Compensation For A Child Injured In A Car Crash
The worst news a parent can receive is upon the death or serious injury of their child. With over 6 million car accidents in the USA its inevitable that little people will be directly affected in car accidents across the United States. Children tend to end up more injured due their smaller size and weight, so how do you claim compensation for a child injured in a car crash? If you are a parent whose child has been seriously injured, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 1,200 children died and 194,000 were injured in car crashes in the United States in 2018. While around a quarter are killed as pedestrians or on bikes, most are passengers in cars. As adults we believe that properly restraining a child in a car makes them safer, though statistically of the children killed each year the majority of them are in fact using seat belts and car seats.
Claiming Compensation For A Child Injured In A Car Crash
If a child was involved in a car accident and sustained a serious injury, compensation can have a huge impact on the quality of life of the child and their family. Financial payouts can help parents get the support they need to give their child the best possible care and when parents think about claiming compensation for a child injured in a car crash any application must not only cover the initial costs of the injury, but also provide funds for future treatment, enabling them to receive the support they need to make their lives as independent as possible.
Can Children Get Compensation for being Injured in a Car Crash
Children who have been injured in a car accident, be it an occupant in a car or a pedestrian, are entitled to compensation for the injuries they have suffered, as is an adult. However, the procedure for a car accident involving children looks a little different if the applicant is under the age of 18. You may have concerns about claiming damages on behalf of your child if they were injured in a car accident. With the help of our experienced lawyers, however, the compensation procedure is surprisingly simple.
The applicant would need a parent or guardian to make the application on his behalf and act as a process friend. If you are planning to claim damages for a car accident, it is always a good idea to be represented by a lawyer so you don’t get ‘lowballed’ during the insurance compensation process. Even if you don’t use an auto accident attorney be sure to read our tips on negotiating with auto insurance companies.
How Much Compensation Can Children Get for being Injured in a Car Crash
How much compensation you can claim for a car accident injury involving children varies dramatically, as with most types of accident injury. As a guide you can claim the following for children injured in a car accident:
• Personal injuries
• Loss of future predicted earnings
• Emotional distress
• All current, ongoing and predicted medical expenses
• Emotional distress to parents
• Loss of parent’s earnings while caring for the child
Does Parental Negligence Reduce a Childs Compensation for being Injured in a Car Accident
Parents or guardians who fail to adequately protect their children from a car accident may not be entitled to full compensation because of the increased risk of injury or death. This means adults who allow children to ride as car passengers without seat belts or car seats, or in the back of trucks and RVs.
If any personal injury or death of a child in a car accident is due to the negligence of another party, the negligence must be proven in court. It must be shown that the party owed a child a duty of care, and that negligence in this duty of care caused injury or death to the child.
Does Health Insurance Cover My Child in the Event of a Car Accident
Health insurance usually pays medical costs regardless of who has caused the accident. Some medical payment policies may also cover injuries that you, your child, or another family member may experience as a pedestrian crossing the road. Even if you may have health insurance in the event of a car accident at the time of your child’s injury, you may still be able to file a claim against the negligent driver that is not directly linked to medical expenses.
Types of Injuries Children Suffer From in a Car Accident
What Happens After My Child Was In a Car Accident?
It is vital that a medical expert immediately checks on the child following a collision because many smaller children cannot articulate the pain they may be suffering. Remember that with child injuries sometimes the symptoms don’t manifest themselves right away and that many issues only appear hours, days or weeks after the car crash.
If your child shows any unusual actions, maybe flinching to touch, excessive crying, serious nightmares, general confusion, lethargy, limping or any other unusual sign, return to your medical provider immediately as these symptoms could indicate more serious problems. If you have an auto accident attorney, communicate this information to your attorney so he or she can also direct you to appropriate medical care providers.
Comparative Negligence for Car Accident Claims Involving Children
Children are obviously not held to the same standards in life as an adult. Adults are held to a standard of care of an ‘ordinary reasonable person’ while Children are only expected to use the same care that a ‘reasonably careful child of the same age’ would normally use. United States Civil Courts do tend to favour the rights of children in car accident cases and so even if it appears a child may have contributed to their injury (for example by removing their own seat belt) the child will usually still receive damages for the entire portion of negligence with is attributable to the driver at fault. Children under five years old are classed as being 100% incapable of comparative negligence,
Considerations for a Child’s Personal Injury Settlement
If a child’s compensation settlement exceeds $5,000 most States in the USA require a judge to approve the settlement in order to protect the child from having their funds misappropriated by their parents. A Judge will usually require the settlement to be placed into a trust, from which the parents will be able to claim expenses. However, the court will not usually allow a parent or guardian to make investment decisions or improperly access any portion of a personal injury settlement.
When children are left permanently disabled by their injuries a Judge will usually place the compensation settlement in a special needs trust to protect access to government benefits such as Medicaid, while providing the child funds on an as and when basis.