Car accidents pose a risk to any passenger but when children are involved in car accidents, the risk of severe injury increases dramatically. If your child has been injured in an accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you need an accomplished California car accident attorney at your side.
At J&Y Law, we know that the consequences of child injuries can be devasting not only for the victim but the entire family. Knowing that parents are ultimately concerned about the well-being of their children, we are committed to holding negligent parties accountable and helping families obtain the compensation their child needs and deserves.
When you consult with us, we will take the time to listen to your concerns, and address those concerns by providing you with compassionate representation and caring, efficient service. Trust our legal team to stand by you every step of the way and to protect your child.
Los Angeles Car Accident Child Injury
The child injury car accident statistics are alarming. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 97,000 children per year, on acreage, are injured in car accidents, most of which are the result of driver errors, including:
- Distracted driving (e.g. texting while driving)
- Reckless driving
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Driving under the influence
No matter the cause of the car accident that resulted in your child’s injuries, it takes an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and the well-being of your child. At J&Y, we will offer you a supportive environment, handle all the details of your claim, and allow you to focus on your child’s needs.
Common Child Injuries in California Car Accidents
Children, including those under the age of 12, are at risk of serious injuries in car accidents, including:
- Broken bones — Children can suffer severe fractures and bone breaks, at times resulting in permanent damage to the growth plates at the ends of the bones, which can impact bone development.
- Head and brain injuries — Car accidents often result in brain injuries to children, accounting for about seven percent of all childhood brain injuries. Children who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are potentially at risk of serious physical and mental health issues later in life.
- Spinal injuries — Back and spinal cord injuries to passengers are common in car accidents, including children. A severe spine injury can result in permanent nerve damage, herniated discs, and even paralysis to the child.
- Psychological harm — Anyone can be traumatized by a car accident, but children are not as equipped to deal with pain and suffering as adults. Children may develop irrational fears after a serious car accident that can harm their mental health.
If your child has been seriously injured in a car accident, your primary concern is obtaining the medical care he or she needs. When another driver’s negligent or reckless actions caused your child’s injuries, you need the powerful representation J&Y Law provides.
We are highly experienced in handling car accident cases and have a track record of achieving positive outcomes in and out of the courtroom. Above all, we will always work in your best interests and help you protect your child.
Why Choose J&Y Law?
Although many car accident claims involving child injuries can be resolved through complex negotiations with an insurance company, insurers often put profits ahead of injury victims. We know to fight back against the tactics insurers use to deny or delay valid claims and will work to make sure your child’s rights are protected.
It is important to note that California does not allow persons under 18 to be independent parties in a personal injury claim. Instead, the court requires a competent adult, typically one of the parents, to act as the child’s guardian ad litem for purposes of making decisions in the handling of the injury claim.
Trust our legal team to help you navigate the legal process and handle all the details of your claim, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses
- Compiling a medical record to document the extent of your child’s injuries
- Ensuring your child receives proper medical care
- Handling all communications with the insurance company and opposing counsel
- Negotiating a settlement for the maximum compensation
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary
While any settlement depends on several factors, not the least of which is the extent of your child’s injuries, he or she may be entitled to compensation, including:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Cost of rehabilitative care
- Loss of ability to earn income in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment (if he or she had a job)
A parent or legal guardian may also be eligible to receive compensation for financial losses, such as the ongoing medical expenses for their child. If the at-fault driver’s actions were particularly egregious or unlawful, punitive damages may also be awarded as a way to punish the defendant and to prevent others from acting similarly.
Special Considerations for a Child’s Personal Injury Settlement
If the settlement of a child’s injury claim in a car accident exceeds $5,000.00, California law requires a judge’s approval of the settlement to protect the minor from the inappropriate use of the child’s settlement funds.
In cases involving larger settlements, the court will typically require that proceeds be held in a trust. Disbursements of funds after settlement often require court approval before the money can be used for the minor, and the court will not allow a parent or legal guardian to improperly access any portion of a personal injury settlement. If the amount does not exceed $5,000, however, the funds can be disbursed to the parents to be handled on behalf of the child.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Child Injury Cases
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in California is generally two years from the date of injury, however, the rules change when a minor child is injured: the statute of limitations is delayed or tolled until their 18th birthday unless the claim is against a government entity, in which case the government claim statutes apply to just as they would in a claim involving an adult.
In short, the deadline for filing a claim against an at-fault driver is extended to age 20. But it is best to take prompt legal action. Treating a child’s injuries can be a financial burden, and collecting evidence becomes more difficult as time passes, which makes proving your claim more challenging. The best way to protect your rights and your child’s well-being is to have the car accident attorneys at J&Y at your side.
Contact Our California Child Injury Attorneys Today
If your child has been injured in a car accident, turn to J&Y Law. We will provide you the powerful representation you need and the personal attention you deserve. Contact our office today for a free consultation.