Your child being hurt in a car wreck isn’t something you want to think about as a parent. Unfortunately, even if you’re a responsible motorist, it’s still possible for your child to be hurt in a wreck someone else causes.

Your child’s injuries could require costly medical treatment. They may also result in various other struggles for your child, such as long-term or permanent injuries, and pain and suffering.

Your child may be eligible for compensation in this scenario. As their parent or guardian, you can take steps to pursue compensation on their behalf. Doing so usually involves filing an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.

The following guide will help you understand some of the general legal steps you may take in these circumstances. However, it’s important to understand that every case is unique. The best way to learn more about your legal options when your child has been hurt in a car wreck may be to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.

Immediately After a Car Accident With a Child in the Vehicle: Steps to Take

Taking the right steps immediately after a motor vehicle wreck when your kids are in the car can help you protect their safety while also potentially improving your chances of receiving compensation later. These steps include:

  • Checking yourself, your children, and any other passengers for injuries
  • Moving to a safe spot away from traffic and other hazards (such as fuel leaks)
  • Calling 911 to report the accident
  • Tending to any injuries requiring immediate attention

Unless doing so is necessary to avoid immediate danger, don’t move your child if they can’t move due to injuries. Attempting to move them now could exacerbate the harm.

When your child no longer needs your immediate assistance, proceed to the following steps:

  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the wreck
  • Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as accepting blame for the crash, or suggesting that you might have been a cause
  • Get the names and contact information of witnesses at the scene
  • Document the scene by taking pictures of the wreck from several angles

Always see a doctor right away after a car crash. Both you and your child require a medical examination now, even if you don’t notice any injury symptoms.

The best way to learn more about your legal options when your child has been hurt in a car wreck may be to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Car Crash That Injures Your Child

How you seek compensation for your child’s injuries after a wreck can depend on such factors as the state in which you live. For example, Massachusetts is a no-fault car accident state.

You have to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance before registering a car in Massachusetts. If you’re hurt in a wreck, PIP insurance covers medical expenses for you and your child. Even if someone else caused the crash, you may first seek compensation by filing a claim with your own insurance.

The compensation your insurer offers may not be sufficient to cover all your child’s losses after a crash. You may have additional options now if someone else caused the wreck. If your child’s injuries and losses are significant enough to meet the “serious injury” threshold established under Massachusetts law, you can take additional action against the third party who caused the crash.

This is also an option to consider if your child has sustained losses that don’t have an exact dollar value. For example, while PIP insurance may cover medical bills, it typically won’t cover intangible losses like pain and suffering.

The Value of Legal Counsel After Your Child is Hurt in a Car Accident

Alerting the insurance company shortly after a wreck is vital. The insurance company may have specific procedures for reporting an accident and filing a claim. You could run the risk of waiving your child’s right to compensation if you don’t follow the procedure correctly.

That said, it’s also wise to review your case with a car accident lawyer before working with an insurance company directly. Insurance companies are businesses, and if you work with a claims adjuster directly, they may attempt to protect their employer by convincing you to settle for less than your claim is worth.

That doesn’t have to happen. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Massachusetts car accident lawyer can handle all correspondence with the insurance company. We’ll negotiate a settlement on your child’s behalf while also handling all other tasks your claim may involve. Our assistance can give you more time and freedom to focus on your child’s needs after an accident. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online today or calling us at (617) 742-1900 to set up a free case review.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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