Child Car Accident Attorney
There is no worse tragedy for parents than an injury to their child. Yet every year, motor vehicle accidents cause more childhood deaths in the United States than any other cause, while hundreds of thousands of children — ranging from toddlers to teenagers — suffer transportation-related injuries. Many child car accident injuries are preventable, but in all cases, the affected parties deserve a fair settlement for medical bills, physical or emotional pain, or loss of future prospects for the injured child.
If your son or daughter has been injured in a car accident, the child injury attorneys in Gainesville, FL, with The Galione Law Firm, P.A., can offer support and legal representation to relieve your family’s burdens at this traumatic time. The majority of transportation-related accidents involving children are the result of avoidable driver errors. The following examples comprise a portion of the types of cases we litigate within the State of Florida. Contact our law office to schedule a consultation with our child injury lawyers.
- Rear-End Collisions
- Running A Red Light / Failure To Stop At Stop Sign
- Speeding / Careless Driving
- Unsafe Lane Change / Side-Swipe
- Pulling Out Of A Driveway
- Parking Lot Accidents
- Falling Asleep At The Wheel
- Drunk Driving
What To Do When A Child Is Involved In A Car Accident
When your child is injured in a vehicle accident, a million feelings can run through your mind, from grief and sadness to anger and frustration. These thoughts are understandable, but it is also important to concentrate on the next steps that you should take.
Seek Medical Attention
Caring for your child’s health is the first priority after a car accident. If severe injuries occurred and you are on the scene, call 911 to have an ambulance transport your child to the hospital for evaluation. Lesser injuries should still be examined by a doctor, preferably on the same day as the accident; some injuries, such as whiplash, could have delayed symptoms. In addition to making sure your child’s health is in order, having a physician document any injuries also provides evidence that can be used in court.
Retain An Accident Lawyer
After your child has received appropriate medical attention, you should focus your attention on the relevant legal matters. You may have a lot of questions, such as what type of attorney can help your case. The truth is that motor vehicle accident cases are seldom straightforward. Cases involving children are usually more complex because of the additional procedural considerations and questions that have to be resolved before reaching a settlement. A child must also be treated with extra patience and compassion, especially during his or her recovery from trauma. For all these reasons, you should not hire just any personal injury lawyer, but an attorney who is familiar with child injury cases related to motor vehicle accidents in Florida.
How To Choose The Right Child Injury Attorney
Given the special considerations in cases involving minor plaintiffs, a lawyer for a child injured in a car accident should have legal experience in several areas, including child injury law, insurance disputes, and defective equipment cases, as well as be familiar with working with child witnesses.
Children are often reticent or speak cryptically about how they are feeling after an accident. The lack of communication can make it more difficult to determine the extent of a child’s trauma from a car accident. Florida law has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims after crashes. If a child withholds information about his or her injuries, the family may not file a claim right away. But then when the child speaks up later, the family could miss the deadline on an otherwise justified legal settlement. Some car accident injuries are visible, such as lacerations, burns, or facial injuries. But other injuries can be hidden beneath the surface, such as soft tissue injuries, fractures, spinal cord or brain injuries, or damage to internal organs. A child injury attorney with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. can advise you on seeking medical attention for your child and proceeding with lawsuits or insurance claims accordingly.
Insurance companies seek to settle claims both quickly and for the lowest amount possible. This practice can result in families receiving less money than they are owed. In an emotional state after an accident, a parent may not be able to recognize the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the insurance company. This is where an experienced insurance disputes attorney can make a difference. By having an experienced attorney handle your claim, you can rest assured that you will receive the largest insurance payout. This money can go toward your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and other consequences as a result of the accident. While it is helpful to file a claim soon after the accident, it is also best to consult first with an attorney.
Defective Car Seats
Equipment that was manufactured incorrectly can create hazards for children. One example is defective child seats that fail to protect the occupants as intended. In recent years, several manufacturers have recalled their car seats because of design flaws, production errors, among other reasons. A defective car seat with a faulty latch or straps or a poor seat design could result in avoidable bodily injury to a child passenger in a car crash. If your child was injured despite being placed into a car seat, a product liability attorney with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. can help you seek just compensation for the manufacturer’s errors. It is also critical to use car seats correctly. As many as three out of four car seats are installed or misused. However, a properly used car seat reduces the risks of child deaths by up to 71 percent.
Children As Witnesses
If a lawsuit becomes necessary after a car accident, your child may be called upon to testify in a court of law. The child’s testimony may be given in a deposition (question and answer session) before a court reporter, in a hearing associated with the case, or even during a courtroom trial. A child’s ability to testify depends significantly on his or her age as well as the child’s level of emotional maturity. An experienced child injury attorney has the proper training to communicate with adolescents. Alternatively, if the parents or the children are uncomfortable with providing testimony, the attorney can protect the child by finding a workaround.
Child Car Accident Settlements
No amount of money can erase the pain and suffering caused by an auto accident. However, receiving the maximum compensation for a car accident claim for a child can aid that child’s recovery and help the family return to normalcy. Some people believe paying a car accident attorney results in less compensation for the plaintiff. This is a misconception. Though lawyers charge fees, they also help plaintiffs win larger settlements in most cases. Therefore, even after the attorneys’ fees are paid, your child’s compensation is still likely to be much larger than if your family had had no legal representation.
Another reason for having a lawyer by your child’s side is that settlements involving children are usually more complicated. Even after compensation is agreed to, the amount may need to be approved by the court. There can also be restrictions on payouts, such as cases in which the money is required to be monitored in a restricted bank account. Parents always want what is best for their children, but they might not have the long-term foresight that an injury attorney provides. While fighting for the maximum monetary damages for your child, our attorneys take into consideration the cost of long-term medical bills, lost wages, or other future considerations.
Recoverable Damages After Car Accident Injuries
The recoverable damages for a child involved in an accident may include but are not limited to the following types of compensation for child auto accident injuries.
- Ambulance transport
- Hospital or doctor visits
- Continuing healthcare
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional distress
- Loss of future earning capacity
Common Causes Of Automotive Accidents Involving Children
Children are vulnerable to the same types of automotive accidents as adults. Younger children are also vulnerable to injuries from school bus accidents, while teenagers could be hurt as the drivers or passengers of other teen drivers involved in collisions. Determining who is at-fault in an accident can prove difficult, especially when several of the witnesses are children. It is essential to collect documentation that can back up your version of events: photos of the scene, objective witness statements, police reports. Memories also fade or evolve over time, so speaking with your child as soon as possible to record his or her recollections is useful for insurance claims and legal actions.
Tips For Keeping Your Child Safe In The Car
Because most injuries to children from car accidents are preventable, you can help avoid them by taking safety precautions. Florida’s traffic safety laws say that all children under the age of 4 must be placed into restraint systems. While the state law does not require children to ride in the rear seats, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise not letting children younger than 13 to ride up front due to possible harm from the airbag. Never place a rear-facing child seat up in front with an active passenger airbag, as the child could suffocate if there is an accident. In addition to using car seats as directed, parents should register the car seat so that they can be notified of any manufacturer recalls or safety warnings thereafter.
Retain A Personal Injury Lawyer For Car Accidents Involving Children
All the safety precautions in the world cannot prevent the inevitable consequences of severe driver error. If your child has been involved in a transportation-related accident, contact The Galione Law Firm, P.A. Our child injury attorneys in Gainesville, FL, have experience with automotive accident cases involving lawsuits and insurance disputes. We are trained to work with children by being patient, listening actively, and showing empathy for the trauma they have experienced. Trust in our attorneys to look after your child’s best interests while relieving your family of the burden of legal matters. To arrange a free consultation, contact us today.