As parents, we’ll do anything to keep our children safe on the road. We choose high-quality car seats, invest in driver’s training, and demonstrate good driving habits, but we can’t always protect them when other drivers make critical mistakes — mistakes that cost our kids and cause tremendous pain and suffering.
In this blog, we’ll outline what you need to know when a child is hurt in a car crash and outline your options and next steps should you find yourself in this scary situation.
Minors Are at Risk on the Road
Despite making up only 6.5% of the population in the U.S., youths aged 15-19 accounted for 8.4% of the costs of car crash injuries in 2016 — roughly $13.6 billion. During that same year in Oklahoma, over 9,000 child passengers (children age 12 and under) were involved in car crashes. Of these more than 9,000 children, 22 died and 574 were critically injured.
When a minor is involved in a devastating crash and sustains life-changing injuries, they deserve justice. For some, that means seeking compensation through an insurance claim — or even a lawsuit. But the process is different for children who’ve been injured in an Oklahoma car wreck than it is for adults.
What Rights Does My Child Have After a Crash?
After a crash caused by someone else’s negligent actions, a child has a right to claim compensation for their pain and suffering, just like an adult. Additionally, their parents or guardians are also eligible to receive compensation for any medical bills or costs they paid on behalf of the child.
However, since minors cannot enter contracts, the process for seeking justice through the courts is more complicated. Many parents of children in this situation choose to file a claim or negotiate settlements on their behalf. Once the claim or case is settled, funds will be divided into fees, costs, and damages owed to the parents who paid medical bills on behalf of the child. The remaining funds will then be held in a trust until the child turns 18, and any request to withdraw money early must be approved by a judge.
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An Oklahoma Car Crash Lawyer Could Help
When a child is involved in a car crash in Oklahoma, many parents aren’t sure where to turn. Medical bills can quickly escalate, the child is likely suffering from physical, emotional, and mental injuries, and something needs to be done to get justice for these victims.
When you’re looking for support to ensure your child has what they need for their future and their medical care, you should consider contacting an Oklahoma car accident lawyer.
After a car crash, an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer can:
- Advocate for your child in the event your case goes to court — a stressful and trying time for everyone
- Collect and preserve evidence that would otherwise be lost
- Inform you of your rights as the parent(s) of an injured child
- Involve the child in the decision-making process as much as is appropriate and that you feel comfortable with to make informed decisions about the legal process
- Help you and your family understand your options before, during, and after the claim or suit process
Get Your Free Car Crash Case Evaluation With Atkins & Markoff
At Atkins & Markoff, we believe that protecting our community’s children starts with us. That’s why we are honored to represent families who have been devastated by serious car crashes. When your child has been injured, you need skilled representation and an experienced car crash attorney you can trust who can get you the justice you deserve.
If your child has been injured by another driver, if you have questions about filing a claim on behalf of a minor, or if you want to know more about complex injury cases, please reach out today by calling 405-758-5836 or completing this brief form to schedule your free case evaluation.
(2016). Child Passengers, Infant to Age 12, in Crashes (2016). Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Highway Safety Office. Retrieved from http://ohso.ok.gov/Websites/ohso/images/ChildSafetyFactSheets/FS2016_ChildPassenger.pdf
(2018, October 19). Teen Drivers: Get the Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.