As a parent, you do everything you can to protect your child and keep them safe and happy. Unfortunately, you can’t always protect them from dangerous situations, including car accidents. You need to be able to take your child to school, to pediatrician appointments, and to run errands. Yet, having a “baby on board” sign in your car window does little to prevent careless drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior.
At Finz & Finz, P.C., our powerhouse attorneys take a family approach to your legal situation. We understand the intense emotional response parents have when their baby is involved in an accident. Our team knows that parents may not know what to do next in an emotionally charged situation. We want to help prepare you for what’s ahead and outline what you should do if your baby is involved in a car accident.
If Your Baby Is Involved in a Car Accident
Being in a car accident when your child is in the backseat is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. Even though you’ve taken all the proper safety precautions and strapped your precious baby into a car seat, serious injuries can still occur. Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a crash can help save your child’s life and prevent life-long medical complications. If you and your child are hurt in a car accident, here are the steps you need to take to protect your family:
- Call the authorities – Immediately call the authorities and ask for help. Law enforcement can control the scene, and emergency medical technicians can render emergency aid to those injured in the crash. Use caution when touching or moving your baby. EMTs are specially trained to stabilize children and adults to help avoid further injuries or paralysis. The subsequent police report filed by authorities may also help you recover the compensation you and your child need to cover the cost of medical treatment.
- Seek medical attention immediately – Babies and children do not respond to significant injuries as adults do. Their anatomy and physiology are different and are still changing and maturing. Children tend to compensate for shock better than adults, meaning the symptoms of pediatric shock may be slow to develop. However, once the symptoms of shock set in, pediatric patients experience a more rapid decline in their condition than adults. Although you may not initially notice signs of significant injury, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible for you and your child.
- Exchange information – If possible, exchange information with the other driver. Ask for their name, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- Document the crash – If you can, try to document the scene. Take photographs and video of the area and the damage to both vehicles. If you notice bystanders nearby, ask them if they saw what happened and get their contact information.
- Connect with an attorney – Coping with a child’s significant injuries can be overwhelming. You need help communicating with insurers and seeking the compensation you and your baby deserve. Getting in touch with a car accident attorney early in the process is a great way to protect your rights and ease the stress of managing a car accident claim. Having a lawyer working on your claim also gives you more time to focus on what really matters: the health and safety of your child.
- Stick to your pediatrician’s treatment plan – Babies and small children need adults to ensure the doctor’s directions are obeyed. They can’t do it themselves. It is your job to ensure your child sticks to the pediatrician’s treatment guidelines. Keep all follow-up appointments and give medication as prescribed.
- Keep all bills and receipts – Keep all medical bills, repair receipts, and documentation of out-of-pocket expenses in a safe location. These documents can help your attorney estimate the value of your claim. You deserve fair compensation following an accident. Managing your paperwork is one way to help account for your financial losses.
- Stay off social media – It may be tempting to share your story with family and friends online. However, staying off social media is in your and your child’s best interest until your claim is resolved.
Signs of Injury in Babies and Small Children
Signs of significant injuries in babies and small children are not always obvious. Sometimes the only indication that your baby is in distress is that they cry. After a traumatic accident like a car collision, a baby may already be crying. It can be challenging to understand why. Additionally, symptoms of serious injuries do not always manifest right away in babies and children.
After a car accident, you should always let emergency medical technicians on the scene help you and your child. Then you should seek medical attention from a doctor immediately. In the hours and days after the crash, you should also be on the lookout for these signs:
- Change in mood or behavior
- Excessive vomiting
- Limpness or listlessness in infants
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent crying
Untreated injuries can impact a child’s physical and mental development and may set them up for life-long medical complications.
Your focus will be on your baby in the days and weeks after a car accident. Many parents overlook one key aspect of keeping their baby safe in the future: replacing their child’s car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends replacing your child’s car seat after any moderate or severe crash.
Although car seats are durable, car accidents can weaken the structural integrity of a car seat. Invisible cracks and interior damage can compromise the safety of the seat and lead to more significant injuries in children if you are involved in even minor subsequent accidents.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney for Help
Overwhelmed after a car accident involving your baby? The compassionate legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. are here to help. We take the burden of managing an accident claim off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your child’s recovery and giving you peace of mind.
For a free case review, contact our office online or call us at (855) TOP-FIRM today. Our powerhouse New York car accident attorneys will diligently work to earn you and your family the compensation you deserve.