As a Parent, What Should I Do After My Child Is in a Car Crash?

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  • May 17th, 2016

There is nothing quite as frightening as finding out that your child has been in a car crash and wondering what that means. Concerns over their health, safety, and well-being run rampant, and few parents really take the time to think about how to handle the accident from a legal perspective. While this is only natural, once you are certain that your child is all right, it is time to begin dealing with the legal aspects of the case. Here are a few questions and answers to help you through the process:

Should I call the police?

If your child has been in a car wreck, I recommend that you drive there as soon as you can and call the police if the drivers have not done so already. It is critical that you make sure your child gets to the hospital to have any potential injuries checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Will my child get a ticket?

That depends on the state police and how they handle the situation. I will say that if there is more than $500 in damage, the police will need to complete an accident report. In this situation, it is always wise to drive to the accident to check on your child or teen and make sure these details are handled appropriately. While there, the state highway patrol will determine whether anyone should receive a ticket for the accident.

Whose insurance will pay for any injuries?

That depends on whether your child was the driver or the passenger and how severe the injuries are. In Kentucky, every driver is required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, and claims start with your own insurance company. If your child was driving and is on your policy, you would initially file a claim with your carrier. If your child was a passenger, however, the driver’s insurance should cover them, but a claim will still need to be filed. Additionally, if the injuries were severe, you may want to file a lawsuit against the other driver and his or her insurance company.

Can my child file a claim without me, or do I need to do it?

Until children reach the age of eighteen, they are legally considered a minor, and you will need to sign all legal contracts on their behalf. That includes any legal agreements to retain an attorney, file a lawsuit, or settle a case ( In that regard, you will need to be intimately involved in the process as your child is most likely insured by your own insurance policy.

Do I have to file a lawsuit immediately?

As a car accident attorney, I recommend that you hire a lawyer right away and begin to work through the process ( Many people are unaware that in Kentucky, you must file a lawsuit within one year or you will reach the statute of limitations and be unable to file. This can put your child at a severe disadvantage if there are major medical bills to be paid.

Should I bring my child to the consultation?

You can if you like, and it is often helpful since I can then ask your child questions directly. If you were not in the accident yourself, the child will likely be a better source of information unless he or she is extremely young.

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