Child Injuries from Car Accidents in Kansas City
Sadly, car accidents result in thousands of childhood injuries or deaths each year. In 2017, an average of three children died each day in car accidents. Almost three-fourths of the deaths were children riding in vehicles. Children killed in car crashes while walking or riding a bicycle accounted for approximately one-quarter of the deaths that year.
While the number of child injuries and deaths from car accidents has declined since 2016, even one death or injury is one too many. Car accidents continue to be the leading cause of accidental deaths of children in the United States.
What Are the Risk Factors for Children in Car Accidents?
Several risk factors increase the chance that a car accident injuries or kills a child. If a child is injured while riding in a car, one of the most common risk factors is failing to use safety restraints. All 50 states, including Kansas and Missouri, have child safety seat laws. Young children should be securely fastened into a child safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight, and height. Improperly installed car seats and booster seats are another risk factor for childhood injuries and deaths in car accidents.
Children who have outgrown a child safety seat should ride in the back seat of the vehicle and wear a seat belt. It is recommended that children remain in the back seat until at least 13 years of age.
Poor driving decisions by motorists are another factor in many injuries and deaths for children hit by cars.
Distracted driving, fatigued driving, speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, and other errors and negligence committed by motorists increase the risk of that child is hit by a car. Whether the child is riding with the motorist, is walking, or is riding a bicycle, mistakes and negligence behind the wheel are a common cause of child car accident injuries.
A child’s size and immaturity are risk factors for being hit by a car. Children do not understand the dangers of playing near streets or running out into a street for a ball or toy. They do not fully grasp the consequences of riding their bicycles on the road or too close to the road. Furthermore, a child’s size makes it more difficult for drivers to see the child in time to avoid a crash.
Missouri & Kansas Law Protecting Children from Car Accident Injuries
Missouri Traffic Law on Child Safety
Missouri law acknowledges that child pedestrians are at higher risk of injury from a cars and other vehicles and requires drivers to exercise the highest degree of care and proper precaution to avoid an accident that would injure a child pedestrian.
Missouri Revised Statute 300.410 provides that drivers of all vehicles "shall exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway."
Kansas Law Traffic Law on Child Safety
Kansas law provides a similar protection for children. K.S.A. 8-1535 states that "every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.
What to Do if Your Child Was Hit by a Car in Missouri or Kansas
There are steps that parents can take to prevent their children from being hit by a car, including:
- When children ride in a vehicle, always use safety seats or seat belts.
- Teach child safe pedestrian safety rules and bicycle safety tips.
- Try to walk or bicycle with your child whenever possible.
- Talk to children often about pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- Children need to hear the rules and safety tips repeatedly.
However, parents cannot prevent all accidents involving children and cars because parents cannot control the actions of drivers. They also cannot always control all other factors that might be involved in a car accident.
If your child is hit by a car, try not to panic, even though that is a natural reaction. Try to think through the steps to take to help your child.
- Call 911 to request an ambulance and the police.
- Seek medical treatment for your child. Even though the injuries may be minor, it is best to take a trip to the emergency room or the doctor immediately to be checked out. Your child could have injuries that are not immediately apparent.
- Talk to any witnesses at the accident scene about what happened and ask them for their names and contact information.
- Be careful discussing the car accident or your child’s injuries with the driver’s insurance provider. We recommend that you do not make a statement or allow your child to make a statement until you speak with a Kansas City child injury lawyer.
- Document your child’s injuries and treatment. This includes photographing the injuries and keeping detailed records and notes about all conversations with doctors and other parties related to the accident or your child’s condition. Also, keep copies of all medical bills, receipts, and other evidence of financial losses or damages related to the accident.
Thinking about a personal injury claim for your child can be too overwhelming when you are dealing with your child’s emotional and physical wellbeing. However, your child deserves to be compensated for his or her injuries, pain, and suffering. You also deserve to be compensated for the financial damages caused when your child is hit by a car. Our Kansas City child injury attorney handles the legal issues for you so that you can focus your full attention on your child.
Contact a Kansas City Child Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus helps parents and children seek the compensation they deserve after a car accident. We are strong legal advocates for the rights of injured children throughout Missouri and Kansas.
Contact our office 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with a Kansas City child injury lawyer. Learn about your child’s rights and your options for holding a negligent driver responsible for hurting your child from a trusted legal advocate for children.