What Sets Child Injury Cases Apart From Other Injury Claims?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Child injury cases differ from adult injury cases in a variety of ways. Aside from being particularly alarming, it is also important to note that children are often unable to communicate the type and severity of pain they are experiencing.
Additionally, a child likely will not be able to predict the myriad of ways a significant injury could affect their life and future, and cannot advocate for themself regardless. This is why it’s important to seek an attorney with experience handling child injury cases. These attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law and will be more comfortable communicating with children and their families about the injury that occurred and potential future damages that need to be compensated for.
Kids will be kids, but when someone else’s carelessness leads to a child’s injury, further investigation into the situation is necessary.
It’s no secret that children can be reckless, both accidentally and intentionally. However, children are still in the process of developing a sense of danger and responsibility, and are not generally liable for their own injuries. When a child is injured due to their own actions that could have been prevented by proper supervision, the parents or guardians of the child are often considered responsible.
However, when a child’s injuries occur for other reasons or as a result of negligence on the part of another party, such as a school, amusement park, or other party, the liability could fall elsewhere. However, situations unique to childhood are not the only ways a child can be injured. Car and bicycle accidents, defective products, and criminal assaults can also cause a child injury; in any of these situations, a parent or guardian can file a personal injury claim on behalf of their child.
Children cannot file their own claims.
This seems like a fairly obvious statement, but it bears mentioning. Children cannot file their own personal injury claim, nor can they negotiate a settlement offer. A parent or guardian will be required to do so on the child’s behalf, and in some cases might require a judge’s approval to do so. Insurance companies may require a parent or guardian to fill out alternate forms for approval in order to receive a settlement on behalf of their child. If a child dies from their injuries due to another party’s negligence, a parent or guardian can then file a wrongful death claim.
Damages that can be claimed in a child injury case.
Specific kinds of damages might be available to claim in a child injury case. This is due largely to the many milestones a child is still expected to have to go through in life, such as primary school and higher education.
Damages which might be claimed in a child injury case include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses. Hospital or medical bills for past, present, and future treatment related to a child’s injuries can be estimated and included in the compensation awarded in a successful lawsuit.
- Therapy and rehabilitation. The cost of therapy and rehabilitation for the child in the present and future due to the injury may be included in a child’s damages.
- Impairment of earning capacity or loss of future income. If a child is unlikely to be able to work, or whose ability to work may be impaired in the future due to their injuries, this type of compensation can address these losses.
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
- Academic support. If a child is likely to need extra academic support or educational aid due to their injury, this can be included in the damages their parent or guardian seeks compensation for.
- Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. This is applicable for a child who is unable to engage in their daily life the same way they did before, or whose daily life is predicted to be greatly impacted by their injury in the future.
- Wrongful death. If a child dies in an accident or passes away due to their injuries before a personal injury claim can be successfully resolved.
- Funeral expenses. This is applicable if wrongful death occurs.
If your child suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence, seek legal counsel from a child injury attorney immediately. The effects of a childhood injury can be lifelong, and it’s important to make sure you have someone on your side who understands the severity and impact of these situations on a child and their family.