Atlanta Child Injury Attorney
Children Injured in Vehicle Accidents
As the oldest of seven children and a father, some of the most heart-wrenching cases that our firm handles are when children are injured or killed in vehicle accidents. Children are truly victims in an accident as young children don’t have control over where they are going, who is driving the vehicles involved, or if they are properly seated in the vehicle. Children often suffer emotionally from being in an accident due to the sudden, uncontrollable, and traumatic effect from a vehicle collision. They are also more vulnerable to permanent problems to their growth plate, scarring, and many other problems that adults may not be as vulnerable to.
Georgia law states that children need to be restrained in booster seats and effective July 1, 2011 the age was increased from 6 years old to 8 years old. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta states that over the 4 years prior to this increase, an overwhelming majority of 6-8 year old children who suffered injuries in vehicle accidents were not properly restrained at the time of the accident. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that automobile accidents were the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14. In 2009, 909 children above 5 years old and 10 below 4 years old were killed in Georgia accidents.
Safety rules for children:
1) Children under 13 should ride in the back seat
2) Never hold a child in your lap
3) Do not place a car seat in the front seat
4) Children under one year and under 20 pounds should be in a rear-facing car seat
5) Children over 80 pounds and taller than 4’9” can use a seatbelt only
The statute of limitations in Georgia is 2 years after reaching majority for a minor. The parent’s claim (for medical bills, etc.) is Not extended past 2 years following the incident.
If your child is involved in a vehicle accident, they should be seen by a physician as soon as possible. They need to be comforted and reassured, it is a scary situation for children. Please discuss any issues with the physician, so that they can direct you on helping your child heal quickly.
Here are some recent cases involving children in automobile accidents:
March 25, 2012- Coweta County, GA- Three children and their grandmother were involved in a serious accident in Coweta County, GA. The grandmother and the child who was sitting directly behind her (7 yrs old) were entrapped. It took rescue workers 15 minutes to remove them. An 11 year old sitting in the front seat and another child who was sitting in a car seat directly behind the 11 year old were able to get out of the car. This was a 2 vehicle accident, that is still under investigation. The grandmother and the 7 year old were airlifted to the hospital.
March 29, 2012- Oaktown, IN- Two toddlers, their pregnant mother and 2 other people died when the car they were riding in became wedged under a semi-trailer and burst into flames on a southwestern Indiana highway. The mother was 21 years old, the 2 toddlers were 2 and 1 year old, and the other 2 were 17 years old. They were all fatalities from smoke inhalation.
March 27, 2012- Knoxville, TN- The community and school are rallying around a 10 year old who is working towards walking again after being in a car accident. She suffered a spinal cord injury in the accident last May that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She was in the backseat of the family vehicle sitting on the opposite side of the impact, but was severely injured. Her mother stated that she was grateful that she had her seat belt on, to prevent further injury. She has shown an exceptional can-do attitude and has shown great improvement. The school has made many improvements to the playground, so she can remain active, such as changing the basketball goal, so she can play from her wheelchair.
There have unfortunately also been several recent fatalities regarding all-terrain vehicle accidents:
April 2, 2012-Polk Co, GA- A ten year old has died after an all-terrain vehicle she was riding on wrecked Sunday in rural Polk County. The ATV hit a fence and trees and landed near a road, also injuring the driver of the ATV.
September 6, 2010-Cedartown, GA- A 13 year old Cedartown girl died in an all-terrain vehicle wreck over the holiday weekend. The ATV lost control in a curve and struck a ditch ejecting the 13 year old and the driver of the ATV.
Dec. 19, 2011- Cedartown, GA- A 14 year old Cedartown boy died in an ATV accident Saturday. The all-terrain vehicle he was operating rolled over while he was riding on it, he was wearing a helmet.
If you have a child who has been injured in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle, you should find out who the owner of the ATV is, who was driving the ATV, who they have their homeowners insurance coverage with, and were any instructions give to the child before the accident.
As we stated, this is a heart-wrenching situation, if our law firm can help you in any way in the investigation, treatment, evaluation, or negotiation of a claim, please contact Bryce Angell today for a Free consultation. Our firm cares about you and your children.