Car accidents are terrifying under any circumstances, but they’re even worse if your child is involved. While it’s natural to give into panic, it’s important that you know what steps to take next. Below are four things you must do if you and your child are involved in an accident.
Care for Yourself
As hard as it may be, your first step must always be to care for yourself. You cannot help your child until you are safe, so try to get out of any immediate dangerous conditions. Assess your own health and figure out if helping your child would put him or her in more danger. While you certainly want to help your child, you must make sure you are in a condition to do so first.
Get Medical Help
Next, you’ll want to call for medical help. If your child can move on his or her own, try to get away from the wreck itself. If your child cannot move, don’t try to move him or her on your own—doing so might cause further injury. Instead, wait for professional help unless leaving your child still would put him or her in more danger. Your primary concern should be to make sure that your child can get the professional medical care he or she needs. Even if there’s no apparent injury, it may be a good idea to follow up with a doctor after everything has settled down.
Contact an Attorney
Depending on who caused the accident and the type of injuries that occurred, your next step may need to involve contacting an attorney. Working with a lawyer doesn’t mean that you are planning to sue anyone or that you are being greedy; instead, it means that you’re taking the steps necessary to make sure your injuries get the compensation they deserve. This may be quite important if your vehicle was totaled or if you (or your child) have serious injuries that will require medical care.
Pay Attention to Emotional Health
Finally, you will need to pay attention to your child’s mental and emotional health. A car accident can be a traumatizing even for an adult, to say nothing of a child. If your child seems to have a hard time coping with the aftermath, you may need to make an appointment with a counselor.
Your goals after a car accident should always revolve around making sure your injuries are treated. Get yourself and your child to safety, get medical help, call an attorney, and make sure to keep an eye on your child in the aftermath. Your recovery period may be longer than you think, so make sure you can make plans for how you’ll deal with what comes next.