personal injury claims As a parent, undoubtedly you are concerned about the safety of your children while you are driving. The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of your child being injured in an accident is to drive safely. That means refrain from distracted driving of any kind. Ignore the temptation to take your eyes off the road to check on your child. But, no matter how safe you may be, you cannot account for the other drivers on the road. When it comes to personal injury claims and negligence, your only recourse may be to file a lawsuit if someone else causes an accident that injures your child. Here are a few things to consider.

Tragic Accident on Missouri Highway 86 in 2017

Back in 2017, a family suffered a huge loss while traveling on Missouri Highway 86. In that fatal car crash, three children were killed while six other people were injured. Sadly, the children (all under the age of eight) were pronounced dead at the scene. The family’s vehicle was traveling westbound when it was struck by an eighteen-wheeler traveling in the opposite direction. The family’s vehicle was spun across the center line and then struck again by an SUV traveling just behind the truck. The vehicle finally ran off the road and flipped.

Be Sure to Use Proper Child Restraints

The investigation of the car accident showed that the children all died on impact. The two-year-old was in a car seat at the time of the collision and the seven-year-old was wearing his seat belt. However, the four-year-old was not wearing any type of child restraint.
This tragic accident highlights the importance of using the appropriate child restraints for your young passengers. If your children are too small to ride without a booster seat, you must provide the appropriate-sized booster seat for them every time they travel. Once your child is too big for the booster seat, you must determine whether you need to purchase a larger one or whether they are not able to ride without one. Why? According to statistics, nearly 32 percent of all children who die in car accidents were unrestrained.

Children Should Also Ride in the Back Seat

All of the safety information regarding children traveling in cars indicates that children should always be safely restrained in the back seat of the vehicle. One of the most important reasons for this is that airbag deployment, by itself, can fatally injure a young child riding in the front seat.

Consult With an Attorney Before Settling Personal Injury Claims

Another common mistake regarding personal injury claims is settling too soon.  You are not required to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes to you.  In fact, it is wise in most cases not to.  If you settle too soon, you run the risk of limiting your recovery because all of your losses may not be known.  Right after an accident, your physical injuries are not always known because it can take days or weeks for pain and injuries to manifest themselves.  An attorney knows when to reject a settlement offer and how to negotiate for the compensation you deserve.

Don’t Sign a Release Before You Talk to an Attorney

In addition to attempting to limit your settlement amount, car insurance companies often pressure car accident victims into signing a waiver.  The purpose of a waiver is to get you to accept a check while agreeing you won’t file a lawsuit for your personal injury claims.  If you sign a waiver or release you are forfeiting your legal right to recover for your injuries. You should not sign a release until you are sure you are satisfied with your settlement, so do not be afraid to speak to an automobile accident attorney first and let them review the waiver or release.  Once you sign, it’s too late.

Different Types of Personal Injury claims

There are a wide variety of personal injury claims.  Generally speaking, the different types of claims are based on the types of injuries and often require specialized assistance, including amputation/loss of limb claims, brain injury lawsuits, burn injury lawsuits, spinal cord injury claims, wrongful death lawsuits.
These are very serious injuries that require the expertise of experienced accident attorneys.  A common issue with serious or catastrophic personal injury claims is the effect the injury will ultimately have on your quality of life.  Personal injury attorneys are experienced in obtaining the most appropriate compensation available.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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