Child Injuries In Kansas City Car Accidents
Tragically, thousands of children are killed and injured in car accidents each year in the United States. Most of the children killed or injured in car accidents are occupants in the vehicle. However, injuries from traffic accidents involving children as pedestrians and bicyclists are also very common.
When a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident, the first priority is always the child’s physical health and emotional well-being. However, if negligence, recklessness, or other wrongdoing was a factor in the cause of the accident, parents should also consider their child’s legal rights. Our Kansas City car accident attorneys handle accident cases involving children. To assist parents, we offer the following guide for Kansas City car accidents involving children.
In this article, our Kansas City accident lawyers discuss:
- Car Accident Statistics for Children
- Common Injuries Children Sustain in Traffic Accidents
- Can Children Receive Compensation for a Car Accident Claim?
- What Steps Should a Parent Take After A Child is Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
- Motor Vehicles and Child Safety
Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics for Children
Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of unintentional deaths in children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 24 years. In 2017, motor vehicle accidents were the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 years and the third leading cause of death for children under one year of age.
According to the NHTSA, 1,233 children 14 years of age and younger were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles during 2016, which was an eight percent increase in the number of deaths from 2015. Seventeen children died in traffic accidents in Kansas in 2016. That same year, 37 children died in traffic accidents in Missouri. More than 128,000 children were injured in vehicle accidents during 2016 nationwide.
Common Injuries Children Sustain In Traffic Accidents
Some injuries children sustain in car accidents include:
- Fractures and broken bones are common injuries for children in car accidents. In many cases, fractures may heal with a cast, but some children may require surgery and physical therapy.
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, are also common. Children who sustain brain injuries in motor vehicle crashes may be at risk for complications from future concussions. In some cases, children may suffer permanent impairments, including cognitive, behavioral, and developmental problems.
- Injuries from seat belts can cause life-threatening conditions for children. Parents and physicians should watch children closely for signs and symptoms of seat belt syndrome.
- Airbag injuries can be life-threatening. Children sitting in the front seat may experience broken facial bones and neck injuries from inflating airbags.
- Car seat injuries are another common injury some children sustain in motor vehicle accidents, especially if they are not restrained properly in the car seat, the car seat is not installed properly, they have outgrown the car seat, or the car seat is defective.
- Neck injuries, including whiplash, can result in long-term pain and impairments in children.
- Cuts and lacerations from broken glass can cause scarring and disfigurement.
- Psychological injuries, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression, are possible after a car crash. A child may suffer a variety of emotional and mental disorders following a car accident that requires counseling and therapy.
- Fatal injuries to children from a car accident are the most devastating kind of loss imaginable.
Determining the Extent of a Child’s Car Accident Injury
Injuries a child may sustain in a motor vehicle accident could have a substantial impact on the child’s future because a child’s body and brain are still developing. The impact of some injuries could result in life-long impairments or disabilities for a child. In some cases, it may be impossible to understand the full extent of a car accident injury sustained by a child until years after the crash.
For this reason, it is crucial that a parent works closely with a Kansas City car accident lawyer to ensure that all potential future damages are included in a car accident settlement for a child. Consultation with additional physicians and specialists may be required to determine the full extent of future damages.
Can Children Receive Compensation for a Car Accident Claim?
A child does not have the legal standing to file a lawsuit or settle an accident claim. However, the child’s parent may pursue an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the child. A child is entitled to receive compensation for a variety of damages. The child’s parent may also be entitled to receive compensation for losses and damages.
An injury claim involving a child can be very complex, especially if the child sustained a permanent impairment or disability. The future damages could be substantial. The insurance company may pressure the parent to settle the injury claim before the parent has a chance to comprehend the full value of the claim.
What Steps Should a Parent Take After A Child is Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
When a child is injured in a car crash, the magnitude of the situation can overwhelm parents. However, parents need to take steps to protect their child’s legal right to full compensation of all damages. Because a parent’s focus needs to be on their child’s health and well-being, one of the best steps a parent can take after a car accident is to contact a personal injury attorney in Kansas City.
An attorney can deal with the insurance company and other parties for the parent and the child while the family focuses solely on the child’s needs. Our attorneys suggest that parents avoid discussing the accident with the insurance adjuster or other party representing the driver or drivers until speaking with an attorney. They also highly recommend consulting with an attorney before accepting a settlement to ensure the settlement amount is fair given the facts and circumstances of the case.
During your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers, you get the answers to your questions about a child injury claim so that you can decide what is in the best interest of your child. The consultation is confidential.
Motor Vehicles and Child Safety
It is extremely important that parents and all adults take great care when operating motor vehicles. Children cannot protect themselves from motor vehicle accidents. They rely solely on adults to ensure their safety.
As motorists, we need to avoid driving behaviors that place children at risk, including distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, drowsy driving, drugged driving, and reckless driving. Parents should always ensure that their children understand the dangers of being near motor vehicles and that children are secured safely when riding in a motor vehicle.
Some websites that provide important safety tips that help prevent motor vehicle injuries involving children include:
- NHTSA– Safety tips for parents and caregivers
- NSC - Tips for avoiding injuries in hot cars
- Safe Kids Worldwide– In and Around Cars
- NHTSA Kids and Bicycle Safety
- American Academy of Pediatrics– Updated Recommendations for Car Seats and Safety Seats
- Safe Kids Worldwide– Pedestrian Safety
Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney for Child Injuries
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents children and parents who have been injured in car accidents. Our legal team provides guidance and support as you seek to hold the party or parties responsible for your child’s injuries accountable and liable. We are strong legal advocates for the rights of injured children in Missouri and Kansas.
Call 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer to learn more about how we can help you and your child.