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When anyone gets into a car and drives on the roads and highways, there is always a risk that they will be involved in a car accident. No matter how safe you think you drive, or how much of a defensive driver you try to be, there are always reckless, careless, and negligent drivers sharing the road with you.
Car crashes can happen in a blink of an eye, and for many reasons. The question that often arises is this: are there actually more accidents during the summer than in other seasons? The data shows that the answer is a resounding yes.
This can be somewhat surprising given the fact that in many areas of our country during winter time the roads can be quite hazardous. Given that snow and ice accumulations on roads is quite common, the weather can cause a significant number of car crashes.
There are many reasons why summertime is the most dangerous season when it comes to car and truck accidents. This article will discuss those reasons and what you could do to protect yourself and make your summer trips a little bit safer.
One of the main causes of an increase in car accidents during summer is the increase in traffic. While there is a proven increase in traffic with every major holiday regardless of the season, there is an overall increase in travel during the summer months. People travel for vacations, or to visit family, or to get away on a whim no matter the holiday or occasion over the summer, not necessarily planned around a particular holiday break. As always, with an increase in traffic there will be increased accidents.
It is understood that teenagers are an age group that causes more accidents than other age groups. One of the reasons for this is that teenagers are brand new drivers with undeveloped driving skills. They tend to take more risks and fail to understand or comprehend the dangers that can be associated with driving. Teenagers tend to speed and drive erratically, aggressively, and recklessly. All this contributes to an increase in teenage car accidents.
With the advent of summer vacation, most teenagers are on break from school or home from college. Those teens will be spending more time on the roads, leading to more accidents during the summer.
As the winter weather subsides and the warmer weather begins, there is always increased Road construction. On city streets as well as highways, you will always see significant road construction during summer months.
This construction usually includes changes in road designs, directions, detours, barriers, and speed reductions. In many instances, this could lead to car crashes because drivers are not used to seeing detours, construction signs, and construction workers. Sometimes the roadways are narrowed and limited. When drivers continue to drive over the speed limit in construction zones, there’s an increased risk for accidents, especially an increased risk for the health and safety of construction workers.
With warmer weather, everyone wants to get outside to enjoy the sun and the fresh air. This increases the number of walkers, joggers and people riding bicycles. It is not surprising that there is a significant increase in pedestrian accidents during the warmer months as compared to the colder months. Drivers are just not used to seeing walkers and bicyclists out and about and fail to see them. Or, the drivers are distracted for a few seconds at the wrong time and hit a pedestrian.
Similar to the increase in pedestrian traffic, there is an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road during the summer months. Riding motorcycles has become a huge pastime in the United States over the last 30 years. What used to be considered a counterculture activity in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, is now commonplace. Now you can see all manner of people riding motorcycles, but with increased motorcycle traffic there will always be increased motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycles are generally more dangerous to drive than vehicles to begin with. There is less protection for motorcycle riders compared to all of the safety protections of cars and trucks. In addition to the inherent risks of motorcycle driving, many states throughout the United States do not require motorcyclists to wear helmets.
The most important immediate thing to do if you are involved in a car accident is to make sure you contact 911. Having a police officer come to the scene will allow someone to begin investigating the accident, collecting witness information, and determining who was at fault.
Another thing to do after a crash is to seek medical care as soon as possible. The sooner you see the doctor, the sooner you will know if your injuries are serious. Do not assume that you will get better on your own.
Being seriously injured in a car accident can be traumatic and frightening. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have the knowledge and skills to fight for your rights to receive full compensation for your injuries. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
With so much traffic on our roads and highways, it is not surprising that we see so many accidents caused by road debris. When a car runs into something discarded in the middle of the road, it can cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle and crash, veering off the side of the road or crash into other vehicles. Usually, these accidents happen quickly and without warning, giving the driver almost no time to react. These accidents can cause serious damage and significant injuries to the occupants of the car and the car itself.
If you drive a decent amount throughout Delaware, you will periodically see debris in the roadway. With the amount of truck traffic and commercial traffic on the roads, things fall off trucks all the time. The following things are the type of debris that we see that causes crashes:
This debris can come off many different types of vehicles. That is why it is hard to pinpoint the responsible parties who left debris in the road.
There are many different types of entities that can be responsible for leaving debris in the road that runs the risk of causing an accident. Whenever you see something laying in the road, most likely it got there due to someone’s negligence. Whether it be improper securing of things in the back of a truck, failure to inspect the loads being carried by vehicles, improper loading of commercial products, or failure to properly secure road signs or construction material. The types of vehicles and drivers that leave behind the most road debris include:
The hardest part of these cases is to pinpoint who is responsible for leaving the debris, locating the responsible party, and determine what they did or did not do to cause the debris to fall into the roadway.
Once you track down who is at fault, then you can begin the case against them and their insurance company. Your attorney will put them on notice of the claim. If necessary, your attorney can file a lawsuit which will force the defendant to respond.
In some cases, the debris that causes the crash is not on the road at all, but is flying through the air. There have been many cases where people were injured in car crashes caused by stuff coming off a truck, flying through the air, and striking another vehicle. Sometimes, tires come flying off vehicles because they were not properly secured. These tires come zipping off a vehicle and rolling and bouncing down the road at high speed. When a tire hits your car, it can cause significant damage and injuries.
There are certain things that you can do that can potentially help you and your Delaware car accident lawyer prove who was at fault in your road debris accident. But only do these things if it is possible without putting yourself into extra harm’s way. For example, do not try to pick up the debris if it means you have to dodge into oncoming traffic and put yourself at risk for being hit by a car. But, if you can possibly do the following, it will help with submitting evidence to prove who was at fault in putting debris in the road:
By doing these things, you can significantly increase your chances to receive fair compensation for your injuries
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident caused by road debris, we can help. Our experience Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow focus their practice on helping people seriously injured in car and truck accidents. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.
Despite all the major strides made in recent years with road and vehicle safety, car accidents are still common. Delaware certainly sees its share of accidents, with an estimated 26,000 crashes per year with more than 8,500 people injured in those crashes.
No single crash is the same as the other, including how accident victims are compensated for their injuries and property damage. Although the majority of accident cases end in settlements with the insurance company, there are those occasions when a car accident has to be settled in court:
If you should find yourself in a car accident, take the following steps to ensure your safety and gather evidence for insurance and any legal counsel you may need following the accident.
If you get into a car accident in Delaware, it is important to know how the accident laws work. Delaware is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that if you get into an accident, you use your own insurance company to cover your injuries, property damage, and expenses. You use your own insurance coverage regardless of who is liable for the accident. Only if you were seriously injured would you have to go to court, or your insurance settlement does not cover all your losses. In Delaware, you are required to carry no-fault insurance, as well as liability insurance with these minimums:
You are legally required to report any accident in Delaware, even if the only damage done was to your own car. Failing to do so will likely lead to a fine. However, you will be charged a misdemeanor if you fail to report a car accident that resulted in an injury to a person. It is a felony if you do not report an accident that led to someone’s death.
Before a lawsuit goes to trial in Delaware, it must first go through compulsory alternative dispute resolution (ADR). During mediation, if an agreement is made between the two parties, then the arbitrator must notify the court within five days. A settlement can always be reached as long as the jury has not returned with a verdict, and it can come in two forms: a lump sum, or a structured settlement which spans many years. Furthermore, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, either for property damage or personal injury, is two years from the date of the accident.
Delaware has a comparative fault negligence system. This means that a plaintiff can recover compensation for their damages as long as they do not bear more responsibility for the accident than the defendant. For instance, if the jury awards $100,000 in damages, but the plaintiff is found to be 25 percent at fault for the accident, then they may only collect $75,000. If the plaintiff is found to be over 50 percent responsible for the accident, then they may not collect any compensation.
The more complex are car accident claim becomes, the more you will need legal guidance, especially if you need to file a lawsuit. Contact our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience with cases like this and can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.
The excitement and newfound freedom that comes with getting a driver’s license is something every new driver will experience, and a feeling no one forgets. While this is an exciting time, it is also time to move with extreme cautious. Car insurance for teenagers is higher, and for good reason: teenagers are involved in more car accidents.
While exciting, first-time driving can often be overwhelming too. Until now a parent, family member, or driving instructor has been seated next to you, instructing, helping to navigate traffic, keeping an eye out for potential problems, and able to take over if necessary. Though most teenagers cannot wait for their first solo adventure, there is also typically some trepidation at being alone in the car.
When it comes to driving, there is no such thing as being too safe. You have attended driving classes, taken behind-the-wheel instruction, followed your parents’ directions, and passed your driving exam. You are well-equipped with driving knowledge and full understanding of traffic rules, but it never hurts to familiarize yourself with driving safety tips again, and repeatedly, until they become second nature.
When you – and your freshly printed driver’s license – head out on your first trip, review and use these safety tips:
One pinnacle of the teenage years is earning your driver’s license. It is an exciting time for new drivers – and a terrifying time for parents. Teenagers are far more likely to have car accidents than any other age group. If you are a new driver who has been involved in a car accident, whether your fault or someone else’s, the experienced Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. Call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Bear, Delaware, we serve clients in Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
One of the most dangerous jobs to have when it comes to workplace accidents is a construction job. The construction industry has one of the highest workplace injury rates in the country year after year. It makes sense, too, given the vast number of ways a construction worker can get injured on the job, from minor cuts to serious injuries. Every year, there are many construction worker injuries and deaths that occur on jobsites.
Most construction workers know that when they are hurt on the job, they will get Workers’ Compensation benefits via the mandated Workers’ Compensation Insurance employers carry for such accidents.
This form of insurance, which the state of Delaware requires of almost all employers, provides wage loss benefits and coverage for medical expenses. In some cases, injured construction workers can seek more compensation for their injuries above and beyond Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that there are on average, about 5,000 work-related deaths each year in the United States. Out of those 5,000, 20 percent are in the construction industry.
That 20 percent further proves that jobs in the construction industry are some of the most dangerous. Hazards are everywhere at a construction jobsite. Nearly 60 percent of the construction industry deaths are caused by:
Most of these claims will be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance. However, some of these incidents will involve negligence from a third party, and the injured worker can file a lawsuit against them as well.
A Workers’ Compensation claim and a third-party lawsuit are two very different things. As previously said, all you get in a Workers’ Compensation claim is your medical expenses reimbursed and your wage loss compensated. The wage loss would be set at two-thirds of your average weekly gross wages when you resume work. You only receive that much until you return back to work. However, with a third-party liability lawsuit, you can seek much more compensation for your injuries.
With a third-party liability lawsuit, you can recoup any unpaid medical bills and wage loss that was not covered, but you also get to claim damages pain and suffering. The addition of these damages can add a significant amount of money that the injured worker might receive, above and beyond what they got from the Workers’ Compensation insurance claim.
There are other types of compensation that plaintiffs in third-party liability claims may pursue. A loss of consortium claim can be filed by the spouse of the injured employee as part of the lawsuit. This sort of claim reimburses the spouse for the loss of services and comfort and care that would have been provided by the injured worker owing to the work injury.
In rare cases, an injured plaintiff can seek punitive damages from the at-fault party when their actions are outrageous, intentional, or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant, as opposed to compensate the injured plaintiff.
After a construction accident, an option is to pursue Workers’ Compensation benefits. If an incident is caused by the negligence of a third-party, injured construction worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
On most large construction sites, a general contractor is in control of everything. Then there are various subcontractors on the job site doing specific tasks, such as electrical, plumbing, roofing, masonry work, scaffolding, architectural, and engineering. If any of these subcontractors did something that was negligent and caused another worker to be injured, they would be responsible for the damages to that worker.
Examples of cases where third parties were held liable to injured construction workers include:
If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may have other options besides collecting Workers’ Compensation. It is possible that you may have a third-party liability claim, which may offer additional funds for pain and suffering and other damages. Our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
A car accident could cause harm to a mother-to-be and her unborn child. According to a University of Michigan study, about 200,000 pregnant women are involved in auto accidents every year. Even a minor accident could cause catastrophic injuries to the mother and endanger her baby. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in pregnant women. Car accidents are also linked to about 400 fetal deaths per year. These alarming statistics affirm that pregnant drivers and their unborn babies have significantly greater health risks when on the road. Understanding the unique risks faced by pregnant drivers can help prevent more injuries or even deaths.
A trip to the emergency room for a full diagnostic medical exam is in order for any pregnant driver or passenger who is involved in an accident. If the initial examination shows the baby is healthy and the mother is not seriously injured, extended rest and other at-home care will be needed. The mother-to-be should rest in bed as much as possible for at least a couple of days.
While at home, the pregnant mother should monitor her condition. A fever could indicate infection. If any bleeding occurs, it is critical to notify the doctor as soon as possible. Any pain, discomfort, or other concerning symptoms after a car accident should be immediately reported. It is also critical to go to all follow-up care appointments.
Any appearance of amniotic fluid following a car accident is cause for alarm. An immediate trip to the doctor is needed to help provide the best possible outcome for the mother and child. Other symptoms pregnancy-related issues that could arise after a car accident include dizziness and fainting. These symptoms could mean dangerous changes in blood pressure. Fluctuating blood pressure might be dangerous for the baby.
A pregnant driver does not have as much room in the seat, which makes using a seat belt much more difficult and uncomfortable. The bottom of the steering wheel is just inches away from a pregnant woman’s belly. If even a minor accident occurs, a pregnant woman might suffer a serious injury, such as a hemorrhage or sudden or early delivery. A hemorrhage might cause light bleeding, but heavy bleeding could be a sign of something much more serious.
Any pregnant driver who is in an accident should immediately undergo medical diagnosis and treatment. That is the best way to prevent possible injury to the mother and/or baby.
Death is not the only risk that an unborn baby faces in a car accident. A premature birth could occur and make the infant vulnerable to a variety of potential life-threatening injuries. An infant might also suffer neurological issues due to injuries from a car accident.
If the mother is injured and begins to bleed heavily, the unborn baby could be affected as well. If a premature birth occurs and the mother bleeds heavily during the delivery, it could be life-threatening for the baby.
There are many possible treatments for injured pregnant drivers, which is why it is critical to go to the doctor after a collision. Even if a pregnant mother-to-be feels okay after an accident, they should still go to the doctor as soon as possible. You should get medically evaluated after any type of accident because you may have a hidden injury. Some injuries do not show up until days or even weeks later.
Speed and deployment of air bags are the two biggest factors in causing pregnancy-related medical issues due to a car accident. Research shows an accident that occurs at 50 miles per hour or higher is much more dangerous for a pregnant driver. The deployment of airbags, which would injure the fetus, is also a risk for a pregnant driver. A pregnant driver needs to do her best to abide the posted speed limits and follow at a safe distance, just like all other motorists.
You also can wear a seat belt that is situated below the belly with a lap restraint. The shoulder restraint should go around instead of across the belly to help prevent extreme pressure during an accident.
Some mothers feel that they should not wear a seat belt during pregnancy because of the potential risks. However, doctors recommend to still wear a seat belt. You should also avoid turning off the airbags.
Pregnant drivers and their babies are vulnerable in car accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident that caused an injury to you or your unborn baby, our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. You can contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
When winter weather hits, driving may be unavoidable. While it is advisable to stay off the roads when there is an approaching winter storm, there are some ways drivers can reduce their risk of a car accident.
Additionally, preparing for winter driving should start long before the snow begins. Drivers should get ready for the cold weather well in advance by having their car checked, stocking it with emergency essentials, and reviewing some driving tips to stay safe.
Drivers should make sure to have their cars checked out in anticipation of the cold temperatures and slipper weather conditions. The combination of wet conditions and the temperature dips causes dangerously slippery roads.
Among other basic safety checks, your pre-winter vehicle assessment should include examining the following:
Every driver should have a few items in their car at all times, including a flashlight, road flares, and a small collection of basic tools. You should also bring drinking water, snacks, and a charged cellphone on every trip in case you breakdown or become involved in an accident that leaves you stranded.
In winter, however, there are a few specific items that you should consider adding to your emergency supplies. Having a blanket might come in handy if you are stuck on the side of the road in winter. An ice scraper and a snow shovel should also be kept in your trunk to help deal with the elements. Finally, a pair of warm gloves and a hat are nice to have in a cold-weather emergency.
Some important winter driving tips include:
If you find yourself stuck in a snowstorm, it is best to pull over and wait it out. Trying to drive through a storm puts you and others in danger. If you must drive in order to deal with an emergency or to get somewhere safe, drive slowly, and use your headlights and emergency blinkers to make yourself visible to others.
When it comes to icy roads, you should drive slowly, and if you encounter a patch of ice, do not slam on your brakes. Instead, turn your wheel in the direction your car is sliding until you regain control.
If your car becomes stuck in the snow, you may be able to dig your car out with a shovel, but you should take breaks so you do not exhaust yourself. Using road salt may help melt any ice or provide traction for your tires. Spinning your wheels may work against you if it causes the car to dig itself deeper. If you must rest or take refuge in the running car, make sure the tail pipe is free of obstruction to avoid carbon monoxide exhaust from backing up into the car.
It is important to prepare your car for cold weather ahead of time, but some motorists will not take necessary precautions. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you pursue legal action. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
Some of the most serious car accidents are entirely preventable. While drunk driving and distracted driving are among the most common examples of unsafe driving behaviors that are known to cause car accidents, drowsy driving is just as dangerous. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, motorists who only get between five and six hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to get into a car accident. The risk increases substantially with each hour of lost sleep.
Extreme drowsiness can cause motorists to fall asleep at the wheel. However, drowsy driving is dangerous under any circumstance, even if you do not actually fall asleep while driving. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), drowsy driving actually has a similar impact on the body as alcohol. For example, drowsy motorists have a slower reaction time, they are less aware of hazards, and they are less able to keep their attention focused on the road. In addition, when a motorist drives after being awake for 18 consecutive hours or more, it has the same impact on the body as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 percent. Being awake for 24 hours or more is comparable to having a BAC of 0.10 percent.
There are a number of factors that cause drowsiness. The following are some of the most common causes of drowsy driving:
One of the reasons that drowsy driving is so dangerous is that the signs of fatigue often appear gradually. However, just because you are not falling asleep at the wheel does not mean that you are not suffering from fatigue. Even mild signs of drowsiness can increase the risk of a serious drowsy driving accident. Common signs of driver fatigue include:
Drowsy driving is common because it is not generally considered as serious as drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and other unsafe driving behaviors. The following motorists are more likely to drive while drowsy:
Getting enough sleep on a daily basis is important, not only for your overall health, but to ensure that you are able to maintain control of your car and avoid getting into a serious accident. The following are proactive steps you can take to get enough sleep and reduce the risk of a drowsy driving car accident:
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will investigate the details of your case. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford
Nighttime driving is challenging for many reasons, including low visibility. If a driver cannot see well, the chance of a car accident is much higher. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of all car accident fatalities in the United States take place at night. The percentage of fatalities among cyclists and pedestrians is even higher.
Headlights are a vital part of all vehicles, brightening the road so that drivers can see more safely at night. Without them, driving would be almost impossible, especially in rural areas. However, does the quality of a car’s headlights make a difference?
In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) added headlights to its safety ratings. They test how well headlights illuminate certain distances of the road in a car traveling 40 to 50 miles per hour, and they give them a rating of good, acceptable, marginal, or poor. Out of 80 headlight systems tested that year, only one received a good rating.
The IIHS then looked at police reports for 44,000 single-car nighttime accidents and found that cars equipped with the headlights they rated as good had 19 percent less crashes per mile than the poor group; the acceptable headlights had 15 percent less, and marginal 10 percent less.
The study and subsequent ratings have brought about good results in the auto industry. As of 2021, 29 percent of this year’s models received the top rating. Additionally, the IIHS reports that many automakers stopped offering better headlights as an upgrade customers could add, instead, they started outfitting vehicles with IIHS-rated good or acceptable headlights as standard.
In vehicle maintenance, the headlights are often overlooked. The condition of your vehicle’s headlights may make the difference between safe driving and causing an accident. Since half of all car crashes happen at night, driving with dim, hazy, broken, and burnt-out headlights dramatically increase your risk of causing an accident. Over time, the plastic headlight casings can become scratched, cloudy, and dirty due to wear and tear and weather, and this can reduce the distance your headlights reach. In this condition, the lights are only functioning at 20 percent, and the darker the road and the higher your speed, the more deadly the accident.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests regular maintenance checks of your headlights and replace bulbs as needed to keep your headlights functioning at 100 percent. Some headlight and bulb options to consider include:
Keep in mind that car manufacturers must meet federal regulations on headlights, but those that meet the regulations may perform differently. In order to meet the federal regulations, the light intensity of headlights is measured at different angles from the center. Visibility and glare are measured, but federal standards allow a wide range of intensities and angles.
Headlights also differ from one vehicle model to another. Regulations permit a wide range of height and width and do not specify where they should be aimed, so different cars with the same headlights may have a significant difference in the distance their lights reach.
Low visibility and darkness at night can impact your ability to take evasive measures to avoid a crash. You may not realize a potential crash incident as easily at night as you would during the day.
If the at-fault driver was operating a vehicle with poor headlights, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to compensate for the damage to your car and medical expenses for your injuries. You will want to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can work on your behalf to investigate the collision and prove your case.
If you were injured in a nighttime car crash by a negligent motorist, our experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are here to advocate for you. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.
The trauma of experiencing a car accident can be compounded by injuries. For children, this often means concussions. When your child is hurt, trauma is amplified due to seeing the pain of your child as well as the financial strain of missing work to care for your child. If your child suffered a concussion as the result of a car accident, they need to see a medical professional immediately for treatment. You should also contact an experienced lawyer to understand you and your child’s rights.
A direct hard blow or bump to the head can jolt the brain, causing damage to the blood vessels, nerves, or bruising. This jolt affects the brain’s ability to function temporarily. Concussions often happen in children because their heads are large in comparison to the rest of their body, and because in very young children, the skull is not yet fully developed into a hard protective shell.
Every year, thousands of children are seen in emergency rooms for concussions, many of which are related to car accidents. The impact of a front-end or rear-end collision can be powerful enough to cause real damage to the undeveloped body of a child. Common causes of accident-related concussions in children include:
There are many symptoms of a concussion, and every child will respond differently to a head injury. However, the most common symptoms of concussions include the following:
It is important to know that symptoms often appear between 24 and 72 hours after an accident. Symptoms of a concussion can easily be mistaken for other illnesses or not identified as the result of a head injury. This is why it is crucial to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you feel that your child is okay.
A professional may recognize the signs of concussion that may not be readily apparent to a lay person. With small children, there is the added problem that they may have trouble describing any physical and cognitive symptoms they are experiencing.
Symptoms of a severe concussion include:
A child with any of these symptoms should be taken immediately to the emergency room.
A child who has suffered a concussion must rest to give the brain a chance to recover from the impact. While basic activities are fine, more physical activities, like sports, should be restricted until the symptoms subside and the concussion is healed. The child should also avoid mental activities that stress the brain, including reading, doing homework, watching television, playing video games, using a computer, tablet, or other devices. Bright lights and loud noises can also aggravate symptoms.
Activities can be resumed as the child’s condition improves. Recovery should be monitored by a pediatrician to check on brain function, memory, and behavior. You can also ask your child’s teachers or caregivers to give feedback on any changes they observe.
When someone is injured in a car accident that happened because of the negligence of another party, they have a right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Since a child is a minor, the parents are allowed to file a personal injury claim and negotiate a settlement on behalf of the child.
Compensation can include damages for injuries, pain and suffering, and for the expenses incurred by the parents, such as medical bills and wages lost related to caring for the child’s injuries. For injuries that require long-term care, damages for future medical bills should also be taken into account.
Our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow know there is nothing more stressful for a parent than seeing your child injured because of someone else’s negligence. If your child has a severe injury because of a car accident, we can help. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.