If your child has been in a car accident, the first and most important thing to do is heading to the scene and making sure that he or she is okay. Afterward, I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding what legal options are available.
In the meantime, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that can help provide you with direction:
Should I call the police after the accident?
Yes, if they have not already been called by the drivers involved, you should call them as soon as possible. An accident report should be filed by the police. This will document who was involved, where and when the crash took place, and what happened in general. This information and the report itself will be useful when building a legal case later on.
What should I do at the scene?
When you arrive at the accident scene, it is important to remain clear-headed while checking on the physical condition of your child. If there are any obvious injuries, you should call an ambulance immediately. Otherwise, you should begin to gather the information necessary to prove what actually happened. This includes writing down the following:
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers of all drivers involved
- Contact information for all of the passengers in both vehicles
- Make, model, year, and VIN of the vehicles
- Insurance information for all drivers involved
You are going to need this information in order to open a claim with the insurance company and to potentially file a lawsuit later. It is unlikely that your child will be able to gather this data without assistance, so your presence at the scene will be very helpful. It can also be useful to take pictures of the road, debris, surrounding area, both vehicles, and any injuries your child may have sustained.
What rights do I have as a parent?
If your child is under the age of eighteen, you have the same rights enabling you to secure medical care, file an insurance claim, and hire an attorney that you would have as if you were doing these things for yourself.
In fact, a child cannot retain a personal injury attorney, accept a settlement offer, or go to court without the consent of a parent or legal guardian. In other words, you will need to be involved every step of the way, helping your child work through the legal challenges of being in a wreck. As a local attorney, I can make this process easier and answer your questions during a consultation.
Should I sue the other driver?
That really depends on the extent of your child’s injuries and how the case is proceeding. Sometimes everything can be resolved through negotiations. As a car accident attorney, this is typically where I begin, and if the insurance company does not make a fair offer, I then make recommendations regarding going to court.
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If you know someone whose child has recently been in an accident and who is unsure of what to do or how to proceed legally, contact Lavent Law. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.
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