Help your child write an account of the accidentYour child’s memory of the accident, as well as your own if you were involved or at the scene, is a valuable source of information, but it becomes less and less reliable as time passes, and important details can be forgotten. So, as soon as you can, sit down with your child and write a detailed account of the accident, being careful to leave nothing out. If you were a witness to the accident, you should write down your account separately.
Take them to see a doctor
If your child sustained an injury in the accident, no matter how minor you think it is, take them to see their doctor immediately—this is one of the most important pieces of advice I can offer, not only for your child’s health, but also for the success of your child’s claim. Some injuries will be obvious immediately—abrasions or fractures, for example. However, many of the most common injuries don’t become symptomatic until hours and even days later. Damage to soft tissue occurs immediately, but they may not feel it for some time. Additionally, children may not have the words to describe what is wrong. That’s why it’s so important to have your child see your family physician at once, and in-person. That way the doctor can give your child a full evaluation and document any injuries.
Document their injuries
When it comes to receiving fair compensation from insurance companies, documentation is everything. Records, we might say, are the language of insurance adjustors, and to get what you need to help your child fully recover, you have to learn to speak their language.
Report the accident to your insurance company
If you intend to make a claim, you should promptly report the accident to your insurance carrier. The types of coverage most likely to be relevant are Medical Payments, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection (if it is offered in your state).
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney
Because the injuries children sustain in motor vehicle accidents can be severe, it is most often in your best interest to immediately contact an attorney with experience handling these types of cases. Unless your child escaped the accident with the most minor of injuries, you should consult with an attorney even before reporting the accident to your insurance company.
In my experience as an attorney, the most effective clients are continually seeking to empower themselves with an understanding of the legal process, particularly those that are protecting a child. They are committed to playing an active role in securing the fair outcome to which their child is entitled. In your relationship with your attorney, don’t hesitate to assert yourself. All attorneys worth their salt encourage their clients to ask questions, become involved and seek to understand the legal process.