What are the most common types of child injuries? Considering its frequently brutal winter weather, including snow and ice, Alberta is a hotbed for slip and fall accidents and motor vehicle collisions. When young children suffer injuries in these and other accidents, they can experience both short and long-term complications, depending on the circumstances.
Watching a child suffer is one of the worst experiences that a parent can have. This is especially true when a child sustains injuries due to another person’s reckless, negligent, or careless conduct. If your child suffered an injury in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you—as the child’s parent—can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit on your child’s behalf.
In most instances, that claim or lawsuit will stem from negligence. In the claim or lawsuit that ensues, you can pursue various monetary damages, depending upon the type of accident that happened and the nature and extent of your child’s injuries.
Child injuries are unique when compared with adult injuries. This is because children’s bodies and minds are still developing. A child Injury lawyer advocating for you can work to ensure that your child recovers all of the monetary compensation they deserve for the injuries that they suffered in their accident.
Child injury cases resolve through settlement or litigation. However, even if your lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit in court on your child’s behalf, the case may still resolve through settlement. It may not ultimately go to a civil trial or mediation or arbitration proceeding. Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your child’s monetary compensation, ensuring they become financially whole again after their accident.
What are Some Common Injuries that Children Suffer in Accidents?
When others behave negligently, recklessly, and carelessly around children, severe injuries and medical complications can result. First, some children may suffer traumatic head or brain injuries in an accident. These injuries can be grave for children because their heads and brains likely are still developing at the time of their accident. As a result, a severe head injury can lead to lifelong complications.
Children may suffer head injuries in a motor vehicle crash, especially if the force of the collision causes their head to strike the door frame, window, or headrest in the vehicle in which they are riding. Children may also suffer serious head injuries because a daycare facility or nursery school fails to properly maintain their facilities or play equipment.
Likewise, children who play football, baseball, and other sports may suffer a head injury due to poorly maintained facilities and equipment. Finally, a child may suffer a head injury in school due to bullying or mistreatment by another child. In these instances, the child’s parents can bring a negligence claim against the school system or the school board based upon negligent supervision.
In addition to severe head injuries, children may suffer neck and back injuries in an accident. This is especially true if the child strikes their head on the ground in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall. Moreover, in a car accident scenario, the force of the collision might cause the child’s neck and back to move forward and backward in an abrupt manner. These types of whiplash injuries are prevalent in rear-end car crashes.
Some neck and back injuries that children suffer are soft tissue in nature. Soft tissue injuries, unlike a fracture, do not involve a broken bone. However, a soft tissue injury may still produce significant pain and require the child accident victim to undergo a painful and invasive medical procedure.
At other times, however, a child may suffer a vertebrae fracture in an accident and some other type of spinal cord injury or paralysis injury. All of these injuries can sometimes lead to permanent complications. As a result, the child may require around-the-clock care, such as at a nursing facility or assisted living centre.
Common Occurrences that Lead to Child Injuries
Children often suffer injuries and accidents through no fault of their own. When another person behaves negligently under the circumstances, and a child suffers a severe injury, the child’s lawyer can assert a claim or a lawsuit against the responsible party or their insurance company.
One of the most common occurrences that lead to child injuries is motor vehicle accidents. In most instances, motor vehicle crashes, including rear-end accidents, head-on collisions, and broadside collisions, result from the negligence of other drivers.
Drivers can behave negligently in several ways. People drive negligently when they fail to follow safety rules and regulations, including posted speed limits and established right-of-way laws. A person may drive a vehicle negligently when they fail to observe the road or drive while under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs. Finally, some drivers are negligent when they operate their vehicles while fatigued.
A negligent or careless driver is far more likely than an attentive driver to cause a severe accident that injures children and adults alike.
Another common occurrence that causes child injuries is slip-and-fall accidents. Just as motor vehicle drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles lawfully and carefully, premises owners must maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition at all times. Property owners must take these actions for the benefit of their property visitors.
Businesses that children visit, including nursery schools, daycare centers, play areas, and other facilities, must be free from premises hazards and defects. If a child slips and falls due to a slippery floor surface, their parent can bring a claim or lawsuit against the facility for negligence.
Other premises accidents other than slip and falls may lead to child injuries. For example, when a daycare centre, restaurant, or nursery school fails to maintain indoor or outdoor play equipment and fix other defective conditions on the property—and a child suffers an injury as a result—the premises owner or operator may be responsible.
Another common cause of child injuries is sports accidents. When children compete in sporting events, coaches and school personnel are responsible for ensuring that they wear the proper safety equipment—including helmets and other protective gear. In addition, if a child suffers an injury during a game or scrimmage, coaches have a duty to eject the child from the game immediately. Failing to do so can result in more severe injuries and future complications. This is especially true when a child suffers a concussion or other serious head injury during a sporting event.
When a coach, supervisor, or school is negligent under the circumstances, the child’s parent can file the appropriate claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages.
If your child sustained an injury in one of these occurrences that resulted from another person’s carelessness or negligence, a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area can help you handle every aspect of your case from beginning to end. First, your lawyer can explain all of your legal options and help you pursue a favourable course of action in your child’s case. Moreover, your lawyer can assist you during all settlement negotiations and work to maximize the total monetary damages that your child recovers due to their accident-related injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Child Injury Case
To recover monetary compensation on your child’s behalf in a personal injury claim, you will need to satisfy the necessary legal elements of proof. First, you must establish that the at-fault party owed your child a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances they later violated.
For example, a premises owner might have failed to correct a known dangerous or hazardous condition on their premises, or a motor vehicle driver might have violated a traffic regulation that was in place, proximately causing your child’s accident.
Next, you must show, through your lawyer, that the at-fault party’s negligent actions or inactions caused the subsequent accident. Finally, you must show that your child sustained at least one physical injury in their accident.
To establish these legal elements of proof, your lawyer can introduce various types of evidence. First, your child can speak or testify, if deemed necessary and helpful by the lawyer, at a mediation, arbitration or trial about how the accident occurred, the injuries that they suffered, and the pain and suffering they experienced due to their injuries. Next, your lawyer can call an accident reconstructionist who investigated the accident circumstances to the witness stand. An accident reconstructionist can then explain to the judge or jury how the accident likely happened and who, in their expert opinion, caused it.
Next, your lawyer can call upon a qualified medical expert to take the witness stand and testify about the child’s injuries. The medical expert can causally relate your child’s injuries to the accident itself.
Finally, your lawyer can introduce documentary evidence, including the child’s medical treatment records, to show the pain and suffering they endured due to their injuries.
A skilled child injury lawyer can help you satisfy your legal burden and pursue the total monetary damages you need to recover for your child’s injuries and other losses.
Filing a Timely Lawsuit for Your Child’s Injuries
If your child sustained one or more injuries in an accident that resulted from negligence, you should get some legal advice as quickly as possible on the timelines to file a lawsuit. Provided they are under 18 years of age when the accident happened, children, have until 2 years from them attaining adulthood, which is effectively 2 years from their 18th birthday. This means they must file their Statement of Claim on or before their 20th birthday. If they do not file their personal injury lawsuit within this limitation period, the court can prevent them from recovering any monetary compensation for their losses. Also, note that if the at-fault party or their insurance company demands a Statement of Claim at any time , the Statement of Claim must be provided and the limitation period changes.
A skilled child injury lawyer can file a lawsuit in your child’s case promptly—especially if the statute of limitations is about to run out. Your lawyer can then assist throughout settlement negotiations with the insurance carrier, during litigation, and in court.
Recovering Monetary Damages on Your Child’s Behalf
Children often suffer severe injuries due to other people’s negligence. When a child sustains injuries in an accident, they can pursue reasonable monetary compensation through their lawyer. An insurance company will award compensation via a settlement or through litigation at a mediation or civil trial or binding arbitration hearing. The primary goal of monetary damages is to make a child whole again and return them to their pre-accident state to the greatest extent possible.
The total damages that a child accident victim can recover in their personal injury claim will depend upon the nature and severity of their injuries, as well as the type of accident that occurred.
First, they can pursue monetary compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced, starting on their accident date. Moreover, if they suffered a permanent impairment or disfiguring injury that is likely to have lifelong consequences, the child accident victim can pursue monetary damages for their anticipated pain, suffering, and inconvenience. They can also pursue lifetime care costs if their injuries require that they reside at an assisted living facility or nursing home on a long-term basis.
Injured child accident victims can also recover monetary damages for their loss of life enjoyment, loss of use of a body part, permanent disfigurement, and mental anguish. Your child injury lawyer will do everything possible to maximize the monetary recovery your child receives in their personal injury case.
All settlement for minors must be approved by the Public Trustee’s office if it is within a certain threshold and if the parties require the Public Trustee’s recommendation. The court ultimately makes the decision to approve or deny the settlement but it often relies on the position of the Public Trustee for guidance.
Call a Child Injury Lawyer Near You Today
If your child sustained an injury in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligent actions or inactions, time is of the essence. The sooner you retain a personal injury lawyer to handle your child’s case, the higher the likelihood your child will recover favourable monetary damages for their injuries.
If you wait too long to seek legal help for your child’s injury case, the statute of limitations may run, or your lawyer may not have sufficient time to prepare your child’s case.
By retaining skilled legal counsel early on in the process, your lawyer can perform a thorough investigation of the accident circumstances, negotiate with the insurance carrier, and prepare your child’s case for trial or binding arbitration. If your case proceeds to trial, your lawyer will help you and your child during each step of the way, advocating for you and working hard to maximize your monetary recovery. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.