We understand how terrifying it can be for a parent when your child gets hurt in a car accident in Atlanta. At S. Burke Law, we can help you deal with child injury after a car accident in Atlanta and pursue the money damages you and your family deserve to get you back on your feet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 128,000 children aged 12 years and younger got hurt in motor vehicle collisions in the United States in 2016, and 723 of them died from their injuries. Because these statistics are for pre-teen children, the numbers do not include teen drivers.
Children can be more vulnerable to injury in wrecks because they have smaller body mass than adults. The injuries they sustain can have more significant impact on their long-term health and well-being because children are continuing to grow.
For example, a large burn scar from a fiery crash will have to stretch and expand as the child grows, but severely damaged tissue cannot expand. As a result, the child will likely have to undergo multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and painful recoveries as she grows to full adult height.
A personal injury lawyer can help your family navigate through the legal system and protect your child’s right to compensation.
Types of Injuries Children Sustain in Car Accidents
Children can experience any of the injuries that adults can in crashes. Because of their smaller size and usual placement in the vehicle, some of the more common injuries children sustain include:
- Fractures, including broken ribs. When a young child breaks a bone, there is a risk of complications years later as the child continues to grow.
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury. For a developing brain, trauma can be particularly devastating and life-changing.
- Spinal cord damage, which can rob a child of experiences he will now never know.
- Abdominal or chest injuries can happen when the child restraint or seat belt cuts into the stomach at the time of impact.
Why Child Injuries from Car Accidents Are Different
At S. Burke Law, we know from our experience in handling these cases that an injury to a child can have long-term implications that injured adults usually do not face. Here are some of the special considerations found in these situations:
- The harm from some injuries might not show up for years. Let’s say that a three-year-old child sustains head trauma in a crash. In elementary or middle school, his educators diagnose him with learning disabilities because he struggles with things like reading or math.
- Harm that appears right away can affect your child for a lifetime. After a severe head trauma, your child might lose motor function, speech and language, and developmental hallmarks. He might need long-term physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, or other interventions to try to restore his functions and abilities.
- His personality might change. He could become depressed, irritable, or angry. He might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some parents report that the child they once knew is gone and replaced by someone who they cannot emotionally “reach.”
- Because a significant injury from a car accident can impact a child in different ways and for a longer duration than an adult, the money damages can be astronomical. You should work with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to protect your child’s legal rights.
How to Deal with a Child Injury After an Atlanta Car Accident
The steps you take right after the collision will affect your child’s health and financial status for years to come. Here are some suggestions of things to do when your child gets hurt in a crash, but every case is different. You should do what makes sense in your situation. Some common options include:
Get Medical Care
Injuries can be hard to detect in children. A child might have a hard time understanding what she is feeling, much less describing it. Even if your child does not complain of pain and you do not see any injuries, you should take your child for a professional medical evaluation right away after a significant car accident. Undetected injuries like internal bleeding, head trauma, or spinal cord damage can become critical without prompt treatment.
The medical records will serve as a link between the injuries and the crash. If you wait a few days before taking your child to the emergency room, urgent care center or doctor, the defendant will argue that your child got hurt from some other event, not the car accident.
Talk with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The insurance company will likely assign a claims adjuster to your injury claim as soon as they learn of the collision. Unless you want to take on a billion-dollar corporation with its investigators, claims adjusters, and teams of lawyers all by yourself, you should get a car accident lawyer on your side. We will deal with the insurance adjuster on your behalf so that you do not have to.
You can call S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838, to get a free consultation. We do not get paid until you win.