This is a collaborative post by Caitlyn Bell.
Being in a car accident is always scary, but it is especially scary if you have children with you. It can be traumatizing for everyone involved. It is important to be prepared and know what steps to take, it will make everything a lot easier. As soon as you can, you should get professional help by searching ‘accident lawyer near me’ online.
The first thing you need to do after an accident is to take a moment to make sure that you are ok. If you are seriously hurt, then you shouldn’t move. This can be a difficult position to be in if you have children in the car who you are eager to check on, however, you will only make the situation worse by putting yourself through more trauma.
If you can, you should check on your child next. Try not to take them out of the car seat unless you have to. A medical professional should decide to move your child depending on their condition.
Next, you need to phone the police. You may need the police report following the accident and they should see the scene before anyone moves. Think through what you will say to the police, anything you say could be used against you and you might not be thinking clearly under stress. Be honest and clear.
You may want to obtain information from any witnesses. Get their name and contact details. Try and take photos of the scene. Including any road markings or signs. Things that may not seem important to you now may come in handy later.
Once paramedics arrive, they will be able to tell you about the condition of your child. They may allow you to take them home or they may tell you that you need to visit the emergency room for a proper examination. Medical professionals are always over-precautious when it comes to children. So, don’t panic, stay calm and follow their advice.
In the days following the crash keep an eye out for anything unusual with your child. If they are crying more then usual, restless or unable to sleep they may have been mentally affected by the crash. Also look for anything that might point to a physical injury such as difficulty breathing, speech issues or lack of strength. If you notice anything unusual then seek medical advice. Whether you notice anything or not, you should still take your child to a follow-up appointment with a doctor a couple of days after the accident.
You will also need to replace your car seat, even if there is no visible damage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends you replace a seat after a moderate or serious crash.
Driving with children can be distracting. If you want some tips for keeping safe whilst driving with children then click here.
An accident with children is scary but try and stay calm and treat it like any other car accident. Be sure to keep an eye on your children in the days following the accident. Once you have replaced your car seat try and get back to driving as soon as you can.