Accidents and other incidents involving adults usually result in a personal injury case. But what about cases when a child causes the injury or ends up being injured? According to Personal injury law, children don’t yet have the same well-formed judgment that adults do. And because of this, Personal injury law has created rules for compensation and liability regarding accidents where a child was involved.

Injuries to children

Accidents can happen. Every parent can confirm this. However, some injuries to children can result in a personal injury claim, especially when the cause of the injury is someone else’s carelessness. For injuries caused to your children, a school might be liable. That’s just one example.

Even though getting compensation for a minor (generally a person younger than 18) can be different from state to state, in general terms, a minor has the right for compensation for the same types of injuries/damages you will find in a personal injury claim for an adult. This includes, but it’s not limited to, payment for pain and suffering, permanent injury, emotional distress, and disability. Furthermore, the parent of the injured child can also have the right to be compensated, for medical expenses paid on behalf of its child.

Since a child cannot negotiate a settlement for a personal injury case, the parent usually negotiates on behalf of the child or hires an attorney. Some states require a judge’s approval before the claims can be settled. The approval process is usually very simple and straightforward. You fill out a few simple forms and file them with the court for approval.

Accidents Caused by Children

Liability for accidents caused by minors is established on the same idea of care and carelessness as accidents caused by adults. However, the same standards of care, that are normally expected from an adult, cannot be expected from a minor. Furthermore, carelessness implies that someone understands the risks, and minors don’t comprehend risks the way adults do.

When it comes to establishing liability for accidents caused by a minor, the law applies different standards to different age groups. Very your children (younger than 7) are generally not liable for accidental injuries. They’re simply too young to comprehend that they were careless and in what manner. This of course, doesn’t exclude the child’s parents or legal guardians for negligence and failure to control the child.

The child can be held liable for injuries it causes intentionally, once he/she is old enough and able to tell right from wrong. If one child intentionally hurts another child or causes material damage to a vehicle by throwing a rock at it, both the child that committed the intentional act and the negligent parents, may be liable.

In case of older children, they can generally be considered as liable for their negligent conduct and if they don’t behave carefully, which is measured by what their peers consider reasonably careful. Once the child reaches its mid-teenage years, he / she is held to almost the same standards as adults. For example, when driving a car, the minor is held to the exact same standards as adults are.

Since children don’t normally have a lot of their own money, and in case a minor is found liable, there are various ways an injured person can be compensated. First and foremost, actions caused by minors are usually covered by insurance. So if a minor is driving a car, the minor’s own car insurance or the owner’s car insurance (if the car is owned by the parent or employer) will cover the accident.

In cases where the accident doesn’t involve a vehicle, the homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the accident. In those cases, the victim will be dealing directly with the parent’s insurance company.

When there is no insurance that covers the minors conduct and you are seriously injured, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the minor. If you get a judgment from a court which says how much the minor owes you, he/she will be paying for the damages as soon as he/she turns 18 (in most states) and starts earning income. However, these processed can take long and are only worth pursuing when the injury is extensive. In these cases, this will require help from a skilled attorney.

Parents’ Liability for Minors’ Car Accident

Minors driving a car or a motorcycle are usually covered by the vehicle’s insurance policy or if the car/motorcycle is owned by their parent, by the parent’s insurance policy.

When a minor is the registered owner of a vehicle but has no insurance, the majority of states hold the parents liable for the damages (from $5,000 to $25,000) caused by the minor. So when you’re involved in a car accident when the minor has no coverage or very little, you might be able to collect compensation from both policies (parent’s and child’s).

When the weather is beautiful, a lot of people like to spend time outdoors. And some of them also want to bring their dogs with them. It’s well established that children generally like dogs, but we can’t always say that dogs like children. Your child can sustain serious injuries or diseases from a dog bite. There are even cases where surgery might be necessary. That’s why you must look for a Mesa personal injury lawyer with extensive experience.

According to some research, over 4 million people suffer injuries related to dog bites, and only 17% of those 4 million cases get reported. And over 50% of dog bite-related injuries involve children. This is seriously troublesome information, especially if you’re a parent. Some places, for example, George, treat dog bites as a public health concern.

Determining Liability

There’s only so much you can do to make sure that your child is safe from dog bites. But it can never be foolproof. And if you’re a dog owner, you have to take all the necessary steps in socially training your dog. Don’t miss any vaccinations and also make sure that your dog is trained in restraint, both when in the house and outside.

Furthermore, you should never leave a child alone with the dog. This also goes for family dogs as well, as they are no stranger to biting too.

Dog owners need to be certain that their dog is properly trained on how to interact with strangers. They (the owners) need to take necessary measures when they train and socialize their dogs. And even then, they might still be liable under Georgia’s law, in case the attack happens on their property.

In order for a Georgian dog owner to be liable for a dog bite, the parents of the injured child must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was negligence. The victim’s parents must prove that the down owner knew about the aggressive nature of the dog and didn’t do anything in order to restrain the dog and avoid the bite. In cases where the victim provoked the dog, the claim won’t be valid.

There is some flexibility when it comes to Georgia laws. In cases involving dog bites, victims can have trouble proving that there was negligence. Suffering a dog bite is not sufficient enough for you to claim compensation for your injuries. However, if the bite happened in circumstances when a leash was involved, the claim could be determined in the victim’s favor. Various laws require dogs to be restrained in certain areas. So in case of injuries, when the dog should have been restrained, the owner will be responsible for the damages.

The owners may also be liable if they were familiar with past attacks by the same dog, but did very little to prevent those types of attacks from occurring again. Furthermore, the owners might also be liable if the dog attacks someone on their own property.

When your child suffers a dog bite, the first and foremost thing you need to do is to make sure that they get the necessary medical attention. Reach out to your doctor and make sure that you get all the information on the dog’s vaccination, including the last rabies shot. It’s up to the owner to provide the name and contact information.

Contacting Animal Control

The incident also has to be reported to your local municipality’s animal control department. A timely report will ensure that the down owner is taking the necessary steps to quarantine the animal if it represents a danger to the community. Reporting the incident is also important if you’ll be pursuing a personal injury claim. The animal control report could be valuable evidence that will support your claim.

Collecting Evidence

Gathering all the evidence you can find is necessary in order to determine who is liable for the dog injury. Probably the most important evidence is the one gathered at the scene. The strongest piece of evidence is your children’s clothing, which is most likely tattered and bloody. Don’t wash the clothes so that you don’t remove the stains. Instead, put them in a bag, label it properly, including information on time and date when the attack occurred. Taking photos and videos can also serve as strong evidence for the case.

If you can interview eyewitnesses that will improve the credibility, even better. Eyewitnesses have no financial gain for telling the truth. Statements from witnesses are very important and can potentially increase the chances of the case being ruled in your favor. Also, make sure that you get the names and addresses of the witnesses because they might be called in to testify.

Child Injury Claims – Complications

Settling an injury claim for an underage is not without complications. It requires court approval. Even when the child can recover after just a few weeks, there are long-term effects of the attack e.g., trauma or the child might even develop fear from dogs.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Contact Schenk Podolsky to determine if you have a solid case for a personal injury claim. Assuming that the owner is not liable just because you know each other or you are next-door neighbors, is wrong. Settling a personal injury case is not easy. Especially when there’s a minor involved. You’ll need an experienced attorney to help you out.

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS ARE THE MAIN SOURCE OF INCIDENTAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE.

Traffic accidents occupy a large part of the files handled by the firm. The victims of which often have very heavy damage (head trauma, paralysis, quadriplegia, …).

Victim of a traffic accident: under what conditions can I be compensated?

The traffic accident must involve a land motor vehicle (LMV). It is understood as any machine having a driving force, suitable for the transport of people or things. It must evolve on a clean path. Cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, golf cart without license, tractors, construction machines, trailers, semi-trailers, and even a riding mower!).

For each driver and pedestrian involved in a traffic accident were listed all the accident factors that played a role in the occurrence of the accident and all the factors influenced the severity of the accident. We make a distinction between human behavior, the vehicle, infrastructure and the environment. 1237 accident factors were identified in the accidents analyzed. These accident factors were imputed truck drivers involved, other users, infrastructure and the environment. Nearly 7 in 10 accident factors are related to human behavior or human error. 12% of accident factors relate to the vehicle; 12.4% to infrastructure and 3.3% to the environment in which the accident has happened. We observe many differences between studies. These are mainly fatal accidents on a highway that jump to the eyes. In this case, environmental factors play a more only in accidents between heavy goods vehicles and weak users.

Bicycles or skis are excluded (no motive power). As well as trams or trains (traveling on a clean lane). A traffic accident is defined as “any sudden and fortuitous event with a connection to traffic”.

The LMV  must be involved in the accident, in other words be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the accident, whether moving or parked. In the event of a chain collision, the fourth vehicle is therefore involved in the accident even if it is not the cause.

Proof of the victim’s involvement is not a problem if the vehicle is in contact with the victim. However, there may be an accident without contact with the victim. For example in case of glare by the headlights of a car. In this case, the victim must prove that the presence or behavior of the vehicle has been a hindrance. And played a role in the occurrence of the accident.

Traffic accidents – Compensation of victims

Accountability of the victim’s damage to the accident. In most cases, proving that the damage is the cause of the accident is not a problem. On the other hand, in certain cases, and particularly when a lapse of time has elapsed between the accident and the damage, this proof is more delicate.

For example, if you had a heart attack while returning home following an accident earlier. It will be up to you to prove that the accident was such an emotional shock to you that it eventually resulted in a heart attack.

Direct victims and ricochet victims (spouse, parents or children of the victim when the victim died in the accident) can obtain compensation for all their injuries. By the amicable way, civil or criminal. Most of the time, it is the insurance companies that will compensate you.

On the other hand, if the author is not insured or not determined, your compensation will come through the Guarantee Fund for Compulsory Property and Casualty Insurance.

If you are a victim of a traffic accident, the firm will assist you and advise you. Throughout the compensation process, from the constitution of the file, during the appraisals and until the final compensation.

pedestrian accident dos and donts

 

Imagine you are walking across the street, abiding the laws of the pedestrian crosswalk, when all of a sudden you’re struck by a car. No matter how it happens, getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is one of the most frightening things to happen to you or a family member. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens far too often here in Arizona.

A recent report published by the Governor’s Highway Association put Arizona towards the top, at the 5th highest state in the country for pedestrian traffic deaths, and that was just in the first 6 months of 2018. The report for 2019 will most likely be published in the first quarter of 2020 and we’re a bit concerned with how the numbers may look.

While some of theses do’s and don’ts may seem obvious, in a time of chaos and trauma they aren’t always the easiest to remember. We hope this helps and we hope that residents in Mesa or anywhere in the East Valley, know that the attorneys at Schenk Podolsky are also here to help. Stay safe out there when walking around, riding your bike, or playing outside. Technology and mobile apps have drastically increased the number of distracted drivers. These sort of things happen in an instant and can have impacts that will last a lifetime. It’s with great remorse when we are hired to handle a pedestrian accident injury in Mesa, but because of that, we fight aggressively to ensure that the individual and the families of the injured are well represented and receive maximum compensations for injuries sustained by the fault of a driver.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Hit by Car as a Pedestrian

  • Do: Make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay.
  • Don’t: Sign any documents without legal representation.
  • Do: Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
  • Don’t: Discuss the accident with any insurance agencies or take any sort of settlement.
  • Do: Collect all information (name, address, phone number, email address) of the person driving the vehicle that hit you.
  • Do: Take pictures (if possible) of the accident, including where it took place and the vehicle involved.
  • Do: Call an experienced law office like Schenk and Podolsky as soon as possible to discuss what steps need to be taken to ensure a speedy recovery and compensation.

What You Can Do to Avoid Getting Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian

  • Always look both ways before crossing the street, even at a crosswalk.
  • If you are with young children, be sure to hold their hands or carry them while crossing the street.
  • When walking through a parking garage or lot, be sure to listen for cars driving quickly around corners.
  • Always use a crosswalk! Most pedestrian-car accidents occur when pedestrians cross the street without using the crosswalk.

 If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a pedestrian-car accident, contact the offices of Schenk and Podolsky to see what action you can take today.