Any type of personal injury can result in serious physical and emotional trauma to an individual. When an injury is sustained by a child, the repercussions could be even more traumatic with lifelong effect. If your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, your child may be entitled to financial compensation, and our child injury lawyers can help.
While both physical and emotional suffering can be a consequence of an accident, when a child is intentionally abused, the psychological damage suffered can be far greater – leaving them emotionally scarred for life. If your child has been abused while in the care of someone else, again your child may be entitled to compensation.
Our experienced child injury lawyers provide compassionate representation in cases where children have suffered physical or emotional trauma. While your current focus may be on helping your child recover physically and psychologically, you can count on us to see that justice is served – that those responsible are held accountable for their actions. We will seek out a secure financial future for your child, so that he/she has the resources available to recover from their injuries, and/or cope with abuse they have been subjected to.
There are many causes of child injuries. Common causes of serious child injury include auto accidents, dog attacks, swimming pool accidents, and defective products like cribs & mattresses, car seats, etc.
While there are measures that can be taken by parents to prevent child injury, some accidents are simply unavoidable regardless of the steps taken to protect a child. When unavoidable accidents occur, child injury attorneys like those at TorkLaw are here to help you put your child on the road to recovery and seek out compensation for the injury sustained.
Here are the most common accident types that result in child injury:
When it comes to children under the age of 15, the most common cause of death is unintentional injury and the most common cause of such injury is car accidents. According to a recent study, between 2010 and 2014, 2,885 children died in auto accidents nationwide. That number does not include child pedestrians or those who died in bicycle accidents. A majority of the children who died during those years in car accidents were not wearing seat belts. And 13 percent were riding in vehicles where someone was driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deaths of children younger than 13 in motor vehicle accidents have declined since 1975. However, car accidents still cause one out of every four unintentional injury deaths. Most car accident fatalities occur among children who are traveling as passenger vehicle occupants. Restraining children in rear seats instead of front seats reduces the risk of fatal injuries by about three-quarters for children up to age 3 and almost half for children ages 4 to 8.
Statistically, children are more likely to be attacked/bitten by dogs than adults are. Due to their height and size, children are also more likely to suffer severe facial injuries that lead to permanent scarring. Worse, when young children are attacked by a dog, the outcome can be fatal, particularly if more than one dog is involved.
In addition to physical injuries, children also tend to suffer ranging psychological issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of dog bite-related injuries among children is highest for those ages 5 to 9. In more than half of all dog bite occurrences, the dogs are familiar to the victim. By having a dog in the home, the likelihood of being bitten increases.
There is no question that children are more vulnerable than adults when it comes to dog bites. When a child is injured in a dog attack, you may be able to hold the negligent dog owner accountable for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Swimming pools can be a lot of fun for kids. At the same time, they could also become death traps if children are not properly supervised. According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2014, there were about 3,536 fatal unintentional drowning incidents. That adds up to 10 deaths a day. About one in five who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. And for every child who dies from drowning, five others receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries or near-drowning.
More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization and additional care. Also, these near-drowning incidents could result in severe brain damage leading to lifelong disabilities such as memory issues, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.
The best way to prevent swimming pool accidents is proper adult supervision. It can also help to have several layers of protection when it comes to your swimming pool. It is important to install a fence surrounding your pool with a gate that can be locked. It would also be a good idea to install alarms in the pool area and at the back door so you know when there is activity around the pool. A number of tragic accidents involving young children occur when they wander into the pool area and fall into the water.
When a child drowning or near-drowning occurs, a number of parties may be held accountable, depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident. In some cases, the property owner where the swimming pool accident occurred may be held responsible. If the accident occurs at a daycare center, field trip or some other facility where children where under the watch of staff or lifeguards, then those negligent parties can be held accountable as well.
There are thousands upon thousands of products in the marketplace for children of all ages. These products range from furniture to toys, but not all of them are as safe for our kids as they should be. Here are a few types of children’s products that commonly result in injury or death:
Cribs/Mattresses: Poorly designed cribs, mattresses, and children’s beds could pose suffocation hazards.
Toys: Children’s toys that are not properly designed could have small parts that could result in choking hazards. Other types of toys that are not marked age appropriate could result in eye injuries, lacerations, etc. Some toys could have toxic substances such as lead or cadmium, which when ingested, could result in serious health complications.
High chairs and seats: Improperly designed chairs can cause serious falls leading to broken bones and head injuries.
Strollers: Faulty strollers have caused broken fingers and hands, even amputation of fingertips in stroller failure incidents.
Car seats: Child car seats that are defective could fail to protect your child in the event of a car accident.
If your child has been harmed by a dangerous or defective product, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product.
A school has a duty of care to its students. School administrators are responsible for ensuring that the school they operate is a safe place for children to attend. When they fail to do this, they are not meeting their duty of care, and open themselves up to a potential lawsuit.
In a school setting, there are a few areas that we see regular failures in the duty of care rendered to students. The first is in the safety of the physical premises itself. This can include poorly maintained facilities, broken equipment, and hazards that are not adequately remediated. Second, is sexual abuse – the school can be liable for their part in putting student(s) in situations where they can be exploited by a member of the school staff. Finally, we see failure by schools when they fail to enforce policies and procedures that were written to protect students.
Unsafe School Grounds: Reasonable steps should be taken to make sure that school grounds are safe and free of potential hazards to students. This includes:
Broken Equipment: Like school grounds, reasonable steps should be taken to make sure that equipment is in good working order too. This can include equipment in a classroom like chairs, desks, and power strips. It can also include equipment designed to keep students safe – like fencing around a pool. It can even extend to the play equipment used by students at recess. When defective or poorly maintained equipment results in a child’s injury, the school can be held liable.
Across the country, millions of children are dropped off at a daycare facility every day. With so many children being cared for in the daycare system, it is inevitable that something will go wrong.
Like schools, day cares have a duty to care for the children left in their charge. While most daycare centers do a great job of keeping our kids safe, there are some that do not – resulting in injuries and abuses of children. These can be unintentional accidents or intentional acts of abuse.
Accidental injuries: Accidental injuries cannot be overlooked or ignored. While some injuries will occur despite taking all the right precautionary steps, others may be the result of poorly maintained facilities or equipment, or inadequate or improper supervision.
Falling is the leading cause of injuries to children at daycare. It is not uncommon for kids to get cuts, scrapes and bruises through ordinary play. These injuries are not necessarily a cause for concern. However, severe injuries like broken bones, broken teeth, head injuries, spinal injuries and internal trauma should set alarm bells off.
Prevention is by far the most effective way to keep your children safe. When dropping your child off, you should look for signs of neglect, under staffing and potential hazards that could result in drowning, choking, suffocation, or accidental poisoning.
Even the most diligent parent must put trust in their child’s care providers at some point, and it is expected that the provider will do everything in their power to protect your child. If they fail to do this, and their negligence or lack of supervision results in an injury to your child, a potential civil claim can be made against the care provider.
Intentional injuries: Thankfully, intentional injuries are rare, but when they do happen, the outcome can be physically and emotionally devastating for the child and his or her parents. These types of incidents often tend to occur in daycare centers that are understaffed or where the staff members have not been properly trained or vetted.
If your child comes home with unexplained or repeated injuries such as bruises or burn marks, it might indicate abuse. If you suspect that your child is being physically or sexually abused at his or her daycare, it is important that you contact the local police department to file a complaint.
Child abuse refers to any type of act that puts a child’s physical and/or emotional health and development in jeopardy. The abuse of the child could range from physical or sexual abuse to emotional abuse and neglect.
Physical abuse: This includes any type of abuse that results in non-accidental injury to the child. Acts of physical abuse include kicking, shaking, hitting, punching, burning or causing any other type of bodily injury.
Emotional abuse: This occurs when the abuser does something to affect the mental health and social development of the child. Examples of emotional abuse include use of vulgar language (often directed at the child), shouting or yelling, name-calling, berating and withholding affection.
Sexual abuse: This refers to any sexual act that occurs between the adult and child such as showing sexual material to the child (games, pictures, movies), forcing the child to watch sexual acts, exhibitionism, and engaging in oral sex or sexual intercourse.
Neglect: When it comes to children, neglect is also a form of abuse. It occurs when a caregiver fails to provide children with what they need physically or to develop mentally. Examples of child neglect include inadequate supervision, unsafe housing, inadequate clothing or food, poor hygiene and negligent medical care.
If your child has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or abused by a malicious individual, you may be able to seek financial compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, cost of psychological counseling, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Our experienced child injury lawyers at TorkLaw are passionate advocates for the rights of children who have been injured or abused. We will fight hard to hold the individuals, entities, organizations or corporations that caused your child’s injuries accountable for their actions and/or negligence. Call us to find out how we can help obtain maximum compensation for your losses and hold that at-fault parties accountable.