Anyone physically present in a vehicle at the time of a collision could end up hurt in the crash. However, there are some parties that are more likely to get hurt than others. For example, older adults involved in car crashes are often at higher risk because they often have lower bone density and other health issues that make them more susceptible to injury.
Additionally, some of the people most negatively affected by collisions are young people. When children get hurt in car crashes, the total financial impact could potentially be far higher than the cost of the same injuries if the person hurt was an adult. Why are injuries to children often more expensive than similar injuries for adults after a car wreck?
Pediatric care costs more
Most people are aware that healthcare costs have risen substantially in recent years, but not everyone understands the trends related to those costs. Researchers have found that the costs for children’s medical care have increased more rapidly than the costs for comparable care when the patient is an adult. Sometimes the difference is because children need additional care. A disfiguring wound might require multiple surgeries and procedures as a child continues growing. Additionally, even seemingly simple injuries, like broken bones, can have much more significant medical implications for young people whose bodies are not yet done growing.
Parents may lose wages to provide care
On the surface, a parental injury might seem like a more devastating and expensive experience because they would need to take a leave of absence from work. However, when a child is in the hospital or has major injuries, it is common for the adults in the family to take a voluntary leave of absence from employment so that they can provide care for the children instead of leaving them with retired family members or at a daycare facility. In extreme cases where a child suffers a spinal cord injury or brain injury that would forever affect their life, a parent may have to make the difficult choice to sacrifice their career entirely to stay home and provide support for the child.
Families that fail to account for the ways that injuries to a child may be different than the average injury claim may end up accepting an inappropriately low offer from insurance or foregoing a lawsuit when there are both losses and actual fault on the part of the other party to justify taking such action. Recognizing why car crash injuries for children can prove more costly for a family than injuries to adults may help a household better respond to the aftermath of a recent collision.