According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 650 children were killed in car accidents. An additional 127,000 suffered injuries. Many of those injuries were extremely severe.
Children under the age of twelve, in particular, are the most vulnerable to serious car accident injuries. All parents of young children need to be aware of the dangers. There are some actions that parents can take to help dramatically reduce the risks their children face in the car. Specifically, parents should ensure that:
- Infants and toddlers are secured in a properly installed car seat;
- Young children between the ages of four and eight are secure in a properly installed booster seat;
- Older children always use their seat belts; and
- All children under twelve are seated away from the airbags.
Parents also must put a lot of faith in the hands of other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, far too many drivers fail to take proper care when operating their vehicles. If your child was injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may want to take legal action.
Bringing a Car Accident Claim for a Child Injury
In many ways, a child injury car accident claims are similar to adult injury claims. The same legal standards, and burdens of proof, will be used. However, there is also one significant difference when it comes to child injuries. Your minor child will not be able to represent himself or herself before the court. A child cannot sign a legally binding contract. This means that you will need to find an experienced car accident lawyer who can help serve as your child’s guardian ad litem.
The term ‘guardian’ does not mean that your child’s lawyer will receive any general control over your child. The lawyer will simply be acting as your child’s legal representative in the single legal claim in question. Your child deserves full and fair compensation for their injuries. This is especially important in the unfortunate event that the accident left your child with long term damages.
Do You Need Legal Help?
Injuries to children are especially devastating. If your child was injured by a negligent driver, our experienced attorneys can help. Contact our office for a free consultation of your case.