Pursuing Compensation for Children Injured in Car Accidents

child in carseat with bearCar accidents can cause serious injuries to young passengers – not just adults. In children, injuries can have lifelong effects, resulting in the need for expensive medical care through adulthood.

When children are injured in car accidents, negligent drivers can be held accountable for injuries and damages. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm offer a free, no-obligation consultation so you may learn the options available for pursuing compensation of your child’s injuries.

Common Injuries to Children in Auto Accidents

Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury among children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that approximately two children under age 13 were killed and 338 injured in car accidents every day in 2011. Over one-third of the children killed were not properly restrained with appropriate car seats or seat belts.

Children may sustain many types of injuries in vehicle collisions, including:

  • Head injuries, including concussions and skull fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Lung injuries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Skin injuries
  • Burns
  • Spinal injuries

Symptoms of a Child’s Injuries

Car accident injuries in children do not always produce symptoms right away, sometimes taking years for the full impact to develop. For instance, a head injury can present neurological problems that affect a child’s development, such as:

  • Inhibited social and interpersonal skills
  • Affected reading and writing abilities
  • Limited reasoning skills
  • Vision loss
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Speech difficulties

If your child behaves differently than before the accident in any way, such as touching a certain spot on his or her body or talking or moving differently, have your child evaluated by a doctor immediately. Accident-related injuries need to be treated and documented as early as possible.

Compensation for a Child’s Injury

As a parent or guardian, you may be able to recover compensation for your child’s injuries and other damages, including:

  • Medical costs for current and future treatment
  • Surgery
  • Therapy
  • Expected future lost wages or income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

In California, car accident lawsuits must be filed within a deadline known as the statute of limitations. If the injury is not immediately discovered, there may be a statute of limitations related to the date the injury becomes known. It is important to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure these deadlines are not missed.

If your child has been injured or killed in a car accident, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will advise you of your legal options, represent your family when negotiating a settlement with insurers, and discuss with you whether to file a personal injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf.

Car accident injuries can affect a child for the rest of his or her life. Some cases require utilizing medical experts who will provide testimony that supports how the injury will affect the child, including future medical costs and what will be affected by the disability. We fight to recover maximum compensation for the costs and damages resulting from your child’s injury or death.

Working with an attorney helps ensure these important factors are considered when negotiating with the insurance company or taking a case to trial, so your child will be fairly compensated for damages whether the impact is now or in the future.

Why Your Injured Child Needs a Guardian

In California, children are not legally allowed to file a case to pursue damages, so a parent or guardian must do so on behalf of the child. The only exception is if the child is legally emancipated (independent).

However, parents are not allowed to represent a child in court. Instead, a guardian ad litem is appointed. This is a person who determines what solutions are in the best interests of the child. Settlement money in these personal injury cases is meant for the child and is not to be used for his or her maintenance and upkeep. Cases with larger settlements require a lawyer’s counsel and court approval of the settlement.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

The Arnold Law Firm’s skilled Sacramento car accident attorneys will fight to recover the compensation your family deserves for your child’s injuries. We will pursue maximum compensation for medical bills and other car accident-related damages.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team to learn your options. We charge no upfront fees, so there is no risk to your family. Legal fees are charged only if we are able to help you recover compensation in your case.

Call (916) 777-7777 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form now.