San Diego Lawyers Help Parents Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable for Their Children’s Injuries
Were you recently involved in a car accident? Were your children in the car? Has your child missed school and is looking at a long road to recovery? Are you wondering what you can do to hold the negligent driver responsible for your child’s injuries? If so, you need a San Diego law firm with experience in handling car accidents with injured children. For parents, these accidents and their aftermath are emotionally challenging. A San Diego car accident lawyer can help take some of the burdens associated with bringing a case off your hands, so you can focus on being the parent your child needs during this time.
At The Levinson Law Group, a Southern California personal injury law firm, we specialize in motor vehicle collisions. Our founder, Gordon Levinson, spent years working for some of the largest insurance companies in North America. Now he uses that knowledge and experience to fight for injured people against big insurance companies. Put our experience, insider knowledge and expertise on your side. With our help, you can hold the parties responsible for your child’s injuries accountable.
Children and Car Accidents
Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in California, and across the country. According to the California Highway Patrol, in 2017 alone, 3,904 people were killed in 3,582 fatal California car accidents. An additional 227,160 people were injured in 193,564 non-fatal California car accidents. In fact, the total number of California car accidents reached a ten-year high in 2017, a trend which seems to be continuing.
It is indisputable that car accidents pose a serious risk to any passenger. The forces involved in even a low-speed collision can cause serious injuries to adult passengers. According to one report, accidents involving speeds of as little as 12 miles per hour can cause whiplash or other serious soft-tissue damage. When a child is involved in a car accident, the threat of severe injury increases significantly. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a child is injured as a passenger in a vehicle every 32 seconds. In 2018, more than 630 children under the age of 12 were killed in car accidents. Another 97,000 children per year, on average, are injured in car accidents.
According to the National Safety Council, fatigued driving is responsible for more than 1,500 traffic-related deaths per year across the country. In fact, in 2019, more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving accidents, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Children are smaller, weigh less and seatbelts do not always protect them. Therefore, experts recommend that children ride in car seats. According to NHTSA, car seats can reduce the chance of death for an infant by as much as 71 percent. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that car seats save an average of 500 lives per year. Of all children who die in car accidents, about one-third were not properly buckled up at the time of the accident.
Types of Car Seats
Car seats used to be uniform in design because it was understood that children would only require them for a few years. However, medical experts now recommend that children stay in a car seat until they are much older.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that car seats save an average of 500 lives per year.
There are three types of car seats:
Rear-Facing Car Seats
Rear-facing car seats are the only recommended car seat for infants up to 12 months, as they do the best job protecting small children. However, children should remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible. Rear-facing car seats should be placed in the back seat. When a child reaches the upper limit of the height or weight limit, it is time to put them in a front-facing car seat.
Front-Facing Car Seats
Front-facing car seats are also placed in the rear seats and are designed as the best option for children up to seven, provided they are within the weight and height limit. Once a child is too big for a front-facing car seat, the next step is to transition into a high-back booster seat.
A booster seat is the final version of a car seat, designed for older children up to 12 years old. Once a child is big enough for the seatbelt to fit them properly, they can safely ride without a booster seat. Booster seats come in two types: high-back and backless. High-back booster seats are intended to provide back and neck support and are advisable if a vehicle does not have headrests. Backless booster seats only lift a child high enough so the seatbelt can fit them properly.
Defective Car Seat Injuries
Car seats are crucial, as they can reduce the chances of a child suffering serious injuries or death in the event of a car accident. While parents should always ensure that they are using care seats correctly, there are some situations where a defective car seat does not protect a child as it should. Tens of thousands of car seats have been recalled by various manufacturers.
Recalls are commonly misunderstood. Issuing a recall does not necessarily immunize a manufacturer from liability, nor does it automatically mean the manufacturer is responsible for any resulting injuries. However, depending on the situation, a recall can provide valuable evidence in a San Diego car accident involving child injuries.
Generally, companies are responsible for the product they design, manufacture, market and sell to the public. When a product suffers a design or manufacturing defect, the manufacturer may be liable.
Common Child Injuries in San Diego Car Accidents
Car accidents are among the leading causes of injury among all age groups, and children are no exception. Some of the most common types of injuries in San Diego car accidents with injured children include:
Children’s bones, while more flexible than adult’s, are still susceptible to breaking. Car accidents tend to result in the most severe fractures and breaks. Sometimes, a break may permanently damage the growth plates at the ends of the bones, causing bones to grow at an angle or develop slower than they should. The effects of these breaks may not be readily apparent after an accident.
Head and Brain Injuries
The long-term damage of childhood head injuries has recently become the focus of much research. Car accidents make up about seven percent of cases of childhood brain injuries. Children who sustain a traumatic brain injury may be at risk of developing serious physical and mental health issues later in life.
Injury to the back and spine are common in car accidents due to the physical forces involved. Spine injuries can range in seriousness from mild soft-tissue damage to vertebral fractures to spinal cord damage. Often, a child will overcome their injuries and go on to live a normal life. In severe cases, a child may suffer permanent nerve damage, herniated discs and even paralysis.
While the physical impact of a car accident may be a parent’s immediate focus, the toll that car accidents take on children extends beyond their physical bodies. Car accidents are traumatic, and children lack an understanding of why things happen. Some children may develop what seems to be irrational fears after a serious auto accident. Children are also not as equipped to deal with pain and other repercussions of a car crash, which can take a toll on their mental health.
If your child was seriously injured in a San Diego auto accident, you can take steps to hold the driver who caused the collision accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. At The Levinson Law Group, our dedicated team of San Diego car accident attorneys has extensive experience working with families to help them through the recovery process. We understand the unique concerns that car collisions with injured children present and are well-suited to assist your family in seeking the justice that you deserve.
Contact the San Diego Car Accident Lawyers at The Levinson Law Group Today
If your child recently suffered serious injuries in a San Diego car accident, The Levinson Law Group can help. Our team of lawyers has more than 40 years of combined experience representing individuals and families in all types of car accident claims, helping them hold at-fault drivers accountable for their negligent actions. We have also represented families in lawsuits against car seat manufacturers whose products failed to protect children as advertised.
When you choose to work with The Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that you will have someone in your corner throughout the process. We begin by explaining the recovery process in relatable terms and make ourselves available to answer your questions whenever they come up. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call at 760-840-2304. We accept cases on a contingent fee.