Car accidents are frightening, even when they’re only fender benders. So, imagine how terrifying it is when your child is injured in one of them—this is the unfortunate and unsettling reality of car accidents and children in the US.
Instead of worrying about your injuries and vehicle damage, the only thing you are concentrating on is your child’s well-being. Your first instinct is to call 911, and it’s the correct first step that you should take. However, do you know the additional steps you should take when your child is injured in a car accident?
What To Do When Your Child Is Injured In A Vehicle Accident
Remaining calm is crucial after a car accident. While it is difficult when your child is injured, it is important. Here’s what else you should do immediately after an accident.
Assess Yourself for Any Injuries
Before you can help your little one, you first need to assess your injuries. Start by moving your arms and legs to see if anything is broken. Check your forehead for any bleeding. If you are able, gently remove your seatbelt. There’s a good chance the area covered by your seatbelt will be sore, but you should still be able to move around.
Check on Your Child
You do not need a medical degree to check over your child. Is there any bleeding? Do any bones appear broken? Is your child conscious? These are things you want to check before calling 911.
Contact Emergency Services
Depending on where and when the car accident occurs, your call may not be the first one 911 receives. However, even with rescue personnel on the way, you still have vital information to give the operator.
Along with relaying your location, let the 911 operator know if you or your child sustained any injuries. The more information you can provide, the better able emergency services can provide the proper care.
Document the Accident
Some car accidents are minor, and the involved vehicles can pull over to the side of the road. If it is possible, go ahead and move the vehicles away from incoming traffic. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting hit by an oncoming vehicle.
Whenever possible, start documenting the damage and any visible injuries to you and your child. Photos from your smartphone will suffice. You may also want to start writing down the details of the accident, while everything is still fresh in your mind. Don’t worry if this isn’t possible. The accident details will also be included in the accident report.
Exchange Insurance Information with the Other Involved Driver
The responding officer will ask both involved parties for their driver’s licenses and insurance cards. Have yours ready to hand over when asked. You want to speed up the process as much as possible, especially when your child is injured. While it isn’t going to delay treatment, you may not be allowed to leave the scene until the information is exchanged.
If it’s safe to exit your vehicles, you can start exchanging information before the police arrive. Even after exchanging all necessary information, do not leave the scene of the wreck. You may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. This applies even if your child is injured. Wait for emergency personnel. They will safely transport any injured parties to the nearest hospital.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
You should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after a car accident. If there is vehicle damage and injuries, you will need to call both your auto and health insurance companies.
Starting the paperwork associated with filing an insurance claim early will help ease some of the stress you may be feeling as a result of the accident.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
Even with full insurance coverage, you should still contact a personal injury attorney, especially when your child is injured. Insurance doesn’t always cover all of the medical expenses, and you also want to think about protecting your child’s future. Some injuries sustained in an automobile accident can affect your child for the rest of their lives.
Some of the factors that go into deciding your child’s personal injury case include the initial and expected ongoing medical costs. Fees associated with rehabilitation and therapy may also be included in your proposed settlement.
Your attorney will also look at your child’s future—will the injuries sustained in the accident continue to affect your child throughout their life? If so, your child may be entitled to greater compensation.
With all of the complexities involved in a personal injury case involving a child, it always makes sense to work with an attorney.