July 6, 2023
What to Do if Your Child Is Hit by a Car in New York
By Jonathan Damashek
Posted inGo to the main Auto Accidents page
Accidents involving children are scary, and they could result in severe injuries. Children have a right to pursue compensation just like adults. However, getting money for damages incurred by a child differs slightly from situations where an adult is harmed.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident
Take the following steps to protect your child after a car accident and improve your chances of getting the maximum compensation.
Get Medical Treatment Immediately
If your child is hit by a car in New York, they should go to the ER right away. Emergency personnel must evaluate your child’s injuries to determine the severity. This establishes a baseline for assessing your child’s health progress over time.
Immediate medical treatment is also essential to your child’s injury claim. The insurance company may downplay their injuries if you don’t take your child to the hospital. You must identify all obvious and hidden injuries to get the most compensation possible.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Get as much information as possible from the accident scene. Obtain the name, contact information, and insurance policy of the driver who hit your child. Try to get names and contact information from any bystanders who witnessed the accident.
Take pictures and videos of the scene. Include the position of the car and your child, and note any traffic cameras and nearby security cameras. You should also write down what happened and sketch the scene and positions of signs, roadway markings, and traffic lights.
Collect Documents from the Hospital
Before leaving the hospital, collect as many documents as possible about your child’s treatment, prognosis, and projected costs. You may also get some of this information in the mail in the weeks or months after your child goes to the hospital.
Some of the documents you should obtain from the hospital include medical records, discharge papers, bills, receipts, and images from x-rays and other tests.
How to File a Lawsuit for Your Child
Filing a lawsuit on behalf of your child is similar to filing any personal injury case. You must gather vital information and draft legal documents presenting information about liability. You must prove that the other party was negligent and caused your child’s injuries.
Some of the steps of the legal process that a child injury lawyer can help you take include the following:
- Filing a complaint with legal arguments against the other party
- Serving the complaint and summons on the other party
- Attending pre-trial conferences and hearings
- Drafting pre-trial motions
- Presenting oral arguments
- Taking your case to trial
In addition to helping with the court process, your attorney can help you negotiate a settlement that covers all your losses. You may need to attend a mediation where a third party listens to your case and works to help you achieve a settlement. A skilled negotiator could help you through this process.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for a Minor?
You have three years from the date of injury to file a claim. However, there is an exception for children. A child has three years after they turn 18 to file a personal injury case.
If the parents of a child do not want to wait until their child turns 18, they could file a lawsuit on their child’s behalf. Any compensation obtained will be placed into a trust for the child. The parents may be trustees of that trust, but the money must be used for the child’s benefit. A judge must approve any settlement agreement made on behalf of a child.
Contact a Child Injury Lawyer If Your Loved One Is Hurt
If your child was injured by a car in New York, you could get compensation to pay for your losses. You may have significant medical bills and be concerned about disabilities, future job prospects, pain and suffering, and other losses. The child injury attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. can help you get what you deserve.