Parents who get into a crash with their children in the vehicle often worry more about the possibility of a child’s injury than getting hurt themselves. It is instinctual for adults to want to protect the children in their families, especially during dangerous moments.
In addition to the particularly intense emotional issues a child’s injury can provoke in other family members, their injury could also be more expensive than a similar injury would be for an adult. Families often find themselves shocked by the total economic impact that a child’s injury can have on a household.
Specialized care is more costly
Pediatric specialists often require more rigorous training to begin practicing medicine in their chosen fields. They will very likely have a huge amount of demand on their time once they begin practicing and will usually charge premium rates for their services. The trauma care required after a car crash can be much more expensive when the person hurt is younger. Recent research indicates that the emergency treatment for non-fatal injuries provided for a child under one year of age averages $98,000 after a crash. That average is muchi higher than the costs of care for older children and adults.
One-time treatments may not solve the issue
Children still often have a lot of growing and developing to do. Their immature physical state may result in a requirement for ongoing medical support. For example, reconstructive surgery to repair a facial injury may require revisions as the child continues growing and their skin stretches. Needing to undergo repeat procedures throughout childhood and adolescence can drastically increase the cost of painful or disfiguring injuries.
Parents may have to sacrifice income
The final way in which a child’s injury can prove prohibitively expensive is through the generation of secondary losses. Particularly when a child will need intensive medical support, the family may decide to have one parent stay home to provide that care instead of leaving the child in the hospital or hiring a nurse. The loss of an adult’s wages can be as costly, if not more so, than the cost to bring in outside medical support.
Ultimately, seeking legal guidance and a better understanding of how child injuries can quickly exceed insurance coverage may help parents more effectively pursue compensation after a car wreck.