When the unthinkable happens and a child is involved in a vehicular accident, emotions can be overwhelming. Knowing how to deal with this challenging situation, especially if your child is hit by a large vehicle like a pickup truck, can be crucial for their recovery and protecting their rights. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you move forward with clarity and confidence.
Immediate Steps Post Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, especially one as traumatic as your child being hit by a pickup truck, time can seem to stand still. Yet, these critical moments require prompt action. Here’s an expanded guide to the immediate steps you should take post-accident.
Prioritize Safety First
- Stay calm: While your emotions will understandably be running high, it’s important to stay as calm as possible. Your reactions can influence your child’s response and the overall situation.
- Assess the situation: If you didn’t witness the accident, ask your child (if they are conscious and coherent) or any witnesses what happened. This will help you understand the gravity of the situation.
- Secure the scene: If it’s safe to do so, turn on your hazard lights or use other indicators to warn oncoming traffic. This helps prevent any further accidents or injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
- Call for help: If the injuries are serious, call an ambulance It’s always better to err on the side of caution.
- Don’t move your child unnecessarily: If your child is severely injured, it’s best not to move them unless they are in immediate danger. Moving them incorrectly might exacerbate the injuries.
- Monitor their condition: Watch your child for signs of distress, including difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or excessive bleeding. If trained, you can administer first aid – but always prioritize getting professional medical assistance.
Notify Law Enforcement
- Call the police: Even if it seems like a minor accident, having a police report can be invaluable later on. This official documentation can provide a more objective account of the incident.
- Provide a clear statement: When the police arrive, give a clear and concise account of what you witnessed. If you’re unsure of certain details, it’s okay to say so. Avoid speculating or guessing.
Protect Your Child from Additional Stress
- Comfort and reassure: Words of comfort can help in reducing your child’s stress. Hold their hand, keep talking to them, and reassure them that help is on the way. Remember, the calmer you are, the calmer they will be.
- Limit exposure to the scene: If possible, shield your child from distressing sights or conversations. For instance, ask bystanders to give you space or request that they not discuss the incident loudly near your child.
Avoid Making Admissions
In the shock of the moment, and depending on how the accident happened, you might feel the urge to apologize or make statements that might imply guilt. Avoid making any admissions or signing any documents without getting legal advice.
Collecting Necessary Information
In the aftermath of an accident involving your child, gathering the right information can be essential for any future actions you might need to take, whether they are medical, legal, or insurance related. Here’s a more detailed guide on collecting crucial details post-accident.
Details from the Driver
- Stay calm and approach respectfully: It’s essential to stay composed, even if you’re feeling a mix of anger and distress. Remember that the driver may also be injured or shaken up. Approaching them calmly can facilitate a smoother exchange of information.
- Essential information: Collect the driver’s:
- Full name and contact details (phone number and address)
- Driver’s license number and expiration date
- Insurance company name, policy number, and contact information
- Vehicle registration details and plate number
- Ask about passengers: If there were other passengers in the pickup truck, note their names and contact details. They might become witnesses or provide additional perspectives on the accident.
Document the Scene
- Photograph the area: Using a smartphone or camera, capture wide-angle shots of the entire scene and close-ups of specific details. This might include:
- Damage to the pickup truck or any property
- The position of the vehicle post-accident
- Traffic signals, signs, or road markings nearby
- Skid marks, debris, or any other relevant details on the road
- Capture the weather and time: Make a note of the time of day, weather conditions, and visibility, as these can sometimes play a role in accident dynamics.
- Draw a rough sketch: While fresh in your memory, sketch the scene, indicating the direction the truck was moving, the position of your child, and any other relevant details. This can be helpful if photos don’t capture everything.
Witnesses are Key
If there are bystanders or other individuals who saw the accident happen, approach them. Ask if they would be willing to provide a statement about what they witnessed.
Ensure you collect names, phone numbers, and addresses of all witnesses. Their testimony could be invaluable in future proceedings or claims.
Your Child’s Perspective
After ensuring your child’s immediate well-being and once they are in a clam state, gently ask them to recount what they remember. Children’s memories can be surprisingly sharp, and they might remember details adults could miss.
Beyond just immediate wounds or bruises, take note of any complaints your child has, like a headache or dizziness. This might hint at less visible injuries.
Preserve Physical Evidence
If your child’s clothing or belongings are damaged, keep them as they are. Don’t wash or repair them. They can serve as evidence of the impact and nature of the collision.
In Need of Expert Legal Assistance?
If your child has sustained serious injuries or there are questions about who’s at fault, Payam Law is here to help. Depending on the circumstances, you and your child may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, or other damages.
Having a reliable legal partner working alongside you can make all the difference when it comes to choosing the next steps to take. At Payam Law, we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your child.
Contact us at:
- Beverly Hills – 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 830, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
- Los Angeles – 212 East Pico Blvd, Suite #4, Los Angeles, CA 90015
- Tulare – 100 E. Cross, Suite #122, Tulare, CA 93274
- Hanford – 13400 Hanford Armona Rd, Suite #B
Call now for a free consultation on (877) 729-2652 or (323) 782-9927.