Few things are more terrifying than seeing a car run into a child on a bike. Even if it is a low-impact collision, the child can suffer catastrophic injuries in a bicycle accident.
Here are some steps to take if your child was hit by a car while riding a bike.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
The child should receive a thorough physical examination by a doctor, even if there are no visible injuries. He might be too young to communicate to you that he is hurting somewhere. He could have an injury to the head, neck, or back and not know it yet. Broken bones and internal injuries can have delayed symptoms.
If you have any doubt about your child’s health, do not move your child – call 911. Protect her from injury from other vehicles while waiting for emergency help to arrive.
Another reason to take the child to the doctor right away is to document that his injuries came from the collision. Cases with injured children can involve high-dollar settlements, which means that the insurance company will defend the claim vigorously. To protect the child’s right to compensation, get a medical evaluation immediately.
Report the Accident
After addressing your child’s immediate medical needs, contact your local law enforcement to report the accident if no officer came to the scene. State law requires you to report all wrecks with injuries as soon as possible. The report will also serve as evidence of what happened and why your child suffered injuries.
Collect Contact Information
Get the names, contact, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident. Also, get the names and contact information of all witnesses who can explain what happened.
Get a Personal Injury Lawyer
Work with a personal injury lawyer after any accident that caused injuries, especially if a child suffered injuries. There may be additional steps to take to satisfy the legal requirements for a child car accident claim.
Get Psychological Help for the Child
Imagine how traumatic it would be for a child to be hit by a car while riding a bike. Take your child for assessment and treatment from a mental health professional. Trauma such as this may have emotional and psychological effects, including:
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Fear of going out in public
- Feelings of anger or hopelessness
Avoid Traps and Pitfalls of Injury Cases
We say that you should not give a recorded statement to the insurance company because they can take your words out of context and use them against you. The adjuster may do this to try to devalue your child’s claim and pay less money for the child’s injuries.
Another common pitfall in these cases is settling the claim too early. It will take time for your child to heal from injuries. You might not know for many months if he will heal completely. If he suffers long-term consequences from the wreck, he should receive fair compensation that accounts for long-term damages. If you already settled with the insurance company before addressing that issue, you cannot go back later and ask for more.
Preserve the Evidence
Save everything from the day of the accident. You might not think that something is vital to the claim until long after the wreck, and then, it will be too late if you have disposed of an item. Keep your child’s bike, clothing, shoes, and any other relevant evidence.
Photograph the scene as soon as possible. Capture how the area looked on the day of the incident, in case the driver makes up an excuse that the photos could disprove. Also, write down everything you can remember while the event is fresh in your mind. These notes can be useful to refresh your recollection later in the legal process.
Follow the State Law About Personal Injury Settlements for Minors
Washington State law may require that we take extra steps in injury cases involving minors. For example, court approval of the settlement, funds go into a trust account for the child, etc. The statute of limitations may differ in child injury cases too.
Protect your child’s right to compensation by getting a personal injury lawyer on board now. Call Max Meyers Law at 425-399-7000. We will give you a free consultation with no obligation. We do not charge legal fees until you get compensation.