September 6, 2023

Children in New York Car Crashes: Types of Accidents and What Injuries to Expect

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

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Car crashes are scary, especially if your child is a victim. Your initial worry will be getting your child’s medical attention and ensuring they are okay. Then, you may wonder how to cover all the expenses. You can get compensation if your child is hit by a car in New York, whether your child was a passenger or a pedestrian.

What Kind of Car Accidents Can Involve Children?

Car accidents involving children are devastating. There are often many unknowns, including who will be held liable and how to get the compensation you need to cover medical bills and other damages. Many answers to these questions can be determined by understanding what type of accident your child was involved in.

Child Passenger Injuries

If your child was a passenger in a vehicle, either the driver of their car or the driver of another car may be liable. You might not want to file a claim against the driver of the vehicle they were riding in, but keep in mind that the insurance company will be the one who pays your damages.

Child Pedestrian Accidents

Over 5,000 children are injured as pedestrians in car accidents in 2020, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. There are more than 350 fatal pedestrian accidents annually. In nearly all cases, the driver is liable for these crashes.

Bike vs. Car Accidents

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, a child is 50 times more likely than an adult to be in a fatal bike accident involving a car. While bike riders must follow the rules of the road, cars should keep an eye out for child bikers.

School Bus Accidents

In 2020, there were more than 4,800 injuries, and 54 deaths associated with school bus-related crashes in the United States, according to the National Safety Council. Many of those were child pedestrians or riders in other vehicles.

School Zone Accidents

New York laws mandate that motor vehicles follow slower speed limits within school zones and yield right of way to school crosswalks. New York City roadways near schools are notoriously dangerous, with 57% more crashes and 25% more injuries per mile on streets near schools than on other city streets on school days.

Typical Child Injuries in Car Accidents

While a child can receive any injury in a car accident, specific injuries are more common. For example, some of the most typical child injuries include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Head injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Neck injuries

Why are Severe Injuries Dangerous for Children?

A child severely injured in a crash can experience severe impacts on their physical and mental development. The child may experience lifetime health problems if a growth plate is damaged. Children who suffer significant injuries also risk developing cognitive issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

What to Do if Your Child is Hit by a Car or in an Accident

If your child is injured in a car accident, then you should immediately take certain steps, including:

  • Check on your child’s wellbeing
  • Call 911 and request an ambulance
  • Take your child to the emergency room or children’s hospital
  • Collect evidence at the scene (including photos and videos)
  • Get contact information from all drivers and witnesses
  • Obtain insurance information from all drivers
  • Document your child’s injuries in a post-accident journal
  • Keep all related medical records, bills, etc.
  • Contact a child injury lawyer as soon as possible

What Kind of Compensation Can You Pursue?

You can get compensation from the person who caused your child’s injuries if they are hit by a car in New York. Whether you get a car crash settlement or take your case to trial and get a jury verdict, you can earn money to cover the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Home care costs
  • Household and vehicle modifications
  • Cost of special schools or educational programs
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earning potential

Proving Fault in Your Case

To hold the person who caused your child’s injuries liable in an accident, you must prove they are at fault. In a personal injury case, you will have to prove negligence. Negligence is a legal theory indicating the following:

  • The other person owed your child a legal duty
  • They breached that duty
  • Their breach caused your child’s injuries
  • You suffered damages

These elements must be proven to get money from the at-fault party. You can use evidence, such as expert opinions and eyewitness testimony, to prove these elements.

For example, you might use the police report indicating that the other vehicle’s driver was speeding to show that they breached the legal duty of following New York laws. Then, you can use medical records to prove that the car accident caused by speeding resulted in your child’s injuries. Your medical bills would be the damages that the at-fault person must pay.

Tips to Avoid Child Car Accidents

While some accidents are solely caused by other people, there are actions that children can take to avoid being hurt in some cases. Some tips to avoid child car accidents include:

  • Follow all traffic rules
  • Stay alert while on foot or bike
  • Use sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Don’t play near roads
  • Stay visible and wear bright clothing

Call HKD for Help with Your Case Today

If your child is hit by a car in New York, you should immediately call a child injury lawyer who can help you get the money you need to cover your damages. Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. has a team of compassionate car accident lawyers who are ready to listen to your story. Call today at (212) 490-5700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation for your case.