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5 Things to Do if a Car Strikes Your Child ”
Ideally, parents want to live in a neighborhood where their child or children can go out and play. This way, they can get some exercise, and they won’t sit in front of the TV or play with their phones all day. It’s a simple way for them to make friends and avoid childhood obesity.
However, your children need to be careful if you live in a high-traffic area. Even if you live on a quiet side street, you might get a speed demon who likes to drive through the neighborhood much faster than they should.
If the unthinkable happens, and a car hits your child, there are several things that you should consider doing. Let’s go through some of them right now.
Locate the Driver
If someone in a car strikes a child, then you’d assume it was an accident, unless they are a total sadist. It happens fairly often. Based on 2016 NHTSA traffic stats, 20% of kids aged 14 and younger who die in traffic accidents are pedestrians.
If a driver hits your child when they’re playing outside or crossing the street, you’d hope that:
- They will stop
- They will call for help and stay to give you their insurance information
It’s not inconceivable, though, that you might have a hit-and-run situation. A driver might panic and take off, especially if they feel like they can get away with it.
If that happens, you’ll need to look for witnesses. Maybe some other kids or adult neighbors saw what happened and can identify the car’s make and model.
If not, you might look for traffic camera or store camera footage, depending on what’s around. There are more cameras than ever in the world, and in this situation, that might work to your advantage.
Get Your Child Emergency Assistance
You can assess how your child is doing, but it’s most likely you are not a medical professional. You should immediately:
- Call for an ambulance if no one has done so yet
- Get your child out of the street, off the sidewalk, or otherwise out of danger if it seems safe to move them
You can use a smartphone or a landline to call 911. Give the operator all the available details, including any injury information that you can relay. They might instruct you on what you should do with your child until further help arrives.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
This is a situation where everything might be reasonably straightforward. The driver might not have disobeyed any traffic laws. They might have been going the speed limit when your child ran out in the street, and the driver couldn’t stop in time.
However, it could be that the driver was speeding. Maybe something like a Bluetooth call distracted them, or they were texting. Maybe they ingested alcohol before they drove, or they took illegal drugs.
If any of that is true, you might be able to bring criminal charges against the driver, and it might make sense for you to do so. You will probably have some medical bills coming your way, and if it was the driver’s fault, there’s no reason you should have to pay them.
You can hire an experienced car accident lawyer and talk with them about your options. Make sure you locate an attorney who has handled these sorts of cases before and who has a stellar track record. You will probably want to hire them on a contingency basis if they will agree to that.
Be There for Your Child During the Healing Process
The next step is going to be helping your child through the healing process. What that will entail will depend on what exactly their injuries are.
They might be okay with just some time to recover from bumps and bruises. If the car struck them but wasn’t going very fast at the time, that might be the best-case scenario.
Of course, the collision might have been more violent, in which case your child might have a concussion, some broken bones, or internal injuries. If so, they might need corrective or lifesaving surgery.
They may need to go through physical therapy to get back to where they were before. They might need pain medication, as well.
The one silver lining is that children can often recover from injuries faster than older adults can. Still, it might not be easy, and they may miss school and not be able to play with their friends as they heal.
Help Your Child with the Mental Scars as Well
Your child might also not be in the best mental shape after the accident. You would hope that they will recover from their injuries fully, but maybe the car hit them so hard and the accident was so severe that they will never be the same again.
That’s a tough situation at any age, but it’s even worse when the injured person is a kid who is just starting their life. Regardless of whether your child suffered permanent or temporary injuries, they might not have the best outlook about it.
You can be there to listen to them if they need to vent. You can keep them from getting too down during the recovery process.
You might even arrange for them to see a therapist if that’s what it takes to get them feeling better. They may need anti-depression medication if they can’t shake off the blues after the accident.
These sorts of incidents happen frequently, but no one knows quite what they feel like until they happen to your family. Your child might be the one going through it first-hand, but you are their parent, and you suffer with them.
You can heal as a family. It will take effort and time, but you can draw together and rely on each other’s strength while it’s going on. You’ll have to hope that your child will come through it okay, and they’ll get back to who they were before the accident.
5 Things to Do if a Car Strikes Your Child