A child involved in a car accident is exceptionally distressing for any parent, and because children are more easily injured they are likely to sustain serious trauma in crashes that an adult may not.
Children in auto accidents can experience a spectrum of injury depending on their positioning in the car, their age and whether they are in the proper safety seat, as well as the type of crash that occurs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between 1999 and 2008 over 3 million children between the ages of 4 and 7 were involved in an auto accident across the nation. These vulnerable passengers can suffer injury in even the least harmful accident, and NHTSA’s research shows that children who are seated in the front of a vehicle are twice as likely to sustain an incapacitating injury in a head-on collision.
Was your child injured in an auto accident? If so, the negligent individual who caused the crash could be liable for the injuries they sustained and you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Common Injuries Sustained by Children in Auto Accidents
There are a few recurring scenarios that contribute to the injuries children are susceptible to in the event of a crash. They include:
Child safety seat injuries
If a manufacturer’s error exists, or the child is not fitted properly in the seat, children can suffer traumatic injuries from a device meant to save their life.
Children’s bodies are smaller than the frame of the seatbelt can properly protect. When the lap band extends across the child’s stomach and the shoulder strap does fall squarely on their chest, it is likely the seatbelt will do more harm than good.
Spinal cord injuries
Injury to a child’s spinal cord can easily lead to paralysis or wrongful death, both of which are possible in an auto accident.
Similar to the way children are injured by seatbelts, airbags are designed for an adult sitting a certain height in the seat of the car. If a child is too low, the force of the airbag ejecting can cause serious head, neck, and spinal trauma.
Brain injuries to children can result in learning disabilities, speech and motor problems or paralysis. Even when properly restrained a child is susceptible to brain injury in an auto accident.