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.
Understanding Cases Involving Car Accidents with Children
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.
Our Approach to Cases Involving Car Accidents with Children
Seeking Financial Compensation for Your Child’s Injuries in Olympia WA
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 Case Evaluation
How Ron Meyers & Associates Can Help with Cases Involving Car Accidents with Children
At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, we understand that the aftermath of a car accident involving your child can be incredibly distressing and overwhelming. Our compassionate team of child injury lawyers is here to provide the support and legal guidance you need during this difficult time.
Comprehensive Legal Assistance Tailored to Your Needs
When you choose Ron Meyers & Associates to represent you in cases involving car accidents with children, you’re selecting a legal team with a deep understanding of the intricacies of these sensitive cases. We recognize that every situation is unique, and we are dedicated to tailoring our legal approach to meet your specific needs and circumstances.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to speak directly with one of our experienced child injury lawyers. This initial consultation serves several crucial purposes:
- Understanding Your Case: We’ll listen attentively as you share the details of the accident and your child’s injuries. This helps us gain a comprehensive understanding of your case.
- Legal Assessment: Our legal team will evaluate the merits of your case based on the information you provide. We’ll assess liability, potential damages, and the viability of pursuing legal action.
- Exploring Legal Options: We’ll explain your legal rights and options, outlining the steps involved in seeking compensation for your child’s injuries or wrongful death. This discussion will empower you to make informed decisions about your case.
- Addressing Your Concerns: We understand that you may have questions, concerns, and anxieties. Our team is here to address all your inquiries and provide guidance on the legal process.
Contact Us Today for Your Child’s Well-Being
Your child’s well-being is paramount, and we are committed to helping you secure the resources necessary for their recovery and future. If your child has been seriously injured in a car accident, we urge you to take the first step toward seeking justice and compensation.
Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer at Ron Meyers & Associates
Frequently Asked Questions About Cases Involving Car Accidents with Children
Your child’s safety and well-being should be the top priority. Seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries seem minor. Contact law enforcement to report the accident. Gather information about the other driver, witnesses, and take photos if possible. Later, consult an experienced child injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Yes, you can. Under Washington law (RCW 4.24.010), parents can maintain an action as plaintiffs for the injury or death of their child. You can file a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim on behalf of your child to seek compensation for their injuries and related damages.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be eligible for compensation that includes:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages (for parents who had to take time off work)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Future medical and care expenses
- Property damage
The statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases in Washington can vary based on the circumstances. It’s crucial to consult an attorney promptly to determine the specific timeframes applicable to your case. Generally, it’s advisable to take legal action as soon as possible to preserve evidence and protect your rights.
Yes, you can. Most child injury lawyers, including those at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, work on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, your lawyer will only receive payment if they successfully recover compensation for your child’s injuries. It’s a risk-free way to seek justice for your child.
Yes, you can pursue a civil claim even if the at-fault driver was not convicted of a crime. The standard of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case. Your lawyer can use evidence such as police reports, eyewitness testimony, and medical records to establish liability and seek compensation on your child’s behalf.
Yes, you can. If your child is injured in a car accident as a passenger, regardless of the driver’s relationship to your child, you may still have the right to file a lawsuit on their behalf if the accident was caused by another party’s negligence.
Yes, you can still pursue a claim. Some injuries, especially head injuries and psychological effects, may not manifest immediately after the accident. You should seek medical attention as soon as you notice any symptoms, and then consult with a lawyer to explore your legal options.
Yes, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer if your child was injured due to a defective car seat or safety restraint system. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe. An attorney can help you determine if a defective product contributed to your child’s injuries.
While it’s possible to negotiate with the insurance company without a lawyer, it’s generally not advisable, especially in cases involving child injuries. Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. An experienced lawyer can help protect your child’s rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.