What to Do When a Child Is Injured in an Indiana Car Accident

Your own minor injuries are the least of your worries following a car crash that wasn’t your fault. Your child was in the car and is more seriously injured than you are. You naturally sought medical care immediately after the crash, but now you are worried about how you will pay for it, as well as any future medical care they might need to fully Young child being buckled into their car seat by their parentrecover. The good news is that, with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can hold the negligent driver responsible for compensating your child for their losses, even though the child cannot technically file a claim or a lawsuit on their own. We explain how this all works here.

Common Injuries Children Sustain in Car Crashes

Ideally, your child was restrained appropriately in the back seat of the car when the crash happened. Car seats and booster seats provide the best possible protection for children under the age of 12 riding in a vehicle, but they could still suffer injuries in a major crash. These injuries include:

  • Head and neck injuries. Car seats and boosters are designed to protect a child’s fragile neck, but in a high-impact collision, the child’s neck could still be snapped back and forth, causing soft tissue damage or a concussion.
  • Chest injuries. As the restraints do their job holding the child in place, they could compress the chest and even cut into the skin. Your child could have bruising, lacerations, and even broken ribs from the force of the crash.
  • Airbag injuries. Car seats should not be installed in the front seat if possible, but if you drive a pick-up truck or your car has side airbags, your child could be injured when the airbag deploys. Bruising, hearing damage, and burns can be caused by airbags.
  • Cuts from flying debris. Even a safely restrained child in the back seat can be hit by shards of glass and other debris during a crash.
  • Car seat failures. If the car seat is not properly installed or it malfunctions in some way, your child could be thrown out or crushed between the car seat and the front seat.
  • Psychological trauma. Regardless of the extent of physical injury your child suffers, they will have witnessed a traumatic event and could suffer emotional effects for a long time afterward.

If your child was not properly restrained or was sitting in the front seat at the time of the crash, they could have suffered even more serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, fractures, spinal cord damage, and more. Even if the crash was caused by another driver, you could be found partially responsible for your child’s injuries if you did not restrain them according to Indiana law. This could reduce the amount of compensation your child would receive from the at-fault driver or their insurer.

You Can File a Injury Claim on Behalf of Your Child after an Accident

Your child could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver if they were injured in a crash, but you will have to file the claim on their behalf. When you work with an Indiana car accident attorney, you can be sure the right steps are taken to ensure a fair settlement. When we work on behalf of children, we make sure they are compensated for:

  • Medical bills. The cost of emergency treatment and follow-up care should be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • Future medical costs. A skilled car accident attorney will calculate potential future costs—including rehabilitation and therapy—into the settlement amount.
  • Permanent disability. If the child suffered a permanent injury, they should be compensated for the loss of earning capacity they will experience years in the future because of the disability.
  • Pain and suffering. These non-economic damages are difficult to calculate, particularly for young children, but experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for what your child needs.
James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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