Although car accidents can be deadly for anyone, no one is more vulnerable than small children. Car seats and seat belts are all important for keeping these little people safe as possible when riding in a car. Unfortunately, even the most diligent safety precautions do not always protect these young passengers from serious harm in a car accident. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to protecting the legal rights of children injured in Chicago car accidents. Contact our child injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal options if your child was injured as a passenger in an automobile or hurt as a pedestrian.
Children Car Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of children ages 3-14. In 2008, an average of four children under the age of 14 died and another 529 were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. Use of a proper restraint system for children is imperative to reduce their risk of injury in a car accident. According to the NHTSA data:
- Of children under 14 years of age that were fatally injured, 46% were unrestrained.
- Child car seats can reduce fatal injuries by 71% in infants and 54% in toddlers ages 1-4.
- 100% child safety seat use for children 5 and under would have saved 323 lives in 2008
Back Seat Riders: Ripe For Serious Injuries In Traffic Collisions
It is commonly accepted that children are safest when restrained properly and ride in the backseat of a car. The NHTSA recommends that all children under the age of 12 be seated in the rear seat, with the proper restraint. Riding in the back seat will keep children away from deployed air bags that may injure them in a crash, especially during the most severe accidents that involve front-end collisions. However, at the same time, the small stature of young children when riding in the backseat also has its own risks.
- In a study at the MCP/Hahnemann University Hospital showed that backseat riders are more prone to brain injuries than front seat riders. The same study showed backseat riders had twice as many orthopedic injuries.
- Since most children are seated in the back, they are particularly susceptible in a rear-end collision. in fact, 47% of all accidents are rear-end collisions.
- The middle back seat is the safest, keeping passengers the farthest away from the “crush zones”. However, most children and passengers are seated in the right or left back seat.
Children Car Accident Injuries
In a study of injuries involving children years 0-7 in car accidents, the Department of Transportation revealed that the most common injury occurred to the head. The younger the child, the higher the percentage of head injuries, with 70% having head injuries as infants and only 39% for ages 4-7. Other common injuries were:
- Lower extremities
The prevalence of head or brain injuries is especially concerning as children may have long-term effects from traumatic brain injuries. Some neurological issues resulting from a brain injury may not appear until years after the car accident that can permanently alter a child’s life.
Children Car Accident Attorneys in Chicago, IL
If your child has been injured in a car accident, it is important that they are well cared for and that the insurance company or driver at fault be held responsible paying all medical treatments that the child requires. Beyond the initial emergency room or hospital stay, there may be additional ongoing costs down the road that are unforeseen when filing a claim for compensation. It is important to know your rights for obtaining recompense to ensure the long-term medical care to maintain your child's well-being. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are experienced Chicago accident attorneys and can advise you of your family's legal right to compensation. Contact us today to discuss your child’s car accident injuries and to schedule a free consultation.
Resources for child car safety: