When a child suffers an injury due to the negligent conduct of an adult, the child’s parents often feel anger and frustration. Most of us feel an obligation to protect children, and it can be infuriating if someone’s failure to provide reasonable care causes severe or permanent injury to a child.
If another party’s careless or reckless actions caused harm to your minor child, consult a Bridgeport child injury attorney immediately. A dedicated personal injury lawyer at Bert McDowell Injury Law can advise you on the best strategy for seeking damages in your case.
Types of Accidents That Can Lead to Child Injury Claims
Any accident that could lead an adult to file a personal injury lawsuit could form the basis of a child injury claim. Automobile crashes, medical errors, fires, falls in public places, elevator accidents, and almost any other type of accident could lead to a lawsuit seeking damages for a child’s injuries.
However, because children are especially vulnerable, people who work with them and manufacturers who produce items specifically designed for children must take care to minimize the risk of injury. For example, although landowners usually owe no duty of care to trespassers, people who own property containing an attractive nuisance—such as a playset or swimming pool—must take steps to bar trespassing children from access. Parents could have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit if their child suffers an injury due to a:
- Playground accident
- Sports injury
- Defective product
- Accident at school or camp
- Dog bite or other animal attack
Though, not every accident that injures a child is the result of someone else’s negligence. Children are prone to injuries because their motor skills are developing, and their impulse control and appreciation of risk are often poor. A Bridgeport lawyer with experience in child injury cases, like Bert McDowell, can review the circumstances that caused a child’s harm to determine whether there is evidence of negligence that could lead to a civil claim.
Time Limits for Action
Every state limits the time available to an injured person to file a lawsuit seeking financial recovery. Usually, the state law contains a provision allowing someone who suffered injuries when they were underage to file a lawsuit after they reach 18.
When an injury to a child involves a school bus or happens at school, a municipal pool, a public beach, or other public property, the state or a local government might be implicated. In such cases, the parent must file a notice of claim within the appropriate allotted time. Proactive Bridgeport child accident attorney Bert McDowell can help file the notice in time to preserve the child’s rights.
Children’s Jury Awards or Settlements
When parents prove that another party’s negligence caused harm to their child, they could collect compensation in the form of monetary damages. Typically, the parents must present expert testimony to establish the injury’s possible impact on the child’s future health, educational, and employment opportunities.
Recoverable Damages in Child Injury Cases
Parents suing on behalf of their children could claim the child’s medical expenses and costs of caring for them due to their injury. Damages also could include the cost of injury-related medical care and necessary supports in the future. If the injury will limit the child’s employment opportunities, the negligent party could be liable for the child’s diminished earning capacity.
In addition, parents could pursue non-economic damages for their child. A negligent party could be liable for the child’s pain, emotional suffering, disability, lost opportunities, and lost quality of life.
Handling Awards and Settlements
When a negligent party settles a personal injury claim that parents brought on behalf of their child, or if a jury awards damages, some special rules apply. For example, the Probate Court must approve any settlement of $10,000 and up. The court must agree that the settlement is in the child’s best interest.
Any settlement or jury award belongs to the child, so the Probate Court must oversee the funds until the child reaches 18 years of age. However, the court will sometimes disburse funds from the account to the parents if necessary to meet the child’s medical or educational needs.
Seek Justice with the Help of a Bridgeport Child Injury Lawyer
If your child suffered an injury due to another party’s carelessness or recklessness, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. Delay could mean your child never receives the compensation they deserve.
A Bridgeport child injury attorney can help identify negligent parties and pursue damages on your child’s behalf. If you are ready to seek justice for your child’s losses, then Bring on Bert!