Car accidents can be some of the most devastating events in a person's life. An accident can take place in a matter of moments, but it can have effects that linger for the rest of a person's life. And for children who have the misfortune to suffer severe injuries at a young age, a car wreck can mean a lifetime of struggle.
If your child has been injured in an accident, you probably have many questions on your mind at the moment. What should you expect in the coming months and years? What kinds of medical expenses will you be facing? Should you seek legal help in this situation, or can you go it alone? This article will aim to answer some of these questions and give you an idea of what options you can consider as you move through this difficult time.
Types of Injuries
There are three types of injuries a child is most likely to suffer in an accident. Some of the most common injury types include:
The most common type of accident injury is whiplash. With whiplash, the child's head gets jerked forward and backward very quickly. This strains the neck ligaments and causes whiplash, which usually heals itself in time. However, serious injuries like spinal damage can also occur, leading to potentially permanent paralysis.
This type of injury can involve superficial damage, such as scarring or bruising, or serious injuries, up to and including actual crushing of the legs. A child whose legs are injured badly enough is unlikely to be able to walk again.
Broken bones (also known as fractures) are always serious enough to warrant hospital care. Most broken bones can be healed over time. The most serious broken bones are called compound fractures—in which the broken bone pierces the skin.
Costs of Care
Naturally, the costs of treatment are going to vary, depending on the nature of the injury. But a severe injury will generally come with very expensive treatment.
For example: A severe spinal cord injury patient can expect to face costs of $1,065,980 in the first year, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Over a lifetime, the projected costs for a person injured at the age of 25 are $4,729,788. Considering that a child will be much younger than this at the time of the injury, the expected lifetime costs for a child with a similarly severe spinal injury will be much higher.
Obviously, these costs are well beyond the means of the vast majority of families. That's why it's important to consider legal options. This is exactly what the legal system has been set up to handle. You can find your way through this.
What To Do If Your Child Has Been Injured
The first thing to do if your child has been catastrophically injured is to make sure he or she receives the proper medical treatment. After that, you'll need to put together a plan for meeting the financial burden you may be facing in the near future.
We recommend talking to a trusted local car accident attorney who can guide you through the process. Many attorneys offer a free consultation, which will give you the chance to find out if you have a case. A good lawyer will help you talk to the insurance companies and make sure the negligent driver is held responsible for the accident.
This is a difficult time for you. You may not know what to expect. But if you contact a good attorney you can get yourself headed in the right direction.