Injuries to Minors and Children FAQs
For many parents, there’s nothing scarier than the idea that their children may suffer a serious injury or harm. Unfortunately, across the country, every four seconds a child needs ER treatment and every hour, on average, a child sustains a fatal injury.
In Florida in particular, there are many dangers for children. There is severe weather and many coastal areas. Wildlife and pets can pose a danger, as can the swimming pools common in many homes.
The legal team at Flaxman Law Group works closely with families affected by childhood injury. We’ve seen children’s futures forever affected by permanent injury or scarring and we’ve worked to help families recover compensation for medical bills and other losses. If your child has been injured, the team at Flaxman Law Group has put together this FAQ to give you a place to start. To speak with a South Florida childhood injury claims attorney about your specific case, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. You can also contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case to discuss your potential claim with an attorney.
- What Are the Most Common Injuries to Minors and Children?
- What Can I Do to Prevent Injuries?
- What Should I Do If My Child Is Injured?
- Who Can File a Claim If a Child Is Injured?
- Who Is Liable?
- How Much Can My Claim Be Worth?
- Why Is Working With a Child Injury Claims Attorney Important?
Children can suffer many types of injuries, including:
- Swimming pool and water-related injuries. Children are naturally curious about the water and may wander into pool areas. It’s up to property owners to use self-locking gates to keep children safe.
- Head injuries. Falls and other types of injuries can easily lead to traumatic brain injuries, which can affect a child’s development and future.
- Falls. Children love to climb on furniture, on windows, and anywhere. This can easily lead to falls, and broken bones or even fatal injuries.
- Playground injuries. Playgrounds are meant to be a fun and enriching space for kids, but when they’re not properly maintained or installed, life-threatening injuries can happen.
- Assault. Most of us think that violence affects mostly adults, but childhood bullying can escalate into physical harm and injury. In addition, abusive adults sometimes target children because kids are less able to fight back.
- Sports injuries. Athletics can build discipline and teamwork skills, but sports can also lead to serious injuries, including lacerations, fractures, and brain injuries.
- Burns. Some children are very curious about fire and may start fires. Cleaners and corrosive chemicals can also cause burns.
- School and childcare injuries. When children are in school, daycare, or other child-focused spaces, we expect them to be safe. But each year negligence leads to serious injuries on campuses, at camps, and during school events.
- Car accident injuries. Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of childhood injuries. Child passengers are always at risk in the event of a car crash.
- Bicycle injuries. Kids love the freedom that comes with riding a bike, but speeding, taking risks, or just learning bike skills can lead to tumbles, falls, and injuries. When walking or skateboarding, children can also be vulnerable to pedestrian accidents.
- Amusement park injuries. Florida children are fortunate to live near Disney and other world-class theme parks and amusement parks that can build a lifetime of memories. However, these parks are also the sites of serious injuries each year.
As a parent or caregiver, there are several things you can do to prevent injuries:
- Ensure supervision. Good supervision is the best way to avoid childhood injury. On the playground, at home, and in public, keeping a close eye on children can make a big difference. In public spaces, such as daycares and schools, make sure that correct supervision is used. Ask about safety protocols and vetting practices for new hires.
- Teach your children to swim. Teaching your children to swim early gives them the skills they need to avoid some pool injuries. While it won't prevent every type of drowning or near drowning incident, good swimming skills and swimming lessons usually teach water safety.
- Teach your children proper traffic rules. Even before children are out walking by themselves, teach them traffic rules. Starting early, teach them what red lights, green lights, and yellow lights mean. Model good behavior at crosswalks and teach them how to cross streets safely. In the car, show children how to buckle up safely and talk about the importance of seatbelts. The habits they learn early on can help keep them safe throughout childhood and for a lifetime.
- Insist on helmets. When your child is riding a bike or playing a contact sport, make sure they're wearing a helmet. Helmets can help prevent serious head injuries, so look for helmets that fit correctly and are worn the right way, with chin straps, every time. It can be helpful if your children get to choose their own helmet, so they select a style that they will enjoy wearing.
If your child is injured your first priority is to get them medical attention as soon as possible. If your child has suffered a catastrophic injury or there is any chance they have hit their head, get emergency medical help. Even if they seem fine after hitting their head, you will want immediate medical evaluation to rule out a concussion or traumatic brain injury. If your child seems fine and doesn't appear to have suffered a serious injury, still visit the pediatrician to make sure that they haven't suffered a sprain, hairline fracture, or other mild injury that requires treatment.
As soon as you can, get documentation about what caused the injuries. Take photos of the injury. If you can, take photos of the injury or accident site, including the surrounding area. Write down everything you and your child remember, including the names and contact information of any possible witnesses.
If your child's injuries are serious, you may wish to contact a childhood injury attorney to find out what your options are. The reality is that these injuries can be more expensive than you think. A permanent injury can affect your child's income potential for the rest of their life. Their education may be affected if they are seriously injured and need to take time away from school. Protecting your child's rights is important to make sure they get the support they need after a serious injury.
If you are the caregiver or parent of a minor who has been seriously injured, you may be able to file a claim on your child's behalf. To find out whether you have a claim and whether you can file one, contact an experienced childhood injury claims attorney. An attorney can review the details of your case and tell you what is possible in your situation.
Liability in childhood injury varies. In cases of unsafe product or toys, for example, the manufacturer can be held responsible. If your child is injured in a school, daycare, community centre, or other space, you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner. In some cases, there are multiple liable parties. Attorneys work with investigators to determine who is liable and who can be pursued in a claim.
If you’re not sure who is liable or even if you’re not sure negligence played a role in your child’s injuries, consult with an attorney at Flaxman Law Group. We can go over the details of your situation to seek for answers.
Under Florida law, you can pursue compensation for your losses, which can include time away from work while taking care of your child, medical bills, and other costs. If your child has suffered an injury, it may be important to seek compensation for their future medical costs, too, which can be substantial. An attorney can help you properly evaluate the likely total costs of your child's injury so you can pursue a fair claim.
Insurance companies and liable parties may blame a child’s actions for their injury. In all cases, they will take steps to avoid liability, which can leave your child without the resources they need for their injury.
An attorney works in your best interests, seeking fair compensation for your situation. He or she has access to investigators, expert witnesses, and other professionals who can build a strong case. Best of all, an attorney uses their expertise to pursue compensation, so you have more time to care for your child.
If you’d like to know more, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. You can also contact us online. We can set up a free, no obligation case consultation so you can get the facts about your potential claim.