Being involved in a crash when your child is in the vehicle can be traumatic for you and them. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure they’re safe after the crash. You should also follow the same steps you would for any wreck. This includes contacting emergency services so you can get police to the scene, and you can also ask for emergency medical services if anyone is injured.
There are a few special considerations that you need to think about if you have children in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
#1: Help your child cope
The crash was likely emotionally damaging to the child. They may feel anxious about having to get in the car. Try to address these fears productively. Ultimately, you may have to get the child mental health care to deal with the damage done by the crash. This is especially true for serious crashes or children showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
#2: Watch for signs of injury
Children sometimes don’t realize they’re hurt when a crash occurs. You’ll need to watch for signs that something is amiss in the coming weeks. Some injuries, such as brain injuries, won’t show up for a while. Be especially vigilant to watch for signs in younger children, such as crying more than usual or showing pain when you touch them. Get medical care for the child if you have any inkling of thought that they’re hurt.
#3: Check the car seat
You need to replace the child’s car seat unless the crash was minor. All of the following conditions must be present if you plan to continue to use the car seat, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- You could drive the car away from the scene
- The car seat doesn’t appear damaged
- No airbags deployed
- Nobody in your vehicle was injured
- The door closest to the car seat wasn’t damaged
You may choose to seek compensation if negligence was a factor in the crash. New York law limits the amount of time you have to do this, so it’s beneficial for you to seek assistance from someone familiar with these matters. Including damages for missed wages and medical care, along with other factors is important for your case.