The mere thought of your children getting involved in a vehicle accident is shocking, to say the least. As a parent, it is difficult to think of a situation where you child is injured in an auto accident; however, it occurs more often than you think. A report by the NHTSA shows that in 2013, 1,149 kids died in car accidents, while 172,000 sustained injuries during the same year. Such statistics bring to light the fact that every time your child is on the road, they stand the risk of being involved in a crash. The following web page will discuss what you need to do when your child is involved in a road accident.
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing to do when your child is involved in an accident is to seek medical attention. Experts say that children experience emotional and physical pain differently when compared to adults. The child’s injuries may take time to manifest; therefore, you should not assume that they are okay. After your child is cleared at the ER, consult their pediatrician later for further examination, and for a medical report that will help you jumpstart the claims process.
Like in any other car crash, it is important to gather evidence to help with your claim. Write notes detailing the events leading up to the accident. It is better to note down occurrences when they are still fresh in your mind. Describe the weather, time, traffic, and other important information concerning the incident. If possible take photos of the vehicles involved, your child’s injuries, and the entire scene of the accident. Exchange contact information with the other driver(s), and any witnesses present.
Make a Police Report
During an accident, the police are probably the first to arrive at the scene of the crash. The police might pressure you into revealing information about the crash; however, you should only record a statement at the station. Even if you are partially to blame for the collision, do not admit fault. Let the police and insurance company conduct their investigation, yours is to cooperate by giving information that will help them arrive at the right conclusions. After giving a statement at the police station, request for a copy of the police report to serve as evidence.
Report to Your Insurance Provider
Insurance companies frown upon claims that are presented after the incident has occurred. Often, your insurance provider will argue that one’s injuries are not related to the accident in question. In light of this, you should not wait for your child’s injuries to manifest before taking your claim to the insurance company. Your insurance provider will send an adjuster to access the value of damage caused by the accident. Do not be in a hurry to settle. Wait until your child’s health condition has been confirmed to determine the value of medical expenses and related damages.
Consult Your Attorney
Insurance companies are usually reasonable with their settlement offers when a claimant is represented by an attorney. In any case, if your case does not settle, you will need a lawyer to use all the evidence available to build a strong case against the insurance provider. There are two types of damages that will arise in your claim:
- Non economic damages
- Economic damages
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress are owed to the child. Economic damages such as physical impairment and reduced earning capacity are also owed to the child. Parents are entitled to economic damages such as medical expenses paid on behalf of the child.