Modern parenting is fraught with challenges. You’re expected to be a super parent at all times. You need to hold down a job, manage a household, and take care of a child. If you’re a stay at home parent who doesn’t work outside of the home, your duties are even more child-centric.
Yet even the most devoted care can’t always keep your child safe. Accidents happen. When your child is the one who suffers, it’s a terrible feeling.
What should you do if your child gets into an accident? It depends on the nature of the event. Doing nothing at all would be appropriate in some situations while hiring a lawyer would be sensible in others.
Assess the Situation
The first thing you need to do is assess the situation. What’s going on? Your child looks to you in times of stress. If you’re panicking, there’s a good chance that they won’t be able to stay calm either.
Figure out if there are any injuries. Did your child slam their hand into a car door? Slip off of a skateboard? If there were other people involved, you need to make sure that they’re okay as well.
Your next steps will vary depending on if there’s an injury or not.
Once you determine that humans involved are safe and unhurt, you can check for property damage. A baseball thrown through your living room window, for example, can wreck items in the room. In addition to dealing with a broken window, you have to deal with the damage caused by the ball careening around and slamming into walls.
Remember to stay calm. Property damage is expensive and annoying, but you can get past it. If you terrify your child with your anger, they’ll be hesitant to come to you in the future the next time something goes wrong.
It’s important to speak to the other parents involved. If something is broken, the adults need to handle the fallout, not the children.
An injury needs to be handled immediately. It doesn’t matter if your child needs a trip to the hospital or a bandaid. You can’t ignore the need.
Confronting a scared, injured child can be very stressful. However, you have to ignore your own anxiety and focus on being a soothing force. It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary.
After the immediate injury is dealt with, you have to decide what your next steps are. It might be a good idea to get a lawyer.
The site of Noll Law Office in Springfield, IL houses lawyers that are adept in handling personal injury suits. According to their website: “Lawsuits sounding in negligence are often filed in the State of Illinois and are commonly referred to as the ‘civil justice system.’ In order to bring a negligence action in Illinois, an injured person must usually show that:
- The Defendant owed a duty of care to someone;
- The Defendant violated that duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner; and,
- The Defendant’s failure to fulfill the duty caused injury to another.”
If the injury is serious enough where you think that compensation may be deserved, or if you’re afraid that your child was at fault and someone may be about to sue you, hire a lawyer. They understand the nuances that you aren’t aware of.
Your biggest role is that is that of a comforter. Whatever your child did, they need to know that it’s going to be alright and that you still love them. Children make mistakes. Your child is going to do something that you expressly told them not to do.
When that moment occurs, it’s up to you to act like the adult. Resentment won’t help anybody. You may need to discipline your child, but the first horrible moments after the accident are not the time to think of that.
To help yourself stay calm, try counting slowly on your head. Or you could try breathing deeply. The key is to focus on where you are in that exact moment. Don’t worry about a possibly troublesome future.
Being a parent is an amazing transformation. It gives your life purpose and direction. But it means that you need to know how to take care of your family when they hit a rough spot. Every human being on earth will face difficulties in their life. The only difference is the scale.
If you keep your head, you can handle anything.