A Los Angeles Child Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Enforce Your Legal Rights. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of children under 15 years of age are killed every year in traffic accidents in the United States alone, and well over 100,000 are injured. Seat belts and child restraints make a real difference; more than a third of child victims who die are not buckled up at the time of the accident, compared with less than one percent of the children who buckle up.
Common Injuries to Children in Auto Accidents
Although children are prone to just about any serious car accident injury that an adult is prone to, children are particularly likely to suffer the following types of injuries:
- Head and neck injuries including traumatic brain injury, concussions, whiplash, contusions, and skull base fractures.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Airbag injuries, especially if the child is sitting in the front seat. Children often suffer broken noses from airbags. Broken necks sometimes occur, as does suffocation.
- Car seat injuries, if the device fails during a crash.
- Psychological difficulties (even if the child is not seriously injured) due to the traumatic nature of the experience.
- Death: Rollover accidents are particularly likely to kill children. A wrongful death claim can arise in favor of close relatives when a child is killed in a rollover accident.
Child Accident Safety Tips
Observing the following safety tips will greatly decrease your child’s odds of being seriously harmed in a car accident:
- Use seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats as appropriate to your child’s age and weight. Yes, these devices sometimes do cause injury when they fail — but overall, your child’s odds are better with them than without them. Statistics consistently indicate that they reduce fatalities by up to 50 percent.
- Put your child in the back seat (preferably in the middle) if they are under 12 years old.
- Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag.
- Use rear-facing car seats for children up to age two.
- Use a forward-facing car seat for children between the ages of two and five.
- Use seat belts for children over the age of eight.
Children can be injured in a car without a traffic accident if, for example:
- An automatic car window closes and chokes a child.
- A child is locked in the trunk (during a game of hide and seek, for example)
- A child on foot is run over in a driveway by a motorist backing up with a fogged rear window.
- The car slips into gear and hits a child or crashes with a child inside.
In cases such as these, it may be possible to claim liability against a responsible party or their insurance company — a vehicle owner who kept his trunk unlocked, for example, or a vehicle manufacturer whose vehicle accidentally slipped into gear due to a manufacturing defect.
Unique Legal Factors in Child Car Accident Cases
Child car accident injuries raise special legal considerations that do not apply in other personal injury practice areas, such as:
- The statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit doesn’t arrive until the child turns 20 (compared with two years after the accident for adults in most cases)
- A child under 18 cannot file a personal injury lawsuit — a parent or legal guardian must file the lawsuit on the child’s behalf.
- In cases of permanent medical disability, it is difficult to calculate lost future earnings
- A child may find it difficult to articulate his pain and suffering (which California personal injury law allows them to be compensated for)
- When an accident is caused partly by the actions of the child, the child’s age is taken into account when assessing contributory negligence.
- An out-of-court child injury settlement must be approved by a judge.
- For the most part, compensation must be held in trust until the child is 18.
Contact a Los Angeles child accident attorney for further details.
Contact an Experienced Child Car Accident Lawyer Today
If your child has been injured in an auto accident, contact The Dominguez Firm immediately. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough money to hire our team of high-powered child accident attorneys – our law firm works on a no recovery, no fee or cost basis, which mean our clients only pay if we win their case and pay no money upfront.
Our award-winning practice group of child car accident lawyers are ready to fight for you, and we can help you at your home or at the hospital if necessary. Call us any time 24/7 at 800-818-1818 to speak with an injury attorney in a free, confidential case consultation in which your privacy is guaranteed.