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Children Injured in Car Accidents in California

At Maison Law, our California car accident lawyers understand how devastating and traumatic a car accident can be. This is especially true when an accident involves children. If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries in a car accident, you may find that you are entitled to damages. Please contact us today to find out what options are available for you at this time.

From the moment that you get behind the wheel of a car, there is always a chance that you could become involved in a life-altering collision with a reckless driver. Children become the victims of catastrophic California car accidents every day. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities in children who are 14 years of age and younger in the U.S., according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Injuries to Children in California Car Accidents

Though children can be injured in many types of accidents, the most accidents affect them when they are passengers in somebody else’s vehicle. Due to the size of children, they are more likely to sustain severe injuries in an accident involving a motor vehicle or a truck, even when the accident occurs at slow speeds. Some of the most common injuries that occur in child-related car accidents include the following:

  • Internal organ damage
  • Chest injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

These injuries are sometimes so severe that they affect a child for the rest of their life. Immediate medical attention after a car accident is necessary but, even with it, an injury can be lifelong and traumatic.

Who is Eligible to File a Claim When it Involves an Injured Child?

When a child is injured in a car accident, parents or guardians may wonder how they can move forward with a claim. Children in California do not have the right to move forward with a claim until they are 18 years of age, which means that a parent or guardian will need to bring a personal injury claim on their behalf. A parent and their chosen attorney will need to consider the best interests of the child as they move forward with the claim and make decisions along the way.

It is important to keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations that must be met in regards to California car accident claims, even those involving children. In California, you have two years from the time of the injury or the discovery of injuries to bring a claim before you are barred from doing so. For children, the rules are a bit different. The statute of limitations will be delayed for a child until their 18th birthday. However, you do not want to wait too long to bring a claim, as you and your child may be in need of the financial assistance right from the start.

Factors That Can Affect a Child Injury Settlement

When a child is injured in a car accident, their medical bills and other related expenses could be tens of thousands of dollars. However, there are some factors that can affect the settlement that a child and their parent receive when they bring a personal injury claim. These include some of the following:

Severity of Injuries: One of the most important factors that can affect a child’s settlement is the severity of their injuries. If a child has suffered from injuries that have long-term consequences and care, they are more likely to receive a higher settlement number.

Liability: When fault is clear in an accident and you can prove that the other party is liable for your child’s accident, the settlement amount can be much larger. However, if it is found that you are partially at fault for the accident, the settlement amount may be reduced significantly. 

Insurance: If it is determined that the at-fault driver has significant insurance coverage, the settlement amount may be higher. However, if they were uninsured or underinsured, it is sometimes difficult to obtain damages that your child needs for their injuries.

Child’s Age: Settlements for younger children are sometimes higher due to the fact that they may be more likely to sustain emotional distress caused by the accident and require more medical care as time goes on. 

Future Medical Treatment: A child may be entitled to a larger settlement if they require long-term care including rehabilitation, psychological care, surgeries, and more. 

Pain and Suffering: If a child has sustained physical pain and emotional suffering due to the accident, the settlement amount could be higher than expected.

Damages Available in a Child Accident Claim in California

If a child has been injured in a car accident, the injuries that result can be devastating and long-lasting in nature. Two different types of damages can be awarded when a personal injury claim is brought on behalf of a child. These include general damages and special damages.

General Damages: Examples of general damages in a child-related car accident claim include pain and suffering, physical impairment, emotional distress, and disfigurement. The value of these damages is subjective since they are non-monetary losses. 

Special Damages: These damages are known as economic and include aspects like lost wages and future earning capacity, medical expenses incurred or expected to be incurred, property damages, and more.

Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car accidents are a reality of life in California. However, this reality can seem like a nightmare when your child is involved in a collision caused by another party. You want your child’s life to return to normal as much as possible following a collision, which is why it can be beneficial to speak with a lawyer who has handled these claims in the past.

At Maison Law, our California car accident lawyers are here for you and your family after your child has been injured in an unexpected and catastrophic collision. We will compassionately handle their claim from start to finish to receive maximum damages and deal with the insurance company. Please do not hesitate to contactus today for more information on how we can assist you.

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