When children sustain serious injuries because of someone’s negligence, it powerfully impacts their families and loved ones. Parents may need to change their schedules and lifestyles – and sometimes even their jobs – to ensure that an injured child is cared for adequately.
Siblings may feel that they are being overlooked or ignored. In the most egregious situations, a “normal” life may never again be possible for the family.
When someone else’s negligence is the reason a child has been injured, what legal rights – and what recourse – do the parents have? How can a Pasadena personal injury attorney help?
IF YOUR CHILD IS INJURED, WHERE CAN YOU FIND LEGAL HELP?
But first things first: If your child is injured by someone else’s negligence – in a traffic crash, by a dog bite, at a swimming pool, in a sports competition, or even at birth in an incident of medical malpractice, a parent or guardian must obtain legal advice and representation immediately.
In southern California, parents must reach out as quickly as possible to a qualified personal injury attorney who can explain your family’s rights and fight on your family’s behalf for the compensation – and for the justice – that your family and child will need and deserve.
WHAT INJURIES ARE COMMONLY SUFFERED BY KIDS?
What kinds of injuries are most frequently sustained by young children? Kids can get seriously hurt on the playground or riding a bicycle. They sustain most of the reported swimming pool injuries and dog bite injuries.
And of course, just like adults, kids get injured in traffic accidents, by defective consumer products, and in incidents of medical malpractice. The most severe injuries to children include but are not limited to:
1. traumatic brain injuries
2. severe back and neck injuries
3. injuries to the spinal cord
4. multiple bone fractures
5. injuries requiring amputation
The results of these kinds of injuries may be permanent or temporary brain damage, partial or complete paralysis, disfigurement, and/or disability. These conditions are tragic for anyone, but a child may be facing a lifetime of surgeries, treatments, and medical care.
WHERE AND HOW DO INJURIES TO CHILDREN HAPPEN?
Playgrounds, gyms, water parks, and other types of recreational facilities offer great fun – and real hazards. If someone who was supposed to be supervising your child at one of these facilities wasn’t, and your child is injured at one of these locations, speak to an attorney about your rights.
Never allow your child to ride as a passenger with anyone that you suspect may be a negligent driver.
Daycare centers and schools, of course, are supposed to protect children, but if an unqualified or inexperienced person is placed in the position of supervising children, a serious injury is much more likely, and if that happens, a parent or guardian will need sound, trustworthy legal advice.
WHAT CAN BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CHILD’S INJURY?
For an injured child’s family, the consequences are usually emotional trauma and genuine suffering. The combination of emotional pain and financial stress can break a family apart – right at the time when a child needs his or her family the most.
When someone’s negligence is the reason why a child was injured, the parents or legal guardian of the injured child may take legal action against that negligent party to recover compensation for damages.
Here in California, the injured victims of negligence are entitled to full compensation for all of their injury-related past, present, and future medical expenses and all of their other injury-related damages, including compensation for personal pain and suffering.
WHEN SHOULD PARENTS TAKE LEGAL ACTION?
Whenever a parent or guardian files a personal injury claim in California on behalf of a minor, the time restriction (statute of limitations) is somewhat different from the time limit on injury cases involving adults.
When you are filing a personal injury claim for someone under the age of 18, you have two years from the child’s 18th birthday (or until the individual turns 20 years old).
California’s statute of limitations is different again for medical malpractice cases involving children. In most cases, a parent or guardian must file a medical malpractice claim within three years of the malpractice incident.
But if the child is less than six years old when he or she is injured in an incident of medical malpractice, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed before the child’s eighth birthday.
In the case of birth injuries, when children are injured by medical malpractice before being born or during the birth process, a parent or guardian has six years from the date of the incident to bring a legal action.
WHAT IF THE TARGET OF YOUR LAWSUIT IS THE GOVERNMENT?
You’ll face even more complications if you are suing a governmental body or agency – such as a school district or a municipal parks and recreation department – regarding a child’s injury. The right attorney will explain the additional paperwork and deadlines that are involved.
When a settlement or verdict is awarded in a California personal injury case where a child is the plaintiff, the compensation amount is deposited into an annuity or into a blocked account until the child is no longer a minor.
Parents and guardians will need to petition the court for necessary expenditures, but if an expenditure is for the child’s medical care, it will almost certainly be approved by the court.
WHAT WILL IT COST TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY’S RIGHTS?
What will it cost a parent or guardian to learn more about your family’s rights? Not a thing. California’s personal injury lawyers offer the families of injured children a free first legal consultation and case review.
Your attorney will examine the details of the case and recommend the best path forward. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf, you will pay your attorney only if and when that attorney obtains a settlement or verdict on your family’s behalf.
Any time a child is injured because another person was negligent, the case is going to be legally complicated. In southern California, a parent or guardian should speak at once with a skilled personal injury attorney.
If your child is injured by negligence, your family is entitled to compensation, and the law will be on your side. If your family needs legal help because your child has been hurt by negligence, get that help immediately, because nothing is more important than your child’s health and future.