What if Your Child Was Injured in an Ohio Car Crash?

A child in car seat.
A child in car seat.

While any car accident can be a distressing experience, crashes involving your children are especially upsetting. The uncertainty, fear and sense of helplessness parents feel are hard to describe.

Below, our Cleveland auto accident lawyers discuss auto accidents involving children, including the common types, the injuries that could occur and how parents may be able to seek compensation to cover medical care and other damages.

At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, our experienced attorneys have been assisting injured victims and their families for more than 45 years, recovering millions in compensation for our clients.

Call to set up your free case review. No upfront fees. No obligations. Phone: 216-621-0070.

Common Types of Car Crashes Involving Children

Children can be involved in various types of car accidents, each presenting unique dangers. Here are some of the most common scenarios:

  • Accidents While in the Car With Their Parents: These crashes can happen anywhere at any time. No matter how careful parents are when driving with their children in the back seat, sometimes you cannot avoid negligent drivers.
  • School Zone Accidents: These occur when drivers fail to adhere to reduced speed limits in school zones.
  • Bus Accidents: School bus accidents can happen due to driver negligence or poor vehicle maintenance. Children may suffer injuries either as passengers or pedestrians in the vicinity of the bus.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: Children walking near roads are vulnerable, especially if drivers are distracted or fail to yield at crosswalks.
  • Bicycle Accidents: Young cyclists are at risk, particularly in neighborhoods or near parks where drivers might not expect to encounter them.

Serious Injuries Children Can Suffer in Collisions

Children may be more prone to severe injury in a collision. While no one’s body is built to fully withstand the forces generated by a motor vehicle collision, children are especially vulnerable. These incidents can also cause significant emotional trauma for children.

These are some of the many types of injuries children could suffer in a collision:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Young children have weaker neck muscles, so their heads are more likely to get violently thrown around during a crash. These serious injuries to the head can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms like headaches, dizziness, memory problems, difficulty concentrating or changes in mood might not show up for days or weeks.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries require immediate medical attention to minimize potential damage. However, even with immediate care, spinal cord damage could result in paralysis.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones: These injuries are common in car accidents, especially for younger children whose bones are still developing, making them more vulnerable. Damage to the growth plates, the areas where bones grow, can lead to complications that affect bone growth as time goes on.
  • Internal Injuries: If your child suffers internal bleeding or organ damage, it can have life-threatening consequences. Parents should be on the lookout for sudden, severe abdominal pain, vomiting or changes in your child’s breathing. Any of these may be a sign of an internal injury.
  • Emotional Trauma: Children may experience psychological stress, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These emotional effects can be long-lasting and require attention from a mental health professional.

Filing an Injury Claim on Your Child’s Behalf

Under Ohio law, parents have the right to seek personal injury compensation on behalf of their children. This is something you should discuss with a licensed attorney, as there are many factors to consider, such as proving negligence and the value of your child’s damages.

However, talking to an attorney is just one step you can take to protect your child’s legal rights. Other steps include:  

  • Seek immediate medical attention: A prompt medical evaluation documents your child’s injuries and establishes a baseline for your child’s treatment plan. This record also serves as evidence that you can provide for your claim.
  • Report the accident: Notify the police and make sure an official report is filed. The report details the accident scene, witness statements and at-fault party negligence. This document can support the statements in your claim about the crash.
  • Document everything: Take photos of the accident scene, including property damage and any visible injuries to your child. Gather witness statements and keep a record of your child’s medical appointments, treatments, hospital bills and any other related expenses. Doing so can strengthen your claim and help demonstrate the extent of your child’s injuries.

When filing a claim, you typically would need to start with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the claim is denied or if the compensation offered is insufficient, your next step may be filing a lawsuit. Every case is unique, so it is best to consult with an experienced lawyer who has handled cases involving children.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for These Claims?

In Ohio, the statute of limitations is two years for personal injury claims. However, the law recognizes that minors might not have the capacity or resources to pursue legal action immediately following an accident. That is why the two-year window does not begin until the victim reaches 18 years of age. 

While this gives parents significant time to take legal action, it is best not to wait. It should be easier for your lawyer to build a strong case if you act soon after the crash. Even if you are unsure if there is a case, reach out to a lawyer right away so you can know for sure.

Was Your Child Injured in an Ohio Car Crash? Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith

If your child has suffered injuries in a car crash in Ohio, you do not have to navigate this challenging time alone. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your child’s injuries and pain and suffering. We are also here to provide the support and reassurance you need during every step of the legal process.

There are no fees or obligations to discuss your child’s case with us. If we represent you, we only receive fees if we win your case.

Call us today for legal assistance: 216-621-0070.


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