If your child was involved in an accident and suffered an injury due to the thoughtlessness of another, then it’s important to make certain considerations when initiating their personal injury claim. Accidents are unforeseen events that can have temporary to long-term effects on the child depending on the accident’s severity.
How are children affected by accidents?
Children’s minds are still developing and they can be very impressionable. According to Australia National University researchers, an accident could have the following effects on your child:
- Emotional effects like anxiousness and sadness
- Physical effects like trouble sleeping and jumpiness
- Cognitive effects like trouble concentrating
- Social effects like wanting to be alone and not enjoying times with others
- Behavioral effects like losing interests in hobbies, anger, aggression, attention-seeking behaviors, engaging in risky activities, being highly fearful, and antisocial behaviors
- Positive effects like increased confidence and esteem, stronger bonds with family and friends may occur as well
Helping a child ease back into their normal activities, not being over-protective, and setting realistic boundaries while avoiding too much special treatment can help a child recover from accident trauma. The sooner you return to normalcy the better it could be for the child. Discussing the issue can help your child adjust by considering the positive things that have happened as a result of the incident, sticking to the facts, and reinforcing that the accident was in the past and now they’re safe.
What to do in the event of an accident involving my child?
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that your child is okay. Remove them from any hazards they may be facing due to their child-safety constraints. Once you’ve determined they aren’t in any immediate danger, then call the police. If your child has sustained any injuries, then wait for paramedics to arrive.
Next, you want to document as much as possible, and record the insurance information of the at-fault driver, take pictures and videos, collect witness information, and when the police arrive give a detailed account of what happened. The police will use that information to make an accident report.
Be sure to see a doctor, even if you don’t feel you have any injuries, and make sure that your child gets medical attention.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim on a Child’s Behalf
Florida law does not allow someone under the age of 18 to file a personal injury claim on their own, therefore, a parent or guardian can file a lawsuit on their behalf. If the child’s claim is below $15,000 then you won’t need to be the official guardian in order to file a claim on the child’s behalf. If the settlement amount exceeds $15,000 then only a legal guardian of a child can file the claim. A judge will have to review and approve the settlement agreement to ensure it’s in the child’s best interest. If you’re unable to reach a settlement, then only a legal guardian is allowed to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
When you’ve experienced time away from work or had to pay medical bills, then you don’t have to be the legal guardian of the child to recoup damages. The damages you accrue as a result of the accident can be filed in your own personal injury claim. If you or your child have been involved in an accident, then speak with an adept car accident lawyer in Jacksonville now for a consultation on filing a personal injury claim.