If you are in a car accident with a child, check whether the child is safe and call for emergency medical help if there is any chance the child (or you) might need it. After the accident, have your child checked by a doctor, either at the emergency room or your pediatrician’s office. Stay on the lookout at home for signs of injuries.
Babies and young children are more fragile than older children and adults, and they don’t yet have the communication skills to tell you if something is wrong. That makes it especially important to have children evaluated by a doctor. Seeing a doctor also puts your mind at ease, helping you feel less anxious and therefore reducing the stress your child will feel after the accident.
What should I do immediately after the accident?
Immediately after the accident, you may be feeling shock and panic and the children may be crying. Try to stay calm and take stock of the situation. Are you hurt? Do the children appear to be injured? Then take these actions, if you are able.
- Call 911. Explain that you have been in an accident, and if you think there may have been injuries, explain this too. Even if you don’t think anyone was seriously hurt, you are required to report car accidents to police in Georgia if there were injuries or substantial vehicle damage. Your phone call will bring an officer to the scene.
- Get your children to a safe place. If your car still runs, move it to the side of the road. If the children do not seem badly hurt and you do not think they are safe in the car, move them to a safe place. For small children, it may be safest to leave them in their car seats where they can’t wander into traffic. However, if children are injured and cannot get out of their seats on their own, it is best to wait and let the medics move an injured person – moving them yourselves can actually cause more injuries.
- If the children are someone else’s, call their parents immediately. Tell them what happened and where you are so they can come to the scene.
- Always see a doctor after any car accident, even a minor fender bender where you don’t think anyone was hurt. In many cases, the best thing to do is to head to the emergency room after you leave the accident scene. Emergency room doctors are trained to diagnose and treat injuries from car accidents, including injuries like concussions and muscular injuries that don’t have any visible signs. The younger your child is, the more likely your child has an injury that they will not be able to communicate to you. If you decide not to go to the emergency room, we recommend that you take your child to the pediatrician as soon as possible. In the meantime, be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of injury, including crying, changes in appetite, dizziness, changes in sleep patterns, and vomiting.
What about my child’s car seat?
Experts recommend replacing your child’s car seat if your accident damaged the car seat or the door nearest the seat, or if there were injuries. Your seat’s manufacturer may have its own recommendations. Accidents place stress on the plastic parts and belts of a car seat, making them less protective in future accidents. If you are in doubt, replace the seat.
If my child was injured, do I need a lawyer?
We always recommend that you talk to an Atlanta Georgia car accident law firm after any accident where people were injured. This is especially true when the accident involves your children. Personal injury claims involving children are complicated because children under age 18 are not old enough to legally agree to a settlement on their own. In some cases, the courts must be involved and approve the settlement, even if both you and the insurance company have agreed on an amount. A lawyer can help you navigate this process and will work to get you all the money you need and deserve.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our law firm has a long history of helping families get money when their children are injured in car accidents. We only charge a fee if we are able to get money for you. We offer a free consultation to explain your rights and tell you whether you have a claim. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.