Protecting your teen from a car accident is paramount on any parent’s mind. The last statistic you want to hear is that every day six teenagers die due to car accidents, and hundreds more are injured. However, knowing how to handle the car accident your teen may be involved in can help ensure that your child’s health, safety, and legal rights are all protected.
This is likely the most difficult step for all parents. You are terrified, worried, and perhaps even angry. Remember that no matter how upset you feel, your teen likely feels even more traumatized by the car accident. Attempting to remain calm will only benefit the situation in all aspects. Never yell, as this will only make the situation worse. Even if the accident was your child’s fault, tell your teenager that everything will be okay. Vehicles can always be repaired. While they may be teenagers, they likely have never experienced the trauma of an accident and may be terrified. Remind your teen driver that you love them and that their health and safety are more important than damage to a car.
Attempt to Get to the Scene of the Accident
The best-case scenario is that you are able to get to the scene of the accident immediately. This will not only help your teenager feel safe, but you will be able to view the aftermath of the accident, which can help you determine your next steps. Actually, being at the scene of an accident can ensure that your teenager gets proper medical evaluation and treatment if necessary. Additionally, you can be a support as your child visits with the police, the other driver, or passengers involved in the accident. Finally, you may be able to take pictures of the accident scene or obtain witness contact information to be used at a later time.
Get Medical Treatment for Your Child
It is critical that your child get treated for any injuries they received from the wreck. Make sure they go to their pediatrician, an emergency room or urgent care facility for treatment of their injuries. It is usually a good idea that a parent or guardian go with the teenager to the appointment to make sure that all symptoms are properly documented and all injuries are properly treated.
Participating in the Process
As most adults know, the aftermath of a car accident can be complicated and difficult. Calls will need to be made to insurance companies, there may be many doctors’ visits, decisions regarding car repairs or replacement, negotiations with insurance companies regarding settlements, and even possible meetings with attorneys. Make sure to have your teenager be involved in all of the paperwork, communications, and negotiations. These activities can provide opportunities for amazing life lessons, as well as provide opportunities for a teenager to regain some confidence, pride, and self-esteem as they participate in the legal process.
Don’t Neglect Your Teen’s Emotional Health
While obtaining medical evaluation and treatment for any physical condition is critical, consider that your child may need counseling or mental health treatment, as well. Many victims of serious car accidents suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or lingering fears that need to be addressed in order to be resolved.
Learn How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
We can help you through the process following your teenager’s car accident to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 today.