talk about how we may be able to help your child now.
Have You Been Injured In A Wisconsin, Illinois or Iowa Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you should speak to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. You can contact us online or call our office directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers. We have been helping car accident victims since 1964 and service clients throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.