A motor vehicle accident is a traumatic experience that can cause physical, emotional, and financial damages. When an auto accident involves a child, the accident can be all the more devastating for the child and their entire family. Fortunately, you can pursue justice on behalf of your child and help them receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and other losses. However, there are some important differences in child injury cases that you need to know about when you’re pursuing compensation on behalf of a minor child.
What Can be Done if a Child is Injured in a Car Crash?
Immediately following an accident, even if your child’s injuries seem minor, it’s important that you seek medical attention and have your child examined by a health care professional. After treatment, the next step is contacting a child injury lawyer, one who is familiar with child injury accident cases, since these cases are handled differently compared to an adult personal injury claim.
An attorney can work with the child’s appointed guardian ad litem, and help the child receive compensation for the damages they suffered.
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?
Child injury claims are not handled the same as adult accident claims. In the state of California, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. In most cases, the competent adult chosen to represent the child is a parent. The guardian ad litem will make important decisions regarding how the child’s accident claim or injury lawsuit is handled and pursue financial compensation on their behalf.
Settlements and Awards
Just like with an accident that involves an adult, an auto insurance company will be quick to make a settlement offer, however, the court must first approve the settlement offer, unless the settlement amount is under $5,000. If the case goes to trial, the court must also approve the award amount.
Protected Account for Minor Children
Another major difference with this type of case is how the settlement or award is handled. Once the settlement or award amount has been approved by a judge, the money is then placed in a protected account that blocks anyone from accessing the funds until the child is eighteen years of age, unless the settlement is under $5,000.
This system is designed to prevent anyone, including the parents or legal guardian, from draining the child’s account.
Child Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents
Severe auto accident injuries can change a child’s life forever. Some may even require ongoing medical treatment for the foreseeable future.
In motor vehicle crashes, a child is especially vulnerable to catastrophic injuries, due to their smaller size and frame.
In an auto accident, a child may sustain the following types of motor vehicle injuries:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury/head injuries
- Chest injuries
- Rib fractures
- Dental injuries
- Knee injuries
- Foot fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Skull base fractures
- Nerve damage
- Lung injuries
- Back injury
- Pelvic fractures
- Neck injury
- Humerus fractures
- Soft tissue damage
- Thoracic injuries
- Broken bones/bone fractures
- Loss of limb
- Fatal injury
- Emotional trauma
If a child sustains long-term injuries due to a traffic accident caused by a negligent driver, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced child injury attorney as soon as possible, to protect your child’s legal right to fair compensation.
Contact a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer at Lem Garcia Law Today
If your child was injured in an auto accident, contact our law office today to schedule a free, no-obligation case strategy session. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling child injury cases and are familiar with the steps you must take to help your child receive the compensation they deserve for the physical and emotional trauma they have suffered.
When you meet with one of our attorneys, they will go over your child’s case, answer all of your questions, and discuss what your child’s legal rights and options are. Even If you decide not to work with our law firm, you will leave our law office knowing how can you help your child through this process. If you do decide to work with a skilled car accident attorney from Lem Garcia Law, they will begin an accident investigation right away to determine liability and build the strongest case possible to help your child receive the compensation they’re owed. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case strategy session.