Although the average American spends time in a vehicle every single day, there is a lot of risk involved in traveling by motor vehicle. It is easy to ignore this risk until something happens on the road. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only person who incurs risk while driving. Your children in the vehicle are also at risk.

In fact, motor vehicle accidents remain a leading cause of childhood mortality for almost all age groups of minors. Even in cases where crashes don’t prove fatal, injuries to your children can be more difficult and traumatic than an injury to yourself. Not only do you have to deal with the guilt of your child’s injury, but you also have to face the reality of how complicated medical care is for small children who get severely hurt.

Car accidents can mean ongoing care for many years

Depending on the kind of injury your child suffers, a car accident could mean anything from surgery and physical therapy to ongoing medical care for the rest of their life. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, in particular, pose a risk of creating lifelong health issues. Children with brain injuries may not develop the same way that their peers do, leaving them unable to secure employment as adults or struggling to care for themselves independently.

Spinal cord injuries can limit the mobility and function of the injured party, with similar consequences. Even a broken bone can be a much more serious issue for children than for adults. Children are still growing, and a serious fracture could damage the growth plate on their broken bone. This could result in uneven development that stunts the growth of one part of the body. Surgical intervention may be necessary.

In the event of disfiguring injuries, a single cosmetic surgery may not suffice. Children grow so quickly at young ages that they may need routine visits for new cosmetic surgery every few years until they finish growing in their late teens or early twenties.

Take action when an irresponsible driver hurts your child

You may be so caught up in the guilt and stress involved in caring for an injured child that you don’t stop to think about the responsibilities of the other driver. When someone causes a crash that hurts your kid, they should be the ones to absorb the financial impact of that injury.

Parents of injured children have the right to seek compensation from a negligent driver or their insurance company, depending on the circumstances. You can seek everything from the lost wages you miss out on while caring for your child to the cost of future surgeries to correct the issues that result from the injury.

Talking with an attorney who understands personal injury law is a good first step for those considering legal action.