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Car accidents pose serious risks to children of all ages

Did you know that for children over the age of 1, unintentional injuries (accidents) are the leading cause of death? Accidents claim three times as many lives in children and young teens compared to the second most common cause of death, cancer (until age 15, when it becomes suicide). Far too many young people's lives have ended early as the result of a potentially preventable accident.

Although household accidents play a role, a substantial number of child deaths are the result of motor vehicle collisions. They can take a number of forms, including children walking or on bikes struck by motor vehicles, or children as passengers (or teens as drivers) getting hurt and dying during collisions. Teen drivers are considered a serious risk by many, but few people consider how many fatal crashes involve adult drivers.

Motor vehicle accidents are often preventable

It's horrifying to realize that the accident that claimed a child's life could have easily been avoided. In some cases of pedestrian or bike accidents, children make quick movements when walking or biking, resulting in a collision.

Many times, however, the person in the vehicle was also at fault, due to distraction, negligence or even chemical impairment. Children could decide to chase a ball into the road, which is one reason why residential neighborhoods have slower speed limits. Speeding doesn't seem like a big deal to most people until it results in a fatal crash.

Most child fatalities involving motor vehicles result from adults making bad decisions when driving. People can get behind the wheel after a few drinks, while taking prescription drugs or while exhausted. They can also decide to focus on other things than safely driving, like eating, talking on the phone, texting, changing radio stations or even arguing with passengers.

Wrongful death lawsuits hold deadly drivers responsible

No amount of money recovered or punishment dished out to responsible parties will bring your child back. However, a successful civil suit in a wrongful death case can be its own form of justice. Instead of simply dealing with minor criminal penalties, the person responsible for the accident will have to compensate your family for your loss. Financial penalties can offset the expenses of medical care and funeral services, as well as grief counseling for surviving family members.

No one should even end up in a situation where their children pass away before them, but this form of heartbreak is still shockingly common. Many times, unless there was obvious chemical impairment, the responsible person could end up walking away without facing any criminal penalties. Your family has the right to hold a driver responsible when negligence or distraction results in the preventable and untimely death of a loved one.

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