What to Do if You’re Rear-Ended with Your Baby in the Car

You’re on your way to the daycare center before going to work, and you stop for a red light. You’re sitting there in traffic for about five seconds, and then you hear the screeching tires, and you feel a heavy impact at the rear of your car. Then, you’re pushed into the car ahead of you. For another five seconds or so, all you see is a flash of bright white light. When you begin to come to your senses, your sole concern is your infant behind you in the car seat screaming, terrified and making that instinctive reaching movement with both arms and hands. Here’s what you need to do:

Call 911: As soon as you’ve finished checking for obvious injuries to your baby, call 911. Ask that police and paramedics be dispatched to the scene. Police can investigate the crash for purposes of completing their written report. Paramedics can assess your child’s condition. Both of you should be transported to an emergency room for diagnostics, especially for traumatic brain injuries. Never get talked out of calling 911. Maybe the person who rear-ended you worked all night and just left a bar or has an active warrant out for their arrest and doesn’t want any police contact. The investigating officer might be the best post-occurrence liability witness that you can have.

Keep Your Child in the Car Seat

Don’t take the chance of making an injury that you can’t see worse. Leave your baby in the car seat until trained medical first responders arrive and professionally remove your child from the car seat. Your baby can’t tell paramedics how he or she feels. A trip to the emergency room is in order. A pediatric specialist can examine your child and make a preliminary diagnosis. You suffered a loss of consciousness when you saw that flash of bright light. You’re going to be examined too, and a likely diagnosis would be a traumatic brain injury. Its classification level will be determined by your symptoms over the next few days or weeks.

Following Up

Upon your discharge from the emergency room, you’ll leave with instructions to either follow up with your family doctor or separate specialists. Comply with those instructions in a timely manner. Any gaps in treatment will be used against you by the opposing insurance company. The doctors that you or your baby might be referred to depends on the nature and extent of your respective injuries.

Watch Your Child Carefully

After leaving the emergency room, you must watch your baby carefully for at least a few days after the crash. Everybody from day care workers up to grandparents should be alerted about any possible changes in behavior. Watch for anything out of the ordinary like incessant crying, excessive sleepiness or sleeplessness, loss of appetite or disinterest in playing   If your baby is exhibiting such behavior after returning home from the emergency room, he or she should be examined again right away.

Compensation for Damages

Neither you nor your child were at fault for your accident. In our scenario when you were both were rear-ended at a red light, both of you would be eligible for compensation for your damages. If either of you suffered permanent disfigurement or disability, those damages are compensable too.

The insurer of the person who caused your crash knows that there is financial exposure for it. That insurer will do whatever it can to minimize its losses. It’s adjuster will probably be in contact with you about the crash, so don’t give that individual any information at all. He or she will only try to use any information that you give against you in the future. Contact us right away instead, and you can arrange for a free consultation and case review. You can tell us how the crash and injuries have affected you and your baby. We’ll be prepared to answer your questions too. After that, we’ll advise you on how to best proceed with your car accident personal injury claims.

Contact a Philadelphia Children’s Injury Lawyer.

Injuries to children are one of the most painful experiences that your family can endure. Sometimes called Philadelphia’s Children’s Attorney, Edith Pearce is experienced in representing the interest of children and their families who are seeking justice for their child.

Edith has extensive experience representing children and seeking justice on their behalf. With Edith, you can come and talk, ask questions and then decide what’s best for you without worrying about making a commitment or paying a consultation fee. She knows that where children and family are concerned, the parents want only what’s best for their child and their family, and she will work hard to do just that.

If your son or daughter was injured, contact The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 486-3820 for a free consultation and case evaluation.