How Do Car Crash Claims Involving Children Differ?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jan 28, 2021 in Auto Accidents
Car crashes can be very scary experiences, particularly for children. They do not fully understand what is going on and may get more scared seeing their parents confused and unsure of what to do next.
Below, learn more about what to do after a car crash involving children, including how to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages and steps to take at the scene to help preserve your claim.
If you need help with an auto accident claim, or have already filed a claim and been denied, Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix auto accident attorneys are ready to help. Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation for our clients, many of whom were injured in car crashes.
An initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to take legal action. There are also no upfront fees for our services.
Steps to Take After a Crash Involving Your Child
The most important thing after any crash is the health and safety of those involved. This is particularly important when children are involved.
Here are some steps to take to help ensure your safety after an accident:
- Pull off the road and out of the flow of traffic, if possible.
- Turn on your hazard lights to alert passing cars so they can change lanes.
- Avoid getting out of the car if it is not safe to do so – crash victims often get hit by passing cars after getting out of their vehicles.
- Try your best to stay calm to keep your children calm. Children tend to react to what is around them. You should avoid getting angry at the other driver, even if the crash is his or her fault.
- Call 9-1-1 so first responders can come to the scene and administer first aid.
- The police can interview both drivers to help complete a report and potentially determine fault for the crash.
Pursuing Compensation for Injuries to Your Child
Arizona is an at-fault state, which means the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages he or she causes from the crash. This includes the damages suffered by passengers in the car, which would include your children if they were in the car during the crash and they suffered injuries.
If your claim is validated, you can seek compensation up to the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If your damages exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you may be able to seek compensation from the underinsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy.
If you are struggling to recover full compensation for your injuries, give Phillips Law Group a call. We are prepared to go to court if necessary because our goal is to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Even though children are involved, insurance companies are still going to focus on their best interests. They are looking for any way to deny a claim or provide the least possible amount of compensation.
Extended Statute of Limitations for Child Injury Claims
It is important to note the statute of limitations for injury claims involving children does not begin running until the child turns 18. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Arizona is two years from the date of the accident.
However, you should still avoid waiting to start the legal process. Your attorney needs time to investigate and build a strong case.
What if the Other Driver is a Minor?
Teenage drivers are often on their parents’ car insurance policies. That means their parents are likely to be financially liable for your damages. If you or your child were injured, you should be able to file a claim against the driver’s parent’s insurance policy.
However, it is also important to note that insurance follows the car, not the driver. Generally, crash victims can file a claim against the policy insuring the car.
What if the Teenage Driver Did Not Have Permission to Use the Car?
This could make the situation much more complex. If the teenage driver was not listed on the policy and drove his or her parent’s car without permission, the insurance policy covering the parents may not apply.
However, it is one thing for a parent to say a child cannot drive a car. If a parent leaves the keys out in a place where the child is likely to find them, it may be difficult to use lack of permission as a defense. This is particularly true if the child is a full-time resident at the parent’s house and is listed on the parent’s insurance policy.
Call Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Phillips Law Group has been serving Arizona injury victims for more than 28 years. Partner Jeff Phillips is a member of numerous legal organizations and has secured jury verdicts in several Arizona counties.
If you and your child were injured in a crash, our attorneys may be able to help you. Schedule an initial consultation so we can determine if you may have a valid claim and what it may be worth.
Local. Licensed. Lawyers. Call today to learn more: 1-800-706-3000.