What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident with Kids
Parenting holds an awful lot of responsibility—being the glue to the family, the caregiver, the provider, the emotional healer, the nurse, the chef, the taxi service—but what about when an unavoidable accident happens? Car accidents are scary at the best of times, but even more so when there are kids in the car at the same time—it gets even more stressful when there is an injury. As a parent, it’s essential to know what to do when these things happen.
Check for Injuries
The driver is responsible for the safety of everybody in the car at the time—which is why it is a legal responsibility to ensure that each passenger is wearing their seatbelt. It is even more crucial in the time of an accident that the driver remains calm. If they can, they should ask each passenger if they are experiencing any pain anywhere in their bodies.
Children are likely to cry due to the shock of a collision—remain calm, reassure them that mommy is there, and ask them if anything hurts at all. Ensuring the safety of the youngest riders is paramount—if there are any injuries, they will need to be taken care of by trained professionals with emergency medical care procedures.
When purchasing a children’s car seats, make sure that they are clearly marked with their first names and date of birth. This is to ensure that should medical attention be required, the child can be easily identified by medical professionals who may be called to the scene should the accident be more severe.
Check for Damage
Using a camera on a smartphone or tablet, take pictures of any damage caused to all parties involved in the accident. Any dents, scratches, or other damage should be clearly highlighted, as well as the environment around the vehicles. Poor driving conditions can be a factor in car accidents, as well as reckless driving.
Photograph the area surrounding the vehicles, as well as taking note of any traffic signs or road signs in the area. This means that the exact spot of the accident can be recognized at a later date.
If it is not possible to take pictures at the scene make sure to note any information while it is still fresh-pictures of the damaged vehicle can come later, but should be taken as soon as possible.
Even if not solely responsible for the accident, it still needs to be reported to the personal car insurance company of each driver. Car Insurance companies are likely to have a clause within their terms and conditions that outline that accidents should be reported within a precise timeframe by the policyholders. Not doing so runs the risk of the company canceling the policy entirely.
Emergency services such as police or emergency medical teams should also be contacted to visit the scene—not only will the correct advice and attention be given by the professionals at the time, it also means that when seeking compensation, there is much evidence available to back up the claim. All of this information should be passed through the attorney who can advise on specific terms and next steps.
Get Medical Attention
While the initial checks for the kids in the car have been done, other injuries do not always immediately show symptoms—some symptoms can appear hours or even days later. It is particularly important that children are thoroughly examined, even if they were safely secured in car seats. They may not always be able to pinpoint their pain, if any, that they are experiencing following the accident.
Contact Your Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury attorney should be contacted before any agreements, or financial settlements are made with the insurance companies. It is the job of the claims adjuster to make sure that all expenses are covered. Remember, the costs that need to be accounted for are not just for the repair to the vehicle or for the immediate medical attention required, but also for covering the expenses lost from not being able to work during the recovery time. It would be best and safest to give this task to an experienced attorney.
Even a mild bump in the road can cause stress and anxiety to all parties involved. It’s hard not to panic when involved in an accident, especially when loved ones are affected either directly, or indirectly during the recovery process. Instead of worrying, follow the necessary steps to ensure that everyone involved gets medical attention, and that any compensation is rightfully received.