Child Passengers in Car Accidents in Arizona

Any car accident has the potential to be life-altering. However, when you are the parent of a minor child involved in a car crash, the situation can feel almost impossibly overwhelming.

Depending on their nature and severity, car accident injuries can have far-reaching effects on a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development. As the child’s parent or guardian, you have a legal right to hold the at-fault party accountable and seek compensation for your child’s accident-related losses. Working with our experienced Arizona car accident attorneys can help you optimize your chances of a successful outcome in your case. 

The dedicated legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer understands how challenging life can feel after a child has suffered injuries in a crash. We have the experience, skills, and knowledge to seek the total compensation you deserve from the insurance company so you and your child can move confidently into the future.

Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help your child recover after a car accident.

Unique Vulnerability of Child Passengers

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,184 children aged 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in a single recent year. A further 162,298 children suffered injuries in car crashes. These numbers demonstrate how important it is to keep the issue of safety front and center when children are passengers in automobiles.

Immediate Steps Following a Car Accident Involving a Child

If you are wondering what to do if your child was a passenger in a car accident, it is crucial to take immediate action to ensure their safety and well-being. First and foremost, seek medical attention for your child, even if their injuries seem minor at first. Some severe, potentially life-threatening injuries, such as internal bleeding or head trauma, may not be immediately apparent. It’s best to err on the side of caution and have your child evaluated by a medical professional.

Once your child’s immediate needs for emergency medical care have been addressed, you should gather as much information as possible about the accident. Examples include:

  • Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other parties involved
  • Taking photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries
  • Obtaining the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Reporting the accident to the police and obtaining a copy of the police report
  • Avoiding any statements or admissions of fault, as these could be used against you later in the legal process
  • Contacting our Arizona car accident lawyers as soon as possible after the crash

What Does Insurance Cover in Child Passenger Auto Accidents?

In Arizona, car insurance policies typically cover injuries sustained by child passengers in motor vehicle accidents. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, their liability insurance should cover the medical expenses and other damages your child incurred. The average settlement for a child in a car accident may also include compensation for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and any long-term care or therapy your child may require.

Insurance companies may try to minimize their payouts or deny claims altogether. Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can help ensure that your child’s rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.

How Can an Attorney Help After a Car Accident Involving Child Passengers?

An experienced car accident attorney can provide valuable assistance in the following ways: 

  • Investigating the accident
  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Calculating the full value of your child’s losses
  • Handling negotiation and litigation matters
  • Answering your questions and helping you understand your legal rights and options

Preventative Measures to Protect Child Passengers

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the most effective means of reducing the risk of serious injuries and preventable death to children in car crashes is to ensure that they are securely and correctly buckled into size- and age-appropriate car seats or booster seats in compliance with Arizona car seat laws. Children should use seat belts if they are too large for car seats and booster seats.

Always check the appropriate booster seat and car seat ages with the product’s manufacturer. As a general guide, children should:

  • Be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat from birth until ages 2 to 4
  • Be secured in a forward-facing car seat after outgrowing the rear-facing car seat until at least age 5
  • Sit in a booster seat after outgrowing the forward-facing car seat until the seat belt fits properly, according to booster seat guidelines
  • Wear the vehicle’s seat belt when it fits without the use of booster seats (usually between the ages of 9 and 12)

Furthermore, you should never seat children in front of the airbags. The back seat is the safest place to reduce the child’s risk of serious injuries in a crash. Be sure to replace any child safety seat that is involved in a crash to ensure child passenger safety should another collision occur.  

It is also essential that adult car occupants set a good example by wearing seat belts at all times in accordance with the state’s seat belt law. According to NHTSA, 69 percent of children riding with unrestrained adult car occupants were also unrestrained.

While practicing defensive driving is always important, it becomes especially crucial when children are in the vehicle. Avoid distractions, maintain a safe speed, obey all traffic laws, and never drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.

Statute of Limitations to Take Action When Your Child Is Hurt in a Car Crash

 When seeking a car accident settlement for a child, it is essential to remember that there are legal deadlines in place. Arizona law requires you to initiate legal action within two years of the accident date. Failure to file a lawsuit within this timeframe will likely result in the forfeiture of your right to recover compensation for your child’s injuries. Consulting with our experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer as soon as possible can help ensure that you do not miss any statutory deadlines.

Contact Our Phoenix Car Accident Attorney for Help

Few situations in life can match the heartbreak of seeing your injured child after a car accident, as well as the anger you may feel toward the at-fault party. However, protecting your child’s future requires clear and decisive action.

The experienced legal team at Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer is ready to take the necessary steps to seek the full and fair compensation you deserve while you focus on being there for your child. With us on your side, you can feel confident that you will receive the support and advocacy you need every step of the way. 

Call us now or contact us online for a free consultation.