What You Should Know About Car Crashes Involving Young Children

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Car Crashes Are a Leading Fatality Risk for Young Children

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  • A single vehicle crash in Ingham County killed two children and seriously injured their father on I-96 outside of Grand Rapids.
  • The injured driver was seen traveling aggressively and attempting to pass vehicles on the shoulder of the highway when he lost control, left the roadway backwards, and then smashed the rear of the vehicle into a tree. The accident killed his 8-year-old and 9-year-old children who were riding in the backseat.
  • In the United States, 700 children ages 12 years and younger die as occupants in motor vehicle crashes each year, and more than 128,000 will be injured.
  • For the children who survive a crash, they are naturally prone to serious head injuries, back and neck injuries, and other disabling struggles because their muscles, bones and body, are still developing.

Child Passenger Fatalities in Ingham County Crash Serve as Tragic Reminder for All Drivers to Operate Responsibly

Ingham County Sheriff’s deputies say two children were killed and their father seriously injured in an evening crash on I-96 just east in Wheatfield Township outside of Grand Rapids. The accident report says the single car wreck involved a 29-year-old Romulus man and his two children – a 9-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. Other road users said the driver was traveling aggressively and attempting to pass vehicles on the shoulder of the highway. Police say that is when “the father lost control of the vehicle, leaving the roadway backwards and striking a tree with the rear of the vehicle.” Tragically, both of the man’s children were riding in the backseat and died at the scene of the crash, while the father survived with serious injuries.

When a child passenger dies in a crash, it likely could have been prevented if the motorist responsible had made good driving decisions to slow down, follow the law and chose to drive responsibly. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the children innocently lost in this crash.

Car Crashes Are a Leading Fatality Risk for Young Children

Even though many can be prevented, car crashes remain a leading cause of death for young passengers with an average of four children under 14 years of age dying each day in a tragic wreck. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the National Center for Statistics and Analysis reports:

  • In the United States, 723 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes during 2016, and more than 128,000 were injured.
  • One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time.
  • Of the children ages 12 years and younger who died in a crash in 2016 (for which restraint use was known), 35 percent were not buckled up.

For the child passengers who survive a motor vehicle crash, injuries can range from life threatening if not detected soon enough to long-term debilitating, both physically and emotionally.

children in car accidents

What to Do First If Your Child Is Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Children are naturally prone to head injuries, back and neck injuries, and rib injuries because their muscles, bones and their body are still growing and developing. But infants and toddler aged children may not be able to recognize or communicate discomfort related to their painful motor vehicle accident injuries. So, if your child is in a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately – no matter what you do or do not observe.

These are some of the most common signs and symptoms parents and caregivers can look out for in young children who are suffering from an injury after a car accident.

  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • More than usual irritability
  • Listless or limp limbs
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Unable to speak or make sounds
  • Seizure or convulsions
  • Changes in appearance
  • Changes in eating habits (including refusing to breastfeed or take a bottle normally)
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Crying excessively and frequently
  • Bulging of the soft spot on their head
  • Screaming during diaper changes or while removing clothing
  • Fever
  • Fast or labored breathing

If you notice any kind of mood or behavioral changes that aren’t in line with your child’s normal demeanor even after an initial post-accident medical exam, call for help again. Injuries may present days to weeks beyond an accident event. Receiving quick medical treatment will not only improve recovery rates and detect life threatening injuries you may not be able to see, the evaluation and medical tests taken will help build a car accident injury case to assist in recovery needs that are sure to be costly.

Common Car Crash Injuries That Impact Child Passengers

Medical bills for childhood age injuries are nearly as much as what an adult will be billed if not more. And extra treatment and specialized surgeries could drastically change the course of recovery and needed support.

Types of motor vehicle accident injuries that impact children most include:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Airbag injuries
  • Car seat injuries
  • Glass injuries to the face
  • Chest injuries
  • Fractures to the wrist, hand, foot, pelvis, femurs, and arms
  • Whiplash Injuries
  • Incapacitation injuries to the spinal cord, limbs, and nerves
  • Psychological difficulties and changes in social behaviors

Personal injury cases for children can feel sad, stressful, heartbreaking, and extremely complicated, even when an insurance agency is providing funds to cover medical treatment. These cases definitely warrant the need for an experienced lawyer who can help gather all the evidence and identify ongoing and future damages to pursue the compensation sought for your child.

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Child Injury Attorney

Car accident injuries can cause serious, life-threatening events and result in permanent irreversible damage to children. If another driver’s negligence caused injuries to your young child passenger, or a car accident has left them injured, emotionally suffering and in pain, please call Lee Free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have. You pay nothing until we settle your family’s Michigan personal injury case so call to tell us your story today.