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.
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.
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.
As seasons change and various weather patterns come and go, new accidents and dangers present themselves. It’s common for some types of accidents to happen more often during certain seasons than others. One season that is popular for housing a large amount of accidents is summer. Kids are out of school, families are going on vacation, and people are more active than usual. This all is a recipe for fun and memories, but it’s also a recipe for accidents galore.
Pool or Water Accidents
Of course, you had to know this was going to top the list. Water is a large focus of fun when it comes to summertime games and time killers. However, water can be dangerous with slips, falls, head injuries, drowning, etc. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death with a fifth of those accidents being children under the age of 14. Pools, lakes, and the beach can be a blast, but be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible to keep you and your family safe.
As mentioned above, summer is a great time for getting active and many people utilize their fun in the sun for sports. There are many summer leagues involving sports for children as well. A sport injury can be anywhere from a sprained ankle to head trauma. Sports can leave a window of uncertainty open on when or how a child could be hurt. Be sure to have all the proper safety gear in place for your child and get regular checkups to ensure there are no hidden issues that could arise from their sports involvement. Of course, don’t forget that adults aren’t exempt from sports injuries as well and should be cautious and not overlook safety guidelines suggested for the sport they’re involved in.
Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to summer, there’s a lot of traveling occuring. On top of this, people like to utilize various modes of travel that aren’t possible or as popular during the cooler months. This includes mopeds, street bikes, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. These types of transportation have to share the road with motor vehicles which can get dangerous at times, especially in heavy traffic. With as busy as people are during the summer months, crashes involving these types of transportation tend to go up in number. Be careful when driving and sharing the road with these modes of transportation and ensure you’re wearing and covering as many safety precautions as possible if you operate one on a roadway.
As mentioned, the amount of travel people are doing goes way up when the summer months hit. Due to this, the amount of car accidents also rises throughout summer. Be aware that you’re not the only added traveler when summer hits and prepare/e aware of extra drivers on the road.
It’s always smart to observe safety parameters during any activity we might be involved in. This doesn’t just go for summer, but throughout the year. However, the accidents listed above are prone to happen more often and frequently when summer hits so, it’s good to be aware of this timing and up the awareness to compensate.
What to do if your child is injured in an athletic event
If your child has been injured in an accident during sports practice or an athletic event, how do you deal with the insurance?
Whatever the sport or the activity that your child is involved in (judo, skiing, football, rugby, soccer, track, hiking, swimming, baseball, etc.), in the event of an accident, here is the procedure to follow with regard to insurance, compensation, and social security.
If your child suffers an accident caused by a third party: an object or an animal, or they hurt themselves (bad fall for example), health/life insurance typically has you taken care of. However, if you are not covered by this type of insurance, it is the liability insurance of the person in charge of your accident (other players, animal owner, club, association, director of the sports, organizers of a sports event etc…) who will compensate you.
If your child caused an accident or damage, your insurance (liability), provided in your contract, which is normally listed as “multi-risk dwelling”, will compensate you for your victims.
In both cases, call your insurer quickly (you have 5 days to do so) and take the time to re-read the compensation conditions in your insurance policy. In particular, take a good look at the conditions for taking care of relief, care, repatriation, and compensation for loss of income in due to unemployment or loss of work.
Some so-called extreme sports like skydiving, diving, paragliding etc. require specific insurance or an endorsement specific to your insurance contract.
There are some insurance contracts that are given to the members of sports clubs who request it for their children, or they’re available on the websites of their clubs or federations. This allows you to consult the proposed guarantees and conditions.
Contact your club or association in those cases.
What about social security? Say, following the sports accident, your child ends up in hospital then in care.
Social security and complementary “health” (mutuals including those of employers) bear the cost of care and compensate for your loss of wages as any accident of life requiring a work stoppage.
To be reimbursed, you must, send to your primary health insurance fund the sheet of care and doctor’s prescription for your child, as soon as possible. Make it clear that this is a bodily injury and indicate its date.
A Day Care Center should be a safe haven for children. Children should be provided with activities and supervision commensurate with each’s child’s abilities, needs, and situation. Parents should be able to rely on a Day Care Center to provide for the needs of the children under their care. Many Day Care Centers provide a wonderful educational and custodial environment for children; however, some Day Care Centers, whether it is a moment of inattention or a pattern of neglect, allow children to become victims of preventable personal injuries, and, in some cases, wrongful death. The legal dues of a Day Care Center (including its staff, employees, and childcare providers) are delineated in the Statutes, the Administrative Code, and the Case Law. While it is important for Day Care Centers to know and follow the laws, rules, and regulations, it is also important for Day Care Centers and their staff members to have common sense and the ability to make good decisions on the spot. Staff members should take initiative when children are at risk for or suffer personal injuries requiring first aid and / or other medical attention. The information provided by this book is also helpful for parents who just want to learn more about the rights of a child in a Day Care Center and the legal responsibilities and duties of the Day Care Center and its staff. There are four essential elements necessary to establish a civil claim or case against a Day Care Center as follows:
Once a day care center accepts the child into the program, the day care center has a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for the child. There is no immunity for private or public day care centers for injuries that are caused by the negligent actions or inactions of day care center employees or management. There is a duty to provide reasonable supervision and to properly inspect and maintain the day care center including common areas, bathrooms, classrooms, indoor play areas, outdoor play areas, and playgrounds in a reasonable safe condition. There is also a duty to provide safe transportation and driving when the day care center chooses to provide such services.
Breach of Duty
If the day care center breaches any of its duties / responsibilities, the day care center can be help legally responsible for the consequences. Of course, there are a number of ways in which a day care provider may breach a particular duty. Here are just a few examples:
Proximate is the legal concept that requires a more or less direct relationship between the duty, breach of duty, add the damages or injuries. In other words, the breach of duty must directly result in the injuries for there to be a claim or case to pursue on behalf of the child.
Injuries or damages are generally necessary, from a practical standpoint, to file a claim or lawsuit against the day care center. If the child did not suffer any physical or psychological damage whatsoever as a result of the negligent conduct of the day care center, it can be quite challenging to pursue such a case. It should be kept in mind that each case must be evaluated on its own particular facts and circumstances including those that pertain to the claimed damages or injuries resulting from the negligence by the day care center.
The last thing any parent wants is for their child to suffer a serious injury because of someone else’s negligence. When you place your child in daycare, you conduct an extensive investigation into the facilities and the staff to make sure that your child will be well cared for.
Even so, your child may have suffered an injury due to:
- Premises liability
- Poor supervision
- Direct physical abuse
Perhaps they slipped and fell because of a negligent daycare worker. Maybe they were injured on poorly-maintained playground equipment. Many injuries are simply the result of a lack of supervision by staff members. If your child has been injured in such an accident, a personal injury lawyer at our firm can help you file a claim.
We hope that our children never have to be a victim to severe injuries or accidents. Unfortunately, negligent individuals, companies, property owners cause thousands of children to suffer fatal injuries each year in the United States.
The most vulnerable population is often taken for granted for the sake of somebody else profit. We shouldn’t neglect proper safety procedures and protocols. Parents shouldn’t have to fear for their child’s safety wherever they might be (school, roadways, hospitals, another’s personal property).
If something unthinkable happens to your child, you need a personal injury lawyer with the legal resources and experienced team to handle your case. Our team will represent you and your family and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our legal professionals will take immediate actions on your case.
Common causes of child Injuries
Parents have a huge responsibility and an innate sense to protect their children. There are a variety of unique dangers that can cause sudden death or injury of a child. Some common causes of injuries include:
- Child automobile accidents
- Child bicycle accidents
- School bus accidents
- Teen driving accidents
- Vehicle backover injuries
- Unsafe or dangerous premises
- Dog Bites
- Window falls
- Daycare injuries and abuse
- School and playground injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Congenital disabilities
- Pregnancy and birth injuries
- Infant clinical trials
- Pharmaceutical drug recalls
- Choking and strangulation
- Defective or unsafe toys
- Sports-related injuries
- Child abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Crib-related injuries
- Broken car seats
- Drowning accidents
- Boating accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park accidents
Child Injury statistics
Twenty-five children died each day from accidental injuries. Estimated 8,7 million children were treated at an emergency department for an accidental injury in 2011. More than 225,000 children require hospitalization each year due to an accidental injury. Leading causes of accidental child injuries are falls, cut, struck by an object, overexertion, etc.
Accidents you can prevent
You can’t stop other driver hitting you, but you can minimize the possibility of a crash when you fasten your seatbelts. Car seats and booster seats save lives.
Infant suffocation can be a nursery nightmare. Always remember, parents ABCs: have infants sleep Alone, on their Backs, in their Cribs (or a secure surface area like a bassinet or playpen).
Optimal prevention here is making sure that your child learns to swim in a professional class with an approved life vest. Of course, there’s no substitute for a watchful eye.
Safe Kids Worldwide recently released a research report identifying new insights into why kids are getting into medicine nearly 500,000 times per year, and the overwhelming cause is negligence on behalf of adults
Make sure you lock anything dangerous out of kids reach- and if you have a babysitter, make sure she does the same.
Fire and burns
Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Yes, sometimes you forgot to change the batteries. Set remainder on your phone if you have an infant in the house. It’s essential to have at least two ways out in your escape plan from your home in the case of fire. This may sound too much, but it’s important to plan.
As a parent, grandparent, or even an Aunt/Uncle/Friend who’s buying a toy for a beloved child in their life; you usually don’t think anything of it. It’s a toy, right? What harm can it do? Sadly, there’s a few toys out there on store shelves that are not as harmless as you may think. So go ahead and re-think those gift options and we’ll help you choose a little more wisely with the following list of toys topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys.
1. Fidget Spinners:
These dying fads actually contain small parts that can be a choking hazard to many children. When overused, the center screw can come undone and be consumed by younger children.
2. Mattel’s Wonder Woman Sword:
This seemingly harmless pretend sword has the potential to cause blunt-force injuries with children using it to pretend fight. Unlike other foam swords out there, this particular item isn’t as soft due to the metallic paint covering the hard foam of the sword itself.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man Drone:
This electronic toy has multiple rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries if not worked properly. The age restrictions should not be ignored for this particular toy.
4. Tolo’s “Pull Along Pony”:
This toy is marketed for children over the age of one but has a 19-inch cord hanging off of it. It doesn’t take a testing lab to know that’s a strangulation and entanglement hazard for children.
5. Hallmark’s Disney-themed “Itty Bittys”:
These collectible plush stacking toys are made for babies and were recalled last summer due to fabric pieces that posed a choking hazard. But the toy has created a collecting frenzy with adults and is still readily available online.
These are just five examples, but let this be a conscious reminder to those shopping for little ones.
Claims for Dangerous Childcare Products
We don’t think about it, but many consumer products aren’t as safe as they may seem. Many products on the market can cause serious harm to unsuspecting users of all ages. And though most items sold come with warning labels to make us aware of any pending dangers, defective products are a wild card. This can be even more horrifying when one’s own child is the victim. Parents can have no way of knowing, but the most recent childcare product they purchased can lead to some of the most common causes of injury from lead paint poisoning, age-inappropriate, defective, or items that are choking hazard.
And most child caretakers have no way of knowing their child is in danger from these products until it’s too late. Products are only recalled when a child has already been injured. It’s the manufacturers responsibility to their consumers to place safe products into the stream of commerce. When a child (or user of any age) is injured due to a dangerous product, you need to take action against the manufacturer and hold them liable for injuries caused by their defective products. Because if the design or manufacturing of the product is defective, the product was a danger to any consumer after it left the manufacturer’s possession.
To make a case, a consumer would need to prove that their childcare product had either a manufacturing or design defect. No amount of care a manufacturer put into their manufacturing or design of a product can distance them from the negligence; if it’s faulty, they’re still held to strict liability standards. This falls under a negligence theory and the manufacturer owes the consumers it hurts some sort of peace of mind
If this has happened to you or your loved ones, be sure to file your claim within four years of the incident. Having a trusted attorney who specializes in these claims will help fight for you and what you deserve. Taking legal action will not only give you what the manufacturers owe you but also the safety they must provide for the rest of their consumers.
Playground Safety Tips
Outdoor play offers many advantages for kids, including fresh air, exercise and the opportunity to socialize. Since any activity comes with risks, it’simportant to observe these playground safety tips.
While some states have regulations in place in regards to playground maintenance, don’t place the safety of children solely into the hands of others. Ask the responsible organization about who maintains and inspects the grounds. Even if you get a satisfying answer, examine the grounds for hazards yourself. Check for malfunctioning equipment, rust, splinters, dangerous surfaces and visibility. Sandboxes should not have any debris or bugs.
Appropriate surface materials include mulch, pea gravel, shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, synthetic turf and rubber mats. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, dirt, grass, asphalt or gravel surfaces. Make sure all play areas were designed to allow for adults to view all of the equipment where children play. If you notice anything out of order, you should report equipment, maintenance and visibility issues to the appropriate school, childcare centre, city council or park authority.
Before taking children to the playground, make sure they’re dressed appropriately, so they can’t get injured by clothing or accessories. Clothes with drawstrings can pose a strangulation hazard. The same goes for scarves, necklaces and purses.
Even the safest areas need adult supervision. While it’s tempting to catch up on your social media feeds and emails during this perceived downtime, it’s important to put down electronic devices and actively supervise kids while using playgrounds. Younger children will welcome this attention because they love showing off their climbing, swinging and jumping skills.
Older children might seem more mature but still, need supervision. That’s because they love testing limits. This not only applies to equipment but also to interact with younger kids. It takes responsible adults to keep them in check. Additionally, children of any age can’t foresee dangerous circumstances and don’t always evaluate distances correctly.
Even if kids seem responsible for their age, they won’t be able to handle emergency situations by themselves. Older ones might beg for independence, but adult supervision is necessary to keep them and the children around them safe. Most importantly, supervising children of all ages at play makes it harder for potential perpetrators to lure them away.
Since older children play differently than younger ones, the playground needs to have a separate area for kids younger than five. This area should have a smooth surface to accommodate toddlers who are beginning to walk. It’s important to keep children in the proper areas. Even if siblings of varying ages want to play together, make sure to steer each child to the age-appropriate equipment. Keep in mind that only babies who can sit up and have good head control should use bucket-shaped swings.
Outdoor leisure time plays a healthy role in regards to the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children. Implementing these playground safety tips will also help them stay safer.
Children safety in public spaces
Safe Parents: Tips to for Child Safety in Public Spaces
There is no doubt that parents worry about the safety of their children at all times. It is only natural for parents to be concerned, especially since kids naturally engage in risky behavior. The following are a few tips to help improve children safety in public spaces.
As mentioned above, children naturally gravitate towards risky behavior. It is an important part of child development as it allows children to learn how to measure risk and how to avoid it. This does not mean you have to let your kids be daredevils, but it does mean that parents should not impose too many rules.
Encouraging Acceptable Safety
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to encourage children safety in public spaces is to acknowledge that leaving a child alone is not a good idea. Children can take risks, and it is best for an adult to be nearby should accidents happen.
It does not take long for a child to wander off or to be approached by a dangerous stranger. You want to make sure that you or a responsible adult is always present and keeping an eye on your child.
Be sure to teach children important information as soon as possible such as your name and important phone numbers, including 911. You should also teach your kid about relatively safe adults to make contact with should he or she get separated. This could include guards, cops, and adults with children of their own.
You can also teach your child how to tell if an adult works at the place you are visiting, be it a park or fair. Adults who work in these kinds of places often wear name tags or have a distinctive uniform on. Teaching your kid to know the difference could help him or her talk to a relatively safe adult should he or she get lost.
Bullies can be a problem in public spaces for kids. Make sure that you help build a child’s self-esteem because bullies tend to pick on kids who do not feel too confident. A child with enough confidence should be able to stand up against a bully should you not be looking.