Statisticians have observed an unfortunate fact that more children die from traffic accidents than diseases. Drowning is also a dominant cause of death/injury among both adults and adolescents.
These misfortunes are preventable if road and water safety isn’t overlooked regarding children. But what are some legal methods of achieving justice if one’s kid has suffered a personal injury? Children lack the well-formed judgment adults possess. In case they get hurt or hurt somebody, experts have fashioned distinct principles for liability and compensations involving such incidents. Child injury has now become a particular field of study lawyers deal with in today’s world. So, let’s briefly study this subject, shall we?
Understanding the basics
Legally speaking, personal injury deals with trauma to one’s body, mind, or emotions. This term differentiates such injuries from property damage. Motor vehicle accidents (such as rollover crashes) remain widespread among personal injuries. This term further includes:
- Bodily wound
- Mental pain and anguish
Who qualifies as a minor? In most American states, the “age of majority” is 18, which turns a person into an adult. The law determines any person below this age-limit to be minor and incapable of filing a lawsuit. That’s why a prochein ami (“next friend”) – usually the child’s parent/guardian – legally represents him/her in such cases. Now, you must learn different types of minors-related injury claims before contacting a solicitor. It’ll help you decide whether the kid’s eligible for compensation or not.
Common causes of child injury
Personal injury claims refer to instances where someone else’s negligence had harmed a child. Parents can demand compensation for the kid’s suffering and emotional distress. They’re also liable to receive payments for the medical expenditures of the injured offspring. Whether a child is a victim or a perpetrator, it’s in the parents’ best interests to select the best solicitors. Try finding the best Tampa personal injury attorneys if you live in Florida. But you must know the types of personal child injury cases there are before filing a lawsuit. So, here are some incidents that may cause personal injuries:
- Burns (chemical, electrical, and other types) aren’t necessarily caused by fire every time.
- Injuries that are deadlier than a mere scratch among kids aged 5-14 are also common among kids. Punctures/lacerations may lead to trauma.
- Dog-bites can traumatize a child and require medical treatment for healing. Such wounds – inflicted by insects/animals – are common among kids aged less than 10.
- Colliding vehicles cause various sorts of nonfatal injuries among teenagers. People aged between 16 and 19 are more prone to such accidents than other children.
- Falling from stairs, windows, or even baby walkers are the usual hazards here. Children also tend to fall from slides, swings, and monkey bars. As per the CDC, around 8,000 kids visit the ER for such injuries every single day!
Information you must collect
Finding a solicitor isn’t the foremost action parents are expected to perform. You need to gather evidence of the child’s injury to establish a strong case. Your lawyer will use this information to prove that the accident was unavoidable and warrants monetary compensation. The crux of the case involves proving that someone’s carelessness brought harm upon the unsuspecting child. Personal child injury entailing kids demands quick action, including the following tasks:
- Note down the date/time of the incident that had occurred with your offspring.
- Take some photos of the child’s injury and try obtaining CCTV footage of the catastrophe.
- Did the event happen outdoors? If it did, then you should record the weather conditions of that time.
- If an animal (dogs, generally speaking) hurt your kid, get the owner’s details. Also, check if the brute was being monitored/controlled when the accident happened.
- If the child got hit by a car, you’d need to provide the driver’s name and address. Moreover, find the name of the police station where the collision was reported.
- Find witnesses – teachers, playmates, staff members, tramps, and others – who may corroborate the child’s version. Report the incident to the relevant authorities and keep medical receipts as a record for showing the accident-related expenses.
- Click some pictures of the accident site since your solicitor will use these photographs during legal proceedings. It is essential if the kid was hurt while being present inside school/daycare premises. The institute can be held responsible for neglect in such cases.
Compensations you may expect
Negligence by the healthcare professionals may lead to a child acquiring cerebral palsy. Parents can press charges against the hospital staff for mismanagement during the mother’s pregnancy. Similarly, providing children with unhealthy meals or offering terrible food at any institution may lead to a civil lawsuit. An establishment’s poorly-maintained amenities can also contribute to heightened personal child injury cases. Other examples include a choking-hazard-possessing toy/toy-party. In all such circumstances, parents may file a claim that someone’s incompetence harmed their children. In the end, you can receive compensation that comprises of the following three sections:
- Medical expenditures you’ve suffered
- Reimbursement for your and the child’s pain and suffering
- Settlements for the continuous medical treatment and future distress the child or the parent/s shall experience
Injuries and accidental deaths are prevalent among children. And the morbidity associated with such incidents isn’t uncommon as well. That’s why the World Health Organization considers children’s injuries to constitute a global public health problem that needs immediate resolving.
No wonder personal injury claims had become the most familiar lawsuits filed by Americans in 2015. They accounted for 25% of the total number of civil cases filed in federal district courts that year. Personal injury also constitutes a massive market in the American legal system worth $38.4 billion with a 2% growth rate. These attorneys help people whose children have suffered an injury and desire fair compensation.