San Antonio Child Injury Lawyer for Car Accidents
Few things are more distressing for parents than seeing a child suffer an injury in a car accident. At The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, we understand the many questions that parents have when their child suffers a traumatic injury in a car accident.
Contact The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free consultation about your child’s injury. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate the legal steps available if your child has been injured in a collision due to someone else’s negligent actions.
Understanding Child Injuries in Car Accidents
Because of their small size, children are highly vulnerable to injury in car accidents. Some common injuries to children involved in car accidents include:
- Contusions and bruises – These are common injuries caused by contact with car interior components, child safety seats, or seat belts.
- Lacerations – Lacerations can occur from broken glass or flying debris, which may result in permanent scarring.
- Burns – Contact with flames, steam, or hot surfaces can result in burns, ranging from mild first-degree burns to life-threatening burns. Burns can leave life-long scars or disfigurement.
- Whiplash – A whiplash injury occurs when the head jerks forward forcefully, then snaps backward, causing the neck muscles to extend beyond the normal range of motion.
- Broken bones – Children can experience broken bones in their arms, legs, ribs, and other body areas due to the impact of a collision.
- Head injuries – These can range from mild concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), affecting a child’s cognitive development. Head injuries can occur from striking the car’s dashboard or windows or from being hit by loose objects inside the vehicle.
- Chest and abdominal injuries – Blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen can result in internal organ damage to the lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, and other organs. Internal bleeding may occur, which can turn deadly very quickly.
- Spinal cord injuries – Severe car accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, which may result in paralysis or partial loss of function below the point of the injury.
- Soft tissue injuries – Sprains, strains, and tears of ligaments, tendons, and muscles can occur due to sudden jerking movements or impact.
A serious injury could interrupt a child’s growth and development, resulting in long-term consequences to their health. Severe car accident injuries in childhood could result in a lifetime of medical needs and care and forever alter a child’s future, for which they may need sustained financial support.
Parent’s Role Post-Accident
After a car accident in which a child gets injured, parents play a crucial role in ensuring their child’s well-being and protecting their rights. No matter how minor an accident may seem, a parent should seek medical attention for their child. Some children may be too traumatized by the accident to verbalize their symptoms. Very young children may be unable to tell their parents exactly what they feel. Even if the child doesn’t seem injured, a medical professional can provide a thorough evaluation to make sure. Any delay in seeking medical care could endanger the child’s life and future recovery.
After a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the parents of an injured child may be entitled to pursue compensation from the at-fault party to cover their child’s treatment and ongoing accident-related needs.
Legal Rights for Child Injury Claims
A minor under 18 cannot file a legal claim or lawsuit in Texas courts. Therefore, a parent or legal guardian must file the claim on their behalf within two years of the accident date or wait until the child turns 18. After reaching 18, an individual injured as a child will have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Waiting years to file a legal claim is never a good idea. By then, you may have difficulty locating the evidence necessary to support the claim. Eyewitnesses forget what they saw, and critical documentation goes missing. Therefore, it is in the child’s best interest to pursue a legal claim as soon as possible.
Most car accident injury legal actions begin with a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The same is true in child injury claims. Parents should hire an experienced car accident attorney to advocate for their child’s right to compensation.
Determining Liability in Child Injury Cases
The party whose negligence caused the accident is legally responsible for injuries suffered by adults and children. However, proving negligence in child injury cases can be challenging. Children may not know precisely how or why the accident occurred.
A skilled car accident attorney can investigate the collision and gather evidence necessary to prove negligence. This evidence may include the following:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene and wrecked vehicles
- Eyewitness testimony, including statements from bystanders and other vehicle occupants
- Police report
- Medical records
- Accident reconstruction
Financial Impact of Child Injuries
Child injuries from car accidents can have a significant financial impact on both the child and their family. The financial impact may include:
- Medical expenses – This includes medical treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the costs can be substantial, especially if long-term or specialized care is necessary, as is often the case in child injuries. Parents often incur these expenses, so they might be entitled to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, seeking compensation for their child’s medical bills.
- Future medical care – Some child injuries may require ongoing medical care and treatment, sometimes for months, years, or a lifetime. Children and their families can demand compensation to cover the estimated costs of these future medical needs.
- Loss of income – If the child’s injuries result in a disability that limits their ability to seek gainful employment in the future, they could get compensation for their diminished future earning capacity. If the parents must take time off work to care for their injured child, they may recover compensation for their lost income.
- Pain and suffering – Children who experience physical pain, emotional distress, or mental anguish because of their injuries may be owed compensation for these non-economic losses.
- Disability or disfigurement – If the child sustains permanent disabilities or disfigurement due to the accident, they could seek compensation for the impact on their quality of life and future opportunities.
Navigating Insurance Claims
Insurance companies might call you immediately after a car accident to check on your child’s health and well-being. Before interacting with an insurance company, you should be aware of these common pitfalls:
- Trusting an insurance company – Insurance adjusters often act friendly and sympathetic. They’re trying to gather information to limit the insurer’s liability and pay out as little as possible to resolve the claim. They are not on your side.
- Apologizing for the accident – Many people apologize for things that are not their fault. They may feel bad that the accident occurred, even if they didn’t cause it. However, insurance companies can misconstrue an apology as the speaker accepting blame and responsibility. Never apologize for an accident.
- Accepting the first settlement offer – Insurance companies often push for a quick settlement when you’re vulnerable and feeling financial stress. Never accept an insurance settlement offer without first consulting a personal injury attorney and assessing the full extent of your child’s injuries and future needs.
- Underestimating the value of your child’s claim – Insurance companies may try to minimize the value of your child’s claim. With a lawyer’s assistance, you quantify the full value of your child’s current and future losses and fight for the compensation your child needs.
Attorney Troy Brookover began his legal career defending insurance companies. He now uses the knowledge he gained about how insurance companies approach claims to the advantage of the injured people he represents in San Antonio. As an experienced car accident lawyer, Troy Brookover knows the tactics used by insurance companies and how to push back against them. Make sure you consult a knowledgeable attorney before communicating with any insurance companies.
Benefits of Legal Representation
If your child suffered an injury in a Texas car accident, you should hire a lawyer to advocate for their interests. A car accident lawyer can protect your child’s rights so that you can focus on the child’s health. An attorney can save both you and your child a great deal of stress and anxiety.
Role of Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover
The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover brings over 30 years of experience and considerable resources to the table to fight for your child’s interests. Our firm will provide personalized attention and trusted legal advice in the distressing days and weeks after a child car accident injury. Furthermore, you will never pay out of pocket for our legal services. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if your child’s case is successful.
Attorney Troy A. Brookover has helped many Texans whose children suffered injuries in car accidents. For example, he helped Desiree settle for over $1 million after a severe car crash in which she, her young daughter, and her husband suffered injuries. He also helped a young mother with two children reach a $642,500 settlement after all sustained injuries in a rear-end accident. While these successful case results are in no way predictive of future case results, they do show the experience that The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover has handling child injury cases
Get Legal Help from the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Near You
The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover recognizes that children are particularly vulnerable in car accidents, and their injuries can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial effects. Our legal team can be an advocate for your child, fighting to hold the responsible parties accountable and demanding the maximum compensation to support your child’s future well-being.
Contact The Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free consultation.