Car accidents are scary for anyone but can be especially troubling for a child. Worse yet, if a child is injured in a car crash, the anxiety and worry for parents and loved ones can feel overwhelming. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our personal injury attorneys understand what victims are going through, which is why we make it a priority to alleviate all their concerns. Here are some tips on what to do if your child is in a car accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you’ve been in a car accident, you or someone else involved or witness to the accident should call 911. If the injuries are severe, most experts recommend not removing your child from a car seat until first responders arrive. Even if it does not seem like your child is injured initially, its very important to get your child examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may be slow to present symptoms, especially in young children. Or children may not be able to express their symptoms adequately. A child's health and well-being are of utmost importance.
File a Police Report
If police arrive at the crash site, they will record the accident scene, take statements from you and any other victims or witnesses. When speaking to the police officer, try to relate as many details of the accident and vehicle as you can. In many states, you are required to report an accident if it results in property damage over a certain limit or injuries. In New Jersey, the threshold for reporting is very low–just $500 worth of damage. If police do not arrive on scene, you can file a report yourself online.
Gather All Relevant Evidence
This part can get tricky! Evidence gathering starts immediately on the scene of the accident and can continue for months in advance with medical bills and conversations. We can’t stress enough how important it is NOT to admit fault, regardless of how clear it may be that you are the reason for the accident.
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident. If any witnesses are present, ask for their name and phone number in case you are in need of a statement down the line. Make sure to also record your own thoughts and account of the accident. These types of details can fade in your memory over time, and something that you might not think twice about could be the key to a case.
Make sure that you are documenting your child’s injuries and progress. You can take photographs of injuries as they heal and keep a journal of appointment, progress and emotional state for your child and yourself.
Replace the Car Seat
It’s critical to replace your child’s car seat after an accident, regardless of injury. Car seats may have damage that is not easily seen or apparent. When filing a claim, the at-fault driver's insurance company or your own may reimburse you for this cost.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
If your child is in a car accident, it’s in everyone’s best interest to contact a car accident attorney about your case. You may be entitled to compensation for you and your child’s medical bills, lost wages if you had to miss work to care for your child as well as intangible damages like your child’s mental anguish coping with the aftermath of the accident and their injuries. In cases of severe injuries, compensation could include an award to the future needs of your child.
An experienced car accident attorney is essential to maximize your compensation from damages. Most personal injury lawyers who specialize in vehicle accidents handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning that they will not charge you out-of-pocket, but will take a percentage of any recovery they obtain for you. And, a car accident attorney has a wealth of experience negotiating with insurance companies and bolstering your case with evidence from law enforcement, doctors, and others.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Highly Rated Car Accident Lawyers
If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, don’t wait, contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can get you the justice you deserve.
Our compassionate attorneys pride themselves on commitment to client care and aggressive representation. You and your family deserve the maximum compensation for all you lost. Contact us today for a free consultation.