In the UK, you can apply for a provisional licence from the age of 15 years and 9 months, but you have to wait until you turn 16 before driving a moped or light quad bike and 17 before driving a car on a public road. Young drivers are overrepresented in road traffic accidents as opposed to older car drivers aged 25 and above.

Young drivers are more likely to get involved in severe or fatal collisions due to inexperience, not using seatbelts, travelling too fast for conditions or exceeding speed limits, and failing to look properly, to mention a few. 

A car accident is a distressing subject, especially if a child is involved. There’s no right or wrong way to react to what happened. Nonetheless, you can be proactive in protecting your child, so continue reading to discover the steps you need to make sure everything is alright. 

teenage driver calls after an accident

Your Child’s Medical Care Is Critical 

Most injuries are minor, but getting a medical examination is strongly recommended because minor injuries can pose tricky situations. More precisely, an injury might appear insignificant, yet it may become critical if left untreated. Most injuries in a crash are head, chest, and thoracic injuries, covering damage to the heart and lungs, ribs, and breathing pathways.

Some situations are so serious that you need the help of a trained medical professional on the way to the hospital, so don’t hesitate to call 999. The A&E is for serious and life-threatening injuries only. If you have questions or non-urgent health concerns, contact your GP. 

Your health insurance will pay for the medical bills after the car accident, or you may have to pay them out-of-pocket if you opt for private treatment. An upsurge in demand and lack of funds can lead to long waiting times, and fewer treatments are becoming available to the public. Extensive treatment can cause bills to skyrocket.

You can obtain compensation for medical expenses by trying to reach a settlement or bringing your case to court. Use the resources around you to learn more about the protections available to you. For example, you can visit https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/personal-injury-compensation/car-accident-claims for more information. 

Take Some Deep Breaths to Get Calm

Chances are you’re feeling a wide array of emotions, such as shock, nervousness, fear, or anger. Make a reasonable effort to calm down, as it will allow you to think before you act. You want your child to see you as a positive role model, so be aware of your self-talk and body language.

Deep breathing can counteract the “fight or flight” response, stimulating relaxation so that you can return to an equilibrium. If you still feel anxious after deep inhales and exhales, you might have a dulled response to the cluster of nerves regulating breathing. 

Following a traumatic event such as a road traffic accident, you must show your child positive ways to cope. You can talk about how you feel or felt – what matters is that you remain calm because it helps your child feel calm, too. Accidents have emotional and psychological consequences.

Most importantly, youngsters feel and act differently after stressful events, so your child might need more time to adjust. Changes in behaviour include but aren’t limited to losing interest in regular activities, feeling sleepy all the time, or getting into trouble at school. Don’t force your child to talk about the accident if they don’t want to, and avoid bringing up the past in discussions.  

teenager scared to drive car

Help Your Child Cope After the Accident

If your child has been involved in a collision, they might not exhibit symptoms for some time. The trauma isn’t purely physical, meaning it can have a deep, psychological effect on the mind. Simply put, your child’s emotional state can be shattered. Comfort, support, and reassurance will make your child feel safe once again, so understand how they view the situation and what’s confusing or troubling to them.

Your child might have questions regarding what happened, so let them know you’re ready to talk. The attachment a child nurtures allows them to open up and talk to their parents about anything, who respond to their needs in a warm, sensitive way.  

You can best help your child by taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself makes you a better parent, so stop spending so much time on social media. When you’re not zombified by your phone, you can be more emotionally present in your family, providing true family time. Perfection isn’t within the grasp of normal people, so even though you’re not perfect, that doesn’t mean you’re not a good parent.

It’s alright to make a quick meal with frozen veggies when fresh produce isn’t in the cards. You can improve by making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and trying a different way of doing things in the future. 

A Lawyer Is Almost Always Necessary

Finally, yet importantly, consider making a personal injury claim for compensation on behalf of your child. If all documentation is recorded and provided with the names of the medical staff included in the treatment of your child, you have a strong case to pursue. You can formulate a claim anytime up to the child’s 18th birthday.

Once your child has reached adult status, they have three years to start their own legal process. Your child may be needed to provide testimony about the road traffic accident, so someone they trust should be present during the interview. If the solicitor is protective of the child, the process is easier to complete. 

The amount of compensation awarded in the personal injury case is determined in the same way as an adult claim, which means it’s based on the injury sustained and examined in correlation to medical evidence. The judge may want to ensure the child has made a full recovery from the accident or ascertain the extent to which the symptoms are still present.

All in all, personal injury cases for children are complicated, to say the least, so they require the input of a legal professional. The defendant denying liability for what happened and issues in obtaining evidence will make it harder to settle the claim. 

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