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Considerations when a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident

Car accidents are especially dangerous for vulnerable children.

One of the most important – and sometimes challenging – duties of parents and other vehicle owners when transporting kids in the car is to keep that child as safe as possible in case of an accident. Parents should carefully research the kind and size of child restraint required by law and with high safety ratings. Parents should take great care to drive as safely as possible with children on board, including following the law and responding to the conditions.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of parents and other adults, children experience vehicle crashes resulting in injuries all too often. When another driver operates their vehicle – truck, bus, taxi, car, motorcycle, SUV or van – negligently, recklessly, aggressively or in violation of traffic laws or criminal codes, causing an accident, that driver (or their insurer) is legally responsible for resulting medical harm to vulnerable, physically small child occupants.

Common child injuries from crashes

Kids are at risk of these types of injuries in car collisions:

  • Head and brain injuries of many different types, including concussion, traumatic brain injury, lacerations, contusions, skull fractures, hematomas, hemorrhage and others
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Abdominal injuries such as to intestines and kidneys
  • Chest injuries such as to the lungs, ribs, thoracic cavity or worse
  • Lung injury from inhalation of fumes and smoke
  • Injuries to limbs and joints
  • Death

Get legal advice

When a child is injured in a collision, the parents or guardian should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. In a personal injury lawsuit or settlement of claim with an insurer, an attorney can push hard for adequate money damages. For example, should the injury be catastrophic or permanent, money will be needed for long-term care needs like adaptations to home and vehicle, ongoing therapies, housekeeping assistance, long-term residential care and other requirements.

Other appropriate damages include medical expenses and pain and suffering. If the responsible driver acted with particularly callous disregard for safety, the injured child victim may also receive punitive damages, those meant to punish a wrongdoer and set them out as an example that may deter future behavior of others.

When a child dies from a car crash, which is unbearably too common, the surviving parents should seek advice about a wrongful death suit.

With offices in Seattle, Everett and Tacoma, the lawyers at Dubin Law Group represent children and their families when kids incur injury or die in motor vehicle accidents.