When you get involved in a car accident along with a child, your first natural reaction would be to try and respond to the child quickly and identify all possible injuries. While that’s the right thing to do, you may want to know a few tips first.
Accidental injuries among children are too common in the United States. Unintentional injuries such as falls, burns, poisoning, road traffic, and drowning are the main causes of death in children. Car accidents and related injuries are top on that list, and may be unnerving to both bystanders and parents alike.
Other than seeking help from a Toledo car accident attorney, here are four things to keep in mind if you undergo a car accident with a child:
1. Children May Be More Vulnerable to Injuries
In Ohio, 33 children died from motor vehicle crashes in 2018 and about 9,000 were injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) carried out research that showed the most common injuries in children after a crash include:
- Head injuries and concussions
- Organ injuries
- Back injuries
- Chest injuries
Head injuries, in particular, have far-reaching consequences in children. If the injuries aren’t fatal, they can cause reading disabilities, headaches, and memory loss. Injuries to other body parts can cause permanent disability or improper growth of bones.
Another common way children are injured is in back-over accidents that happen outside of vehicles in parking lots when most drivers can’t notice the presence of a child nearby.
2. You Won’t Always Detect an Injury at the Scene
A child may be confused or in shock regarding what happened. Thus, it’s prudent you remain calm both for your sake and the child’s as it may be hard to tell the full scope of injuries until you visit the hospital.
If you realize a child has suffered critical injuries in a car accident, don’t attempt to get them out of the car unless you need to move them somewhere else to perform CPR or they are facing an extreme danger. If the child can’t wiggle their arms, toes, or legs, the spine could be injured. So, it’s advisable you wait for the authorities to arrive, as moving the child may cause more catastrophic injuries to their back or neck.
3. Where the Child Sits Matters
Although kids may get hurt regardless of where they are in a car, you could minimize the extent of injuries by ensuring a child aged 12 and below, sits on the second row. Studies reveal that front-end collisions may not significantly injure kids. Meanwhile, rollover crashes record around three times more incapacitating injuries in unrestrained children compared to restrained ones. To reduce injuries, always ensure your child is in a booster seat or car seat.
4. Seek Help from a Car Accident Attorney
Getting in a car accident is scary. At times, another party could be at fault-either for driving drowsy, reckless, distracted, or drunk. An experienced attorney specializing in car accidents can help review the case and let you know if you’re entitled to compensation.
It’s uncomfortable to think about it, but if your child suffers car accident injuries, there could be lifelong medical costs to deal with, which is why you may want to consult a lawyer about it.