What Should I Do if My Child Was Hurt in a Car Accident in Philly?
Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for children. Car crashes killed 1,093 children 14 and younger in 2020. In addition, more than 139,000 children were injured in traffic crashes.
Children do not have legal standing to file insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits for car accident injuries. However, their parents or legal guardians can file on their behalf. Therefore, knowing what to do if your child is hurt in a car accident in Philly is essential.
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Common Injuries Children Sustain in Car Accidents in Philly
A child can sustain catastrophic injuries because of a car accident. Children often sustain injuries in car crashes that include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Emotional distress
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back injuries
Childhood car accident injuries can result in long-term consequences. The injuries could cause emotional, developmental, and physical impairments.
Therefore, seeking immediate medical treatment for your child after a car accident is crucial. In some cases, you might need to see a medical specialist to determine the extent of damages your child sustained because of a car accident. You must be able to link your child’s injuries to the car accident to recover compensation for damages.
What Types of Damages Can My Child Recover for a Car Accident Claim in Philadelphia?
Children can recover the same types of damages for a car accident claim as adults. However, the types of damages depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.
The party who caused the car accident could be liable for economic damages. These damages include, but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitative care, including physical and occupational therapy
- Counseling and therapy for emotional distress and trauma
- Assistive device and cost of home and vehicle modifications for disability and impairment
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of special education
- Future lost wages and reduced earning capacity
Children injured in a car accident can also recover compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the car crash. Non-economic damages in a car accident case where a child was injured include:
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and agony
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Disabilities and impairments
As a parent, no amount of money compensates your child for the pain and suffering they endure because of a car accident. However, the only remedy the courts can offer for the damages and harm caused by another party’s negligence is a monetary award. Working with a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to build a case for negligence is the best way to protect your child’s right to fair compensation after a car accident.
What Should I Do After a Philly Car Accident Involving My Child?
The moments after a car accident can be overwhelming. Your first priority is your child and their well-being.
Call 911 to report the car accident and request emergency medical services. Even if your child appears fine, you should have them checked by a doctor.
An injury might not be immediately apparent in some cases, but a qualified medical professional can correctly assess your child’s condition after a car crash. The doctor will advise you of symptoms to watch for in the days following the accident that could indicate a serious injury.
At the accident scene, gather evidence if you are able to do so while tending to your child. Using your cell phone to take pictures and make a video of the accident scene can preserve evidence. If people stop to help, ask them for their names and contact information so your attorney can interview them regarding what they saw and heard.
As soon as possible, contact tour Philadelphia child injury lawyers. Understanding your child’s legal rights is the best way to protect them. An attorney evaluates your child’s personal injury case and advises you of the options for recovering compensation.
Proving Liability for a Child’s Injuries After a Philadelphia Car Accident
Injured parties have the burden of proving negligence for a car accident claim. Therefore, you must have sufficient evidence proving the legal elements of your case to create liability for car accident damages. The legal elements of a child’s claim for car accident injuries are:
- A party owed your child a legal duty of care
- A party breached the duty of care owed to your child
- The party’s breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of the car accident that injured your child
- Your child sustained damages because of the car accident
Your attorney handles all aspects of investigating the claim and gathering evidence. A Philadelphia personal injury law firm has the resources to hire experts to assist with the investigation as necessary. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your child’s car accident claim lets you focus entirely on your child’s recovery and well-being.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit After My Child Is Injured in a Philly Car Accident?
Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania is two years from the injury date. Therefore, the deadline to file a car accident lawsuit would be two years from the accident date.
State law tolls or pauses the statute of limitations when a child is injured. Therefore, you could have longer to file a lawsuit for your child.
However, that does not mean you should not seek legal advice as soon as possible after a car accident injures your child. Insurance companies might pressure you to accept a quick settlement. They might imply that hiring a lawyer could hurt your child’s chances of receiving a large settlement.
Without legal advice, parents could make mistakes that hurt their child’s personal injury case. Furthermore, the longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the more likely evidence could be lost or destroyed. On the other hand, hiring an attorney soon after a car accident helps ensure key evidence is gathered and preserved.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers
Our legal team works with you to protect your child’s legal rights and best interests. Your child’s well-being is our top priority. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys.