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What to do if Your Child is in a Car Accident

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Car Accident

The only thing worse than getting into a car accident yourself is when one of your kids does. One day you’re just going about your business as usual, when your phone rings. You see that it’s your child, answer the phone, and suddenly realize that everything isn’t okay. Your child’s voice sounds shaky, and they tell you they’ve just been a car accident. Immediately your mind starts racing, wondering if they’re okay.

During a time like this, your mind will race to so many different points that it becomes hard to know what to do. To help you out, here are the steps you should follow if your child gets into a car accident.

Keep Yourself Calm

The first thing you need to do is remain calm. If you start to panic, this fear will only spread to your child and make things worse. Take a couple of deep breaths and try to keep your nerves under control. Once you’ve done this, work on keeping your child calm. They might be getting some anxiety, especially if this is their first car accident, and they’ll need your guidance. Have them take a few deep breaths as well, then start walking them through the next steps.

Get to Them if You Can

If your child was driving nearby when they got into an accident, your best bet is to try and get to them. This will help to make the next steps easier, and you won’t have to do everything on the phone. Find out where they are and drop whatever you’re doing. If you’re at work, your boss will likely understand if you tell them you need to leave to attend to your child.

If you can’t get to your kid right away, see if there is someone else who can. Maybe a family friend or relative lives near the accident site and you can ask them to drive over. Having someone with experience in these situations at the accident site will help things run more smoothly and keep your child calm.

Make Sure They are Okay

Next, whether you were able to get there or someone else was, find out if your child is okay. Do they have any scrapes from the accident? Do they feel any pain? They might be a little shaken up emotionally, especially if it was a bad accident, but this is normal. Pay closer attention to their physical condition, and make sure everything is okay. If there are any signs of a problem, you’ll want to get them checked out by a doctor, no matter how minor. Also remember that some car accident symptoms can appear in the days following the accident, so keep an eye on your kid going forward.

Call for Extra Help

Once you’re sure your child is okay, or proper medical attention is on the way, the next thing you’ll want to focus on is if you need to call anyone else. For instance, if the police haven’t been called yet, you should call them so they can make an official record of the accident. Another person you might need to call is a tow truck, so that your child’s car can be towed away.

Finally, you may need to call a lawyer if you’re having trouble with issues like insurance. According to Adams Law Firm, “Medical bills can quickly add up, and insurance companies have been known to act in bad faith and deny coverage or severely low-ball victims in their times of need. After an accident, it is vital that you work with an attorney who is dedicated to your well-being and will work hard to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.” This step won’t come until later though, so focus on the present for now. 

Walk Them Through the Exchange of Information

The last thing you should help your child with is the exchange of information. After every car accident, the two drivers involved need to share information. Make sure your child gets the required information from the other driver, and that they provide it as well. The information you need to get are their name, license plate number, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea during this step to take some pictures of the accident, and of any injuries sustained. Take out your smartphone and snap as many pictures as you can – you never know when you might need them.

Help Your Child Going Forward

Once all of this is done, the ordeal isn’t quite over. Your child may experience lingering effects from the accident, such as a reluctance to drive or some anxiety. If this is the case, work with your child to overcome this fear and get back to normal.

Having a child go through a car accident is never pleasant, and it might even be worse for you than for them. But it’s important that you remain calm, so that your child can rely on you during this trying time. Hopefully you’ll never need to use this guide, but if the time comes, you’ll be glad you know what to do.

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