What Do I Do if My Child is Injured in a Car Accident?
The only thing scarier than being seriously injured in a car accident is imagining your child hurt. If your child was injured by a negligent driver, what can you do? Can your child recover damages for their injuries, even if they are too young to bring a lawsuit? Read on for a discussion of your legal options after a car crash, and contact a dedicated Pasadena car accident attorney for help after a southern California traffic accident.
Compensation for your child’s injuries
No amount of compensation will truly ease your child’s suffering. Still, you can take at least some measure of relief in holding the responsible party accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused your family. In California, minors cannot legally file a lawsuit without their parent’s consent. You and your child can choose to file a personal injury lawsuit if your child is harmed, and you can seek essentially the same damages as if the injured party were an adult – medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and others. Notably, car accident settlements for children likely require the approval of the court before being finalized.
Be wary of insurance companies
Insurance companies aim to settle claims involving minors as rapidly as possible. They know that you will fight for your child even harder than you would fight for yourself, so they are likely to make an offer as soon as possible, hoping to get you to agree to a settlement before you have time to speak with a lawyer. Do not let them pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement right off the bat. Speak with an attorney about your case and your options, and let your lawyer help you negotiate a proper settlement with the insurance company. A knowledgeable California car accident lawyer will help you get the settlement amount that your child and your family are properly owed for the harm and the loss you have suffered.
If the absolute worst has occurred and your child was killed in a car accident, you have legal remedies available to you. A wrongful death lawsuit allows certain survivors of an accident victim to sue if the victim would have been able to bring a personal injury lawsuit had they survived. In California, the surviving parents of a child killed in an accident can bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.
Depending on whether the child was killed instantly or whether they survived for a period of time, different damages may be available. Technically, parents can bring a “survival action” if the victim survived for some time. A survival action is essentially a personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of the deceased, while a wrongful death claim is brought by the survivors on their own behalf. Punitive damages, for example, are available in a survival action, but not in a wrongful death claim.
Trusted Advice and Representation from Pasadena Traffic Accident Lawyer Andrew Ritholz
If you or your child were hurt by a negligent driver in southern California, speak with an attorney who understands your concerns and can protect your interests with dedication and passion. Contact Pasadena car accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.