In 2011, more than 650 children younger than 13 were fatally injured, and 148,000 children sustained non-fatal injuries in car accidents, report the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Motor vehicle accidents are actually the leading cause of death of children in Washington, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
Many accidents are attributed to negligence of some sort, such as a drunk or distracted driving or defective tires that cause a wreck. When children are injured or killed in car accidents that were caused by another party’s negligence or carelessness, parents can contact a lawyer to discuss filing an injury or wrongful death claim.
Common Injuries Children Sustain in Accidents
The most common injuries children younger than 8 years old sustain in auto accidents are head injuries, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report. The most common head injuries were contusions and concussions, and infants had a higher rate of head injury than children aged 2 to 7.
Other injuries children suffer from collisions are listed below.
- Skull base fractures
- Spine injuries
- Thoracic Injuries, such as rib fractures, lung contusions and lacerations
- Abdominal injuries, including small-bowel injuries and large-bowel injuries
- Lower extremity injuries, such as pelvic fractures and below-knee injuries
Children Fare Worse Than Adults
Children sustain injuries more frequently than adults in auto accidents, and the injuries are often worse. “The injury outcome in children can be worse than similar injuries sustained by adults. There is a special need to prevent head injuries among children due to their long-term complications. For example, children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can experience lasting or late-appearing neuropsychological problems, highlighting the need for careful monitoring as they get older,” the NHTSA explains, citing a previous study.
Neurological and psychological effects of a car accident injury may not manifest for years. Parents may notice behavioral, cognitive, social and other developmental impairments months or years later and have a hard time linking the accident as the cause. This is why delayed-onset injuries such as head injuries create another layer of complexity to car accident cases involving children.
Seeking Financial Compensation for Your Child’s Injuries
Parents have a form of recourse if their children have been injured in accidents in which another party was negligent. RCW 4.24.010 provides: “[A] mother or father, or both…may maintain or join as a party an action as plaintiff for the injury or death of the child.”
To learn more about filing an injury claim or a wrongful death claim for your child, call a local car accident attorney who handles cases involving minors. Your attorney will investigate the accident, determine if the case is viable and then begin building a strong case.
Your lawyer also can help estimate the value of the claim. Below are some of the damages for which you might be able to obtain compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death case.
- Medical, hospital and medication expenses
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of love and companionship of the child
- Injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship
In serious cases, your child may need long-term care. Most families cannot afford major medical expenses or to hire someone to help provide care at home when the child requires round-the-clock care. These types of needs and expenses can be included on a negligence claim. Winning a settlement can help your family stay afloat in the aftermath of your child’s accident and provide you with the means to get your child the best care available.
Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer at Ron Meyers & Associates
If your child was seriously injured in a car accident, call our child injury lawyers at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC for a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today at 844-920-2438.