While no adults were seriously hurt in a Waldorf, MD car accident that occurred on May 7, 2018, a three-month-old baby sustained life-threatening injuries and was listed in critical condition. According to an article published by The Bay Net, drunk driving was to blame in the incident, in which the operator of a Freightliner box truck failed to stop at a red light and smashed into two other vehicles. When Maryland State Police and other first responders arrived on the scene, they immediately checked the condition of the infant. He was rushed to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, and then on to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C for further treatment.
There are special considerations involved when an infant, toddler, or young child is the victim of a motor vehicle crash. While you should discuss legal action with a Maryland auto accident lawyer, it is also critical to take quick, appropriate action to ensure the safety of your child.
Immediately After the Accident
Despite the fact that you may be confused, overwhelmed, and suffering pain from your own injuries, you must also focus on the needs of your young child. You presumably have the baby secured in a car seat in the back of your vehicle, based upon legal requirements in Maryland law and the recommendations of consumer safety organizations. In the immediate aftermath, you should:
- Call 911 right away, regardless of how serious your child’s injuries seem or appear.
- Do not move your child from the car seat until first responders arrive. You could exacerbate the injuries, especially if there is spinal cord, back, or neck trauma.
- If possible, secure the area surrounding the accident with cones or markers to prevent a secondary crash.
- Do your best to soothe your baby, without handling him or her too much. The sound of your voice is a calming factor.
Watch for Symptoms and Other Issues
Once you obtain proper emergency care for your child, follow up with your pediatrician for a more thorough physical examination. The ER doctors and staff that treated your baby may not have had a chance to conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant medical records and history; your regular pediatrician is in a better position to provide recommendations for ongoing care.
The biggest concern in the days and weeks following an auto accident is monitoring your child’s condition, and staying alert for new or worsening issues. Remember that the only way that he or she can express pain is through crying or whimpering. As a parent, you will have to read physical signals or indications. If necessary, talk to your pediatrician about seeking specialized care, such as a neurologist or orthopedist.
Additional Considerations for Younger Children
No matter how serious the accident, many experts recommend that you replace the car seat that was involved in the incident. The structural integrity may have suffered, putting your baby at risk in a future crash. Also, notify any babysitters, day care staff, or other caretakers about the collision, so they can also monitor your child.
Once you have taken care of all your baby’s medical needs, you should consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer about your rights to recover compensation. For more information, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can schedule an initial consultation to review your case and discuss legal options.
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