The attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm handle personal injury cases, including those involving children and young adults. If you or your child has experienced an injury as a minor you may be able to make a legal claim. Most often Childhood Accidents and Injuries are caused by the negligence of another. If you or your child has been injured, and you believe it may have been caused by negligence, it is in your benefit to seek out more information. Information on what Childhood Accidents and Injuries are and what it might mean for you can be found below. Additionally, the personal injury attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm invite you to contact us at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT for a free consultation to see if you have a claim.
What are Childhood Accidents and Injuries?
Childhood Accidents and Injuries refer to any accident, injury, incident, trauma, or unfortunate circumstance that can happen to a child or young adult. Typically these claims involve minors, persons under eighteen (18) years of age. Injuries to children and young adults are often serious and may go untreated or undiagnosed since a minor may not be able to communicate as effectively as an adult. Additionally, children are not as physically developed as an adult, which means children’s bodies may react differently to injuries or trauma than adults. In some instances, this difference means more severe or potentially catastrophic injuries that are permanent in nature. Furthermore, children are still developing mentally. This means injuries that affect the brain may be far more damaging and life-altering than they would be to an adult.
Most Childhood Accidents and Injuries carry both a physical and a psychological element, both of which can be equally harmful to the child. This means that any new experience, including an accident or an injury, can have a bigger impact on a child than it would an adult. The following are some common Childhood Accidents and Injuries.
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Injury
- Car Accidents
- Car Seat Injuries
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Accidents Involving Premises Liability
- Birth Injuries, especially including Cerebral Palsy
- Medical Malpractice
- Sports Injuries
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Defective Products, often child toys
- Dog Bites
- Amusement Park Accidents
- Day Care Accidents or Neglect
- Wrongful Death
- Molestation and Sexual Abuse
Consequences of Childhood Accidents and Injuries can be far ranging. While all children experience minor injuries such as bumps and bruises growing up, any significant injury may impact a child’s ability to function and thrive as an adult. More serious injuries such as neck injuries, back injuries, brain injuries, and fractures or broken bones can have lifelong consequences. They may prevent a child from entering the work force or even caring for themselves as an adult. Even if injuries are not completely disabling, they can influence how a child perceives themselves and acts around others. An example of this would be a dog bite injury to a child’s face which has left noticeable scars and/or disfigurement. Many times injuries may not completely heal and result in permanent damage. As such, it is always important that a child or young adult receive the best medical care possible so as to minimize the negative impact of the injury.
Legal Significance of Childhood Accidents and Injuries
Most Childhood Accidents and Injuries occur due to the actions, or the inaction, of other people, companies, or agencies. In legal terms, this is known as negligence. Negligence is a legal cause of action, under which many lawsuits are brought. Generally, negligence requires four elements to be demonstrated: A duty to act a certain way, a breach or failure to follow that duty, the failure being the cause of injury, and injury or harm. A Childhood Accident or Injury case will require all four elements to be proven in order to be successful. A classic example would be a car accident. Suppose a child was a passenger in a bus and an adult drives the bus in a reckless manner resulting in an accident which injures the child. The adult had a duty to drive safely, and failed in that duty by driving recklessly which proximately caused the injury to the child. Other examples of negligence involving injures to children include, but are not limited to Amusement Park operators who do not properly buckle a child into an amusement ride, a doctor who fails to diagnose fetal trauma during pregnancy resulting in Cerebral Palsy, a toy designed for children that is an choking hazard, or a daycare center that hires unqualified or dangerous employees. These are all examples of Childhood Accidents and Injuries potentially caused by negligence.
Cases involving Childhood Accidents and Injuries can also involve unique considerations when it comes to statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations create a deadline for someone to file a lawsuit or legal case. This deadline must be met, and any lawsuits must be filed or begun by a certain time after an accident, injury, or an event which creates a legal cause of action occurs. Failure to meet this deadline means the court will refuse to hear that case, and the case is forever barred. For most claims, the statute of limitations is two years, with some being longer (sometimes up to six years), and others, such as medical malpractice claims, typically being shorter (as little as one year). However, it is recognized that minor children are unable to file lawsuits on their own and may not have control over whether they advance a claim. So, in order to better protect the rights of an injured child, the statute of limitations in a Childhood Accident or Injury does not begin until the child has turned 18 years of age. For example, a negligence case that would have a two year statute of limitations would have the statute of limitations begin running when the child turns 18, and require the filing of a case before the child turns 20 years old. Whereas, a medical malpractice case with a one year statute of limitations would require the case be filed before the child turns 19 years old. The extra time protects the child’s rights, but also may make things confusing or complicated since the passage of time may cause evidence and witnesses to disappear. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to be sure that evidence is preserved and a deadline is not missed.
Another method of protecting an injured child’s rights is the ability of a parent, guardian, or next of kin to bring a lawsuit or claim on behalf of the child. As minor children do not have legal standing to bring their own lawsuits, the law allows for certain adults to bring lawsuits on behalf of children in certain circumstances. Generally, this means parents or custodial guardians. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of the child, which means the lawsuit is the child’s lawsuit and that the parent or guardian is simply acting in place of the child. Most lawsuits brought this way are no different than any other lawsuit, with the exception that settlements are required to go through the probate court for approval and may result in a trust account or other similar solution being created to handle any money on behalf of the minor child. Again, consulting with an attorney is the best way to ensure a lawsuit is conducted in the best interest of the child.
Seeking Legal Counsel and Guidance
If your child has suffered due to a Childhood Accident or Injury, negligence may be the cause. The personal injury attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm have the skill and experience to discover whether your child’s injuries or harm were caused by negligence. Negligence is preventable. It is caused by the error, improper action, or lack of action by individuals or organizations tasked with the safety of others. It is important to hold those individuals or organizations to the proper standards and to hold them accountable for the harms and losses they may cause. The Brannon Law Firm can help hold those at fault accountable.
Additionally, the consequences of negligence and personal injuries may be difficult, both financially and emotionally. Medical treatment may be necessary, which can be severe, long lasting, and result in costly medical bills. Furthermore, as a result of your child’s injuries, they may experience a multitude of issues, such as persistent pain, difficulty in performing everyday tasks, and a decrease in quality of life. These issues may even affect the lives of you and your child’s loved ones. It is important to ensure that you child have the assistance and care that he deserves to live the best life possible. The Brannon Law Firm can help with that process.
At the Brannon law Firm, we have represented many children and young adults who were unfortunate victims of negligence. We have obtained favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients in Childhood Accidents and Injuries cases. We invite you to contact us, either at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT for a free consultation. The Brannon Law Firm is proud to serve clients in Dayton and throughout the State of Ohio.