Legal Advice in a Child Accident and Injury Case
Was your child or children seriously injured in a car or home or a commercial business / on private property? Legal advice helps in an injured child or wrongful death case.
A parent’s worst nightmare is to see or hear about their child getting hurt. To a parent, a child with a skinned knee can be a tragedy that takes time to get over. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been hurt or killed in a home, car or anywhere else, what are your legal options?
What Are Child Accidents and Injuries
Any child accident and injury should be investigated. A child injury or accident occurs when a child has been physically injured by an object or while performing an activity that was unsafe.
This could mean that a child was swinging on a swing that had not been properly maintained or was playing a game on a playground without adult supervision. Children who are unsupervised in an area such as a kitchen or an electrical room could be seriously injured by a scalding pot of water or an electrical short.
Improper use of an object by a child or a child using an object that was not designed for a child could cause injury. For example, a kid under the age of 12 should not sit in the front seat of a car because the air bag could cause serious injury.
A child accident report and a child accident and injury report form should be filled out whenever a young person gets hurt. This can help establish what happened when questions are asked by an insurance company or at trial.
The CDC says the most common injury-producing accidents involving children are:
Falls – Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries for children. Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury, as are falls in the home, such as a fall on stairs. Common playground injuries include fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations. About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, the CDC says.
Car accidents – Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. More than two-thirds of fatally injured children were killed while riding with a drinking driver, the CDC says. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.
Burns – Younger children who suffer burns are more likely to have been injured by hot liquids or steam that cause scald burns, such as by pulling a pot off of a stove or by bath water that is too hot. Older children are more likely to be burned by direct contact with open flame or fire.
Drowning – Three children die every day as a result of drowning, and drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4. Children can be drawn to swimming pools, decorative ponds and other water features with tragic results. Property owners have an obligation to secure these areas from unauthorized entry.
Suffocation – Infants are most at risk for suffocation while sleeping. Toddlers are more likely to suffocate from choking on food and other objects, such as small toys.
Poisoning – More than 300 children are treated in emergency rooms as a result of being poisoned every day, and two die, the CDC says. Numerous household items are poisonous and should be properly secured from active, curious children.
Sports and Recreation – More than 2.6 million children are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. Coaches and other recreation supervisors have a responsibility to ensure children wear protective gear, are sufficiently trained for the activity undertaken, and are not mismatched with significantly larger children in contact sports. Recreation supervisors must also be mindful of hot weather and allow appropriate rest and water breaks.
Child Accidents and Injuries Case Settlement
Your child accident attorney will walk you through the child accident claims process. This ensures that you fully understand the child accident compensation options that you have in front of you. In many cases involving child accidental deaths, the case will be settled before it gets to trial.
In the event of a child accident at home or a child bike accident, the insurance company may want to investigate the matter further. Depending on the facts of the case, there may not be a settlement offer made. Instead, you will have to take your chances at trial. A criminal investigation may be performed as well to verify that what happened to the child was in fact an accident.
Child Accidents and Injuries Legal Fees
Legal fees charged by a child accident lawyer will vary depending on a variety of factors. First, a lawyer may bill for his or her time outside of the courtroom. It is common for an attorney to spend time interviewing witnesses and negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
Another factor that may determine what your child accident attorney charges is the length of the case. Longer cases will involve more time spent both inside and outside of the courtroom. However, you are able to ask for legal costs as part of your child accident death case settlement. Therefore, you should not let legal costs get in the way of finding quality representation in your case.
Child Accidents and Injuries Compensation
There are many different forms of compensation that you can ask for from those who are responsible for the wrongful death or injury of a child. In a child accidental shooting case, the parent of guardian of the child could ask for medical bills to be paid for as well as additional money for pain and suffering.
If the child is permanently injured and unable to work in the future due to a child bus accident, the family could request compensation to make up for lost earning potential. In a child injured boating accident or any other injury case, the family of the child could ask to be compensated for the cost of long-term care.
Money to cover the cost of a speech therapist or any other additional educational services that the child will need growing up could be part of a settlement as well. In essence, anything that the child may need to recover from and be made whole from the accident can be requested in a settlement or from a jury at trial.
Child Accidents and Injuries Claim Process / Case Timeline
The speed at which a case will proceed depends on a number of factors. First, the party or parties responsible for the accident need to admit that they were responsible. Second, the insurance company that may cover the responsible party needs to agree to pay out a claim.
If the responsible parties or their insurance companies decide to fight the case, it could take months or years for a decision in the case to be reached. The good news is that most insurance companies don’t want to spend the time and money in a courtroom that it takes to win a case.
In the event that you have to pursue a case against an individual, the case could take a long time to resolve for many reasons. The biggest reason why the case cannot be settled quickly is because a private individual isn’t always going to have money or assets to provide in a settlement.
Responsible parties who do have the money to pay for a settlement may go to trial in an effort to lower the amount that they have to pay. Typically, this is just a bluff on the part of the responsible party. The threat of a trial usually spurs action close to the trial date.
Child Accidents and Injuries Need to Know
You should know that there are many issues that come into play when a child is hurt or gets into an accident. It is important to understand that a daycare provider may not be 100 percent responsible for the injury or death of a child if that provider took steps to prevent such a situation from occurring.
If the child was properly supervised or was using an object that was age appropriate, the amount of damages that can be collected may be lower than it otherwise would be. It is also important to understand that there may be a statute of limitations that prevents you from taking action after a certain period of time has passed.
Child Accidents and Injuries Laws
Children are required to be supervised at all times when they are in the care of a licensed daycare provider or at a licensed camp or other program. When a child is at school, he or she needs to be supervised at all times.
There may be regulations regarding how many children can be supervised by one adult at any given time. For example, one adult may be allowed to supervise up to eight children before another adult would have to provide assistance.
Parents who neglect to supervise their child or children could be held responsible if their child gets hurt or dies. This is especially true if the child is only a baby or toddler at the time. Parents who allow their children to be supervised by a sibling could be held responsible for what that sibling does if the child gets hurt.
It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities in a child injury case. Although you never want to see your child injured or killed, accidents can happen without warning. Depending on the facts in your case, it may be possible to win reimbursement for medical bills, pain and suffering as well as other costs related to helping the child recover or cope with his or her injuries.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention