Medical bills, pain and suffering, time away from work - they're all types of damages you could incur - and seek compensation for - if your child suffers a serious head injury from a bicycle accident. Before you begin seeking damages, you should first understand how severe your kid's injury is and what the long-term implications can be. Then you’ll want to review how a child’s injury case differs from an adult injury case when speaking with your lawyer.
Different Head Injuries Equal Different Amounts of Damages
The most costly expense your family will face when a child is recovering from a head injury is medical costs. Mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) recovery typically involves rest and a few days of monitoring at the hospital. A severe TBI may require more intensive treatment to relieve brain swelling.
Also consider long-term damages. If your child sustains a serious brain injury that causes cognitive or mental impairment, he or she may require long-term care. A severe TBI could leave your child with limited motor skills, cognitive function, and require that he or she be cared for by a professional nurse for the rest of his or her life. The cost of daily care over a lifetime can be enormous when your child is only a few years old.
Another type of head injury damage to consider is disfigurement. Scars from lacerations could leave lasting marks on your child's face. A child may need reconstructive surgery if the skull is damaged which can leave a scar or disfigurement. These injuries may heal, but the disfigurement can lead to depression and stress over appearance later in life.
Keep Records of Your Expenses and Losses after the Accident
Usually, the driver of a passenger car is responsible when striking a pedestrian (your child). However, you will need to prove that the driver was acting negligently in order to seek full damages. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report (if one exists). Also ask for the contact information of any witnesses at the scene, as well as the allegedly at-fault driver.
Whether or not your child was wearing a helmet may factor into your personal injury claim. It is Georgia law that all riders or passengers on a bicycle must wear a helmet. Your child's helmet should be compliant with standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
If your child was not wearing a helmet, the driver could argue that your family was at fault under Georgia helmet laws. According to Georgia negligence laws, your family must be found 50 percent or less at fault to be able to recover any amount of damages.
If your child was wearing a helmet and still sustained serious injuries, the helmet company may be liable for your damages. Make sure after the accident that you save all the equipment so your accident attorney can submit it to professionals who can look for defects.
Let a Peachtree City Attorney Help You Maximize Your Settlement
The insurance companies won't immediately pay the maximum amount of damages. They also often fail to compensate for long-term medical care when it becomes necessary for a severe head injury. If you accept a settlement, you must be willing to accept that amount as the only compensation you will get from the insurance company. Most settlement agreements come with a clause that you agree to bring no further claims in regards to the accident, meaning you cannot seek more money in the future.
Helping your child recover from a serious bicycle accident should be your priority, not dealing with injury claim paperwork or worrying about bills. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help Georgia parents with their personal injury claims when harm has come to a son or daughter.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or read our FREE eBook The Truth about Your Injury Case to get even more information regarding your right to file a personal injury claim. Call 404-474-0804 to start a claim.