What to Do if Your Child is Injured in a Car Accident in Arkansas

Every parent’s worst fear is that their child will get injured in a car accident. If such fears become a reality, parents in Arkansas need to know what to do to help their children.

Thousands of children are injured in car accidents each year. If your child is injured in a collision, call the police and seek immediate medical attention. Once you consult an attorney, you can learn how to recover compensatory damages on your injured child’s behalf. Parents can either file an insurance claim or a lawsuit in the event that their child is injured in a car accident. If you choose to sue a negligent driver, be sure to do so within three years. After a successful lawsuit, your child will have access to their settlement funds, in one form or another, when they turn 18.

Our lawyers are dedicated to helping children recover the compensatory damages they deserve after a car accident. For a free case evaluation with the Arkansas car accident lawyers, call us today at (479) 316-0438.

How Many Children Are in Car Accidents Annually?

Just one child getting injured in a car accident would be too many. Unfortunately, car accidents involving children happen frequently and can cause severe injuries to child victims. In Arkansas and throughout the United States, thousands of children are injured in car accidents each year.

According to a National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration report, over 180,000 children were injured in car accidents in 2019. Over 1,000 children died from traffic accidents during that same year, with over 700 of those fatalities occurring while children were passengers in a car.

A recent report from the Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review Program found that motor vehicle accidents were the cause of 35% of child deaths among reviewed cases in Arkansas in 2019.

Clearly, far too many children are injured during car accidents each year. These statistics and the trauma collisions can cause to children are why our Fayetteville car accident lawyers fight for injured child victims. If your child is one of the many in Arkansas who have been injured in a car accident, you are not alone, and you should speak to an attorney right away.

What to Do if Your Child is Hurt in a Car Accident

Immediately after your child is hurt in a car accident, there are a few things you should do. Parents should call the police right away and take their child to the hospital immediately. Afterward, consult an attorney so that your child can get the compensatory damages they deserve.

After a car accident of any kind, especially one involving a child, call the police. Arkansas police officers will complete a crash report, documenting the accident’s events. This report can be crucial in supporting your child’s future claim against a negligent driver.

The next step is seeking medical attention. It’s necessary for a doctor to attest to your child’s injuries and their likely cause after a car accident.

Finally, hire an attorney. Our Fort Smith car accident lawyers are experienced in litigating motor vehicle accident cases involving children. We can help parents recover compensatory damages on behalf of their children.

Can My Child Receive Personal Injury Compensation in Arkansas?

There are two ways your child can receive personal injury compensation in Arkansas. The first is by filing an insurance claim with a negligent driver’s carrier. The second route to compensatory damages is filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Arkansas is a fault state for car accidents, so your child can recover damages by filing an insurance claim. However, insurance companies are notorious for underpaying victims, even child victims who have sustained serious injuries in a car accident.

Because of that unfortunate truth, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf. Children in Arkansas are entitled to compensation after a car accident caused by a negligent driver, just like adults. Depending on the events of an Arkansas car accident, filing a lawsuit may be the best way to recover personal injury compensation for your child.

Statute of Limitations for a Child Car Accident Lawsuit

Generally, car accident victims in Arkansas have three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against a responsible party. Child victims, however, have a bit longer to recover compensatory damages against a negligent driver.

Parents can bring a lawsuit against a negligent driver on behalf of their injured child within three years of an accident in Arkansas. However, there is a special rule for child victims to sue independently.

When a child is the victim of a car accident, they typically have additional time in adulthood to file their case. Basically, the statute of limitations is paused until a child car accident victim reaches the age of majority.

Should I Settle or Go to Court if My Child is in an Arkansas Auto Accident?

Lawsuits can be taxing for adults, let alone children. Our attorneys will help you decide whether or not to settle or go to court if you file a lawsuit against a negligent driver on behalf of your injured child. We will also do our best to shield your child from the stressors of a lawsuit and act with their best interests in mind.

Deciding to settle a lawsuit or go to court can be difficult, especially when a child victim is involved. If your child was not driving the car at the time of the accident, they would likely have little involvement in the lawsuit. However, if your child was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident, they may have to be more involved.

Settling a car accident lawsuit can be the easier route to take. When both parties agree to settle, there is essentially guaranteed compensation for your injured child. The exact settlement amount will be determined during negotiations. If you choose to go to trial, there is no guarantee that your child will recover compensatory damages. However, if they do, the amount will likely be greater than that from a settlement.

What Happens to the Settlement Money in a Child Car Accident?

In Arkansas, child car accident victims can receive their settlement money in one of two ways: through a structured or lump-sum settlement. The former gives parents a bit more control, while the latter becomes available when the child turns 18.

If your child receives a structured settlement in an Arkansas car accident lawsuit, you might have some control over when and how they get their money. Parents can work closely with their child’s Bella Vista car accident lawyer to decide on a schedule for how their child receives their settlement money after they turn 18.

Lump-sum settlements are when a defendant pays a settlement amount all at once. If your child receives this kind of settlement, they will likely be able to get their entire settlement amount on their 18th birthday.

Call Our Arkansas Attorneys if Your Child Was Injured in a Car Accident

Any child injured in a car accident in Arkansas deserves access to compensatory damages. For a free case evaluation with the Springdale car accident lawyers, call us today at (479) 316-0438.