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July 7, 2016

A New School Year can Expose Your Child to New Risks of Injury

school injuriesWith a new school year just a few weeks away, many people in the area are preparing to send their child off to start a brand new academic year. The start of the school year often involves many new experiences: new friends, new teachers, new subjects to learn, and sometimes even an entirely new school. Unfortunately, it may also expose your child to the risk of injury during their commute to school, particularly if they are starting a new school or are at an age when you feel that it appropriate and safe to allow them to get to and from school on their own.

Fortunately for parents, there are certain things that you can do to make sure that your child’s walk or bike ride to school is as risk-free as possible. These include the following:

  • Choose the Safest Possible Route to and from Your Child’s School – Before the year starts, map out the safest route available to and from your child’s school. For example, if possible, avoid busy intersections and streets with a high volume of traffic. If you have a choice between an intersection that utilizes a morning and afternoon crossing guard and one that does not, always use the one with the crossing guard. Finally, choose a route that minimizes the number of times that your child is required to cross the street.
  • Make Sure Your Child Wears Bright Colors and is Visible – In order for motorists to be able to avoid pedestrians and bicyclist, they need to be able to see them. Children are often difficult to see to begin with due to the fact that they are smaller than adults, so it is imperative to make sure your child wears bright colors when he or she is walking or biking to and from school. As the majority of the year occurs during months where your child will be wearing a jacket or coat, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to buy a brightly colored coat. If any part of your child’s commute happens when it is dark out, give him or her a flashlight to carry or make sure his or her bike is outfitted with a both a headlight and a taillight.
  • Clearly Express the Safety Rules Your Child is Expected to Follow – It is critical to make sure your child is aware of the rules that you expect him or her to follow on the way to or from school. For example, make it clear that your child can only use the route that you have approved and that he or she should never run out into the street. If possible, make sure that your child has a friend or friends with whom he or she will plan on walking or biking with each day. Finally, make it clear that your child should not run, push, or chase other children when they are near the roadway.

What Should You Do if Your Child is Injured on the Way to or from School?

Unfortunately, accidents are bound to happen even under the best of circumstances, and it is impossible to reduce the risk of injury for anyone who commutes anywhere to zero, no matter how much want to.  In the event that your child is injured on the way to or from school, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that his or her legal rights to recover compensation are protected. Some of these include the following:

  • Have Your Child see a Physician Immediately – This step is important even if you do not think that your child has been serious injured. Injuries like mild concussions1 or whiplash2 may not be apparent right away but have the potential to cause serious and long-term complications. If you wait to have them diagnosed even for a few days, it can be difficult to prove they were caused by your child’s accident, jeopardizing his or her right to compensation.
  • Call a Lawyer – If your child has been injured in an accident, you should retain legal counsel as soon as his or her condition is stable. Retaining an attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that your child obtains the full value of his or her legal claim.

Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you or your child has been injured in an accident that you think may have been caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, victims are able to recover compensation for a variety of losses, including their medical bills, lost income, loss of future earning potential, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, among others. To learn more about how a skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us and email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html

2 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/basics/definition/con-20033090

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