The safety and well-being of our children are of paramount importance to parents and guardians. Despite our best efforts, accidents can happen. Ensuring that our children are protected from potential injuries and that any parties responsible for such accidents are held accountable is necessary for caring for our young ones.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we understand these situations’ gravity and are here to help. Our talented team of attorneys has successfully represented clients in various child injury cases, including those resulting from daycare negligence, defective products, motor vehicle accidents, playground injuries, and more.
Common Child Injuries Resulting From Adult Negligence
Physical injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe fractures and traumatic brain injuries. While not always visible, emotional and psychological injuries can have long-lasting effects on a child’s well-being. Bullying, verbal abuse, and witnessing traumatic events can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the most common injuries that occur outside of the home to children include:
Auto accidents are a leading cause of injury and death for minors. Negligent drivers who fail to pay attention to the road can cause severe injuries to children inside and outside the vehicle. If the negligence of a driver was the cause of an auto accident involving a minor, the adult can be held liable for the injuries and damages.
Falls Resulting in Significant Injury
Poorly maintained playgrounds and recreational areas can lead to severe injuries due to falls. Ensure your child plays in safe environments with proper safety measures, such as cushioned surfaces and well-maintained equipment. This means inspecting the equipment at parks, playgrounds, and daycare facilities to ensure everything is properly maintained.
Inadequate supervision can result in children falling from heights, such as balconies or stairs. Be vigilant when your child is in areas with potential fall hazards and ensure responsible adults are present to supervise.
Drowning in Unsecured Swimming Pools
Unsecured swimming pools pose a significant drowning risk, especially for young children. Ensure that pools are fenced and locked when not in use, and educate your child about water safety. If an adult fails to secure a pool and a minor is injured, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages.
Additionally, negligent lifeguards may fail to respond quickly to a child in distress. When visiting public pools or beaches, keep an eye on your child and ensure lifeguards are attentive and responsive.
Accidental Poisonings Due to Improper Storage of Hazardous Materials
Improper storage of chemicals, medications, and other hazardous materials can lead to accidental poisonings. Store these items out of the reach of children and use childproof locks to prevent access.
Negligent adults might not educate children about the dangers of ingesting harmful substances. Teach your child about the risks associated with certain products and substances, and encourage them to ask questions if they are unsure about an item’s safety.
Choking on Age-Inappropriate Toys and Small Objects
Choking is a serious hazard for young children and can lead to death if not treated promptly. Avoid giving children toys and objects that are too small or age-inappropriate, as they can pose a choking risk. If an adult or daycare facility fails to recognize dangerous toys and objects and a child is injured, the adult may be held liable.
Additionally, foods such as whole grapes or hot dogs can pose a choking risk if not prepared correctly. Cut food into small, manageable pieces and supervise your child while eating.
Some pet owners believe their dog is harmless and do not take the necessary precautions to prevent bites. Dog bites can cause severe injuries, and the dog’s owner may be liable for any damages. Educate your child on how to interact safely with dogs, and only allow them to be around dogs that are known to be friendly and well-behaved.
Burns From Unattended Hot Surfaces and Scalding Liquids
Negligent adults may leave hot surfaces unattended, posing a burn risk to children. Always supervise children around hot surfaces and appliances, and keep them out of reach when not in use.
Hot liquids, such as water from a faucet or beverages, can cause severe burns if spilled on a child. Adjust your water heater’s temperature to prevent scalding and use caution when handling hot liquids around children.
Proving Liability for a Child’s Injuries: The Four Elements of Negligence
When you entrust your child’s care to another person or institution, it is reasonable to expect them to provide a level of care and protection similar to what you would provide. Unfortunately, injuries can still occur due to the negligence of others. To hold the responsible party accountable, it is essential to prove the four elements of negligence in a court of law.
The first step in proving negligence is establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to your child. This duty of care can vary depending on the relationship between the defendant and the injured child. For example, a teacher-student or coach-player relationship would have a specific duty of care that the responsible party must uphold.
Once a duty of care is established, it must be proven that the defendant breached this duty by failing to act with reasonable care. Breaches can take various forms, such as inadequate supervision, failure to maintain safe equipment, or providing improper training. It is essential to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof were below the standard of care expected in their role or relationship with your child.
Next, it must be demonstrated that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused your child’s injury. This involves proving that, had the defendant acted with reasonable care, the injury would not have occurred. Establishing causation can be challenging, as it requires showing a direct link between the defendant’s negligence and the resulting harm to your child.
Finally, you must show that your child suffered damages as a result of the injury. Damages can take many forms, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even future costs associated with ongoing care or treatment. To seek compensation and hold the negligent party accountable, it is crucial to document and quantify these damages accurately.
Seeking Legal Assistance: The Importance of Consulting a Child Injury Lawyer
Cases involving injury to children are especially delicate, and it is important to seek legal counsel from a lawyer experienced in this type of case. A child injury lawyer can offer valuable advice and guidance on the legal rights and options available to the parents and the child. Additionally, a lawyer can help you:
Gather Evidence to Prove Liability
Documenting the circumstances surrounding the injury is crucial to building a strong case. This can include medical records, photographs of the injury and the accident site, and witness statements.
In some cases, expert witnesses may be necessary to help establish negligence and causation. These experts can provide valuable insight into industry standards, medical issues, or the mechanics of an accident.
Navigate the Legal Process
Proving liability for a child’s injuries can be complex and time-consuming. A skilled lawyer can help guide you through the legal system, ensuring that your rights and your child’s well-being are protected.
A lawyer can help you secure the compensation your child deserves for their injuries, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. By fully understanding the extent of your child’s damages, a lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
Defend Your Child’s Interests After an Injury by Reaching Out to Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. Today
When your child has been injured due to the negligence of another, you want justice. To get the justice you deserve, it is important to first understand your rights and the legal process.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we understand the importance of defending your child’s interests and are here to help. Our talented team of attorneys has successfully represented clients in various child injury cases, and we are committed to helping you seek the justice and compensation your family deserves. Contact us at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our contact form today for a free consultation.