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As a military city with a naval air facility, you expect to see many young adults in El Centro. Yet more than a third of El Centro’s 44,000-some residents are younger than 18. These children brighten our city and its neighborhoods. They are, however, sometimes less cautious than adults, both more delicate and more vulnerable to serious injuries, whether on the playground equipment at Farmers Park, taking batting practice at Debbie Pittman Park or Memorial Park, skateboarding at Sidewinder Skate Park, or just playing or riding bikes by our homes.
If your child suffered a serious or fatal injury in El Centro or the Imperial Valley due to the careless or reckless actions of someone else, then you may have the right to receive substantial financial compensation. Contact the committed and compassionate El Centro child injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case consultation.
Gomez Trial Attorneys represents Southern Californians who have suffered injuries because of someone else’s wrongful decisions or actions. We fight to recover financial compensation for our clients to help them pay for medical care and other expenses resulting from an unexpected, severe injury.
Our firm commits its full measure of skill and determination to represent the families of children injured in preventable accidents and incidents. As parents ourselves, we empathize with the overwhelming pain and trauma our clients experience when their child suffers a serious injury. No child should get hurt because of someone’s careless or reckless actions. Our mission is to make sure injured children and their families receive the financial support they need and deserve to recover their health and rebuild their lives.
Seven children were injured in El Centro recently when the vehicle they were riding in veered off Interstate 8 and flipped multiple times. The driver and an adult female passenger were killed in the crash. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were two children’s car seats located in the vehicle but they were not used properly. None of the nine people in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt. The children, ranging in age from one to 12 years old, were transported to regional hospitals with injuries that included deep cuts, abrasions, burns, and broken bones.
Accidental injuries like these are a major source of death and disability in children, with more than 12,000 children younger than 19 in the U.S. dying from unintentional injuries each year. Around 9.2 million emergency department visits each year involve injuries suffered by children.
Children, in fact, face many of the same hazards in their everyday lives as adults do, and also some dangers unique to childhood.
Common causes of unintentional injury in children include:
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have the resources and know-how to help families no matter what type of incident left a child injured.
Injuries to children cost families dearly. Between the cost of medical care and the loss of work for the parent who is home caring for an injured child, the community-wide cost of childhood injuries reaches around $87 billion each year in the U.S., with families of injured children bearing the brunt of that expense.
In its National Action Plan for Child Injuries, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control broke down some of those total costs by injury type, and came up with some staggering totals:
Parents know, of course, that financial strain represents only one of the numerous kinds of trauma a severe child injury can inflict. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we fight to make sure children and families in El Centro receive not just the financial compensation they deserve for their out-of-pocket expenses, but also for the non-financial consequences of a child injury that can affect not just the child victim, but an entire family.
Children injured because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions have legal rights to financial compensation. They can assert those rights themselves when they turn 18, or their parents or legal guardians may assert them while the child is still a minor. In either event, the important thing to know is that preventable childhood injuries deserve financial compensation just the same as preventable injuries to adults.
All people owe basic duties of care not to act in ways that put others at an unreasonable risk of injury. We owe special duties to make sure children stay safe and protected. Anyone who fails in that duty by unreasonably putting a child in harm’s way, resulting in a child injury, can face legal liability to the child and child’s parents under California law.
Parties who commonly face liability for injuries to a child can include:
One of the most important jobs we often have at Gomez Trial Attorneys is investigating a case involving child injury to identify all parties who may have legal liability for a child’s injury. We try to leave no stone unturned, to give our clients the best opportunity possible to recover the compensation they deserve.
The compensation El Centro child injury victims and their families might recover varies widely depending on the circumstances.
As a general matter, however, victims of child injury typically have a legal right to recover compensation to pay for:
Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss the compensation you may have the right to recover after an El Centro-area child injury upends your life.
While not all accidents are preventable, parents can help keep their children safe and avoid potential injury.
Some tips for preventing child injuries include:
We all want to keep our children safe. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to protect them, they will most likely sustain injuries at some point. Indeed, unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, over 12,000 individuals under the age of 19 die from unintentional injuries, and over 9.2 million receive emergency treatment for nonfatal injuries.
California has one of the lowest rates of child injury death, 4.0 to 10.9 per 100,000 children younger than 19. However, one injury is one too many.
When your child sustains an injury, you likely will want answers regarding how the injury occurred, who is responsible, and what the future holds.
For children, as for people of any age, injuries can result from a wide variety of causes. Tragically, some injuries are the result of neglect or intentional abuse, but there are also many common types of unintentional injury. The leading causes of unintentional injury vary by age. Statistics show that motor vehicle accidents cause most child injuries. Falls and being struck by objects are other leading causes of injury, especially for younger children (ages 0 to 9 years old).
Recent studies have also shown that motor vehicle injuries have increased as a result of teenagers being distracted by using electronic devices, like cell phones and headsets.
Generally, however, this is how children find themselves injured in El Centro:
Different dangers arise in different settings, whether it’s in daycare centers, in schools, while riding in motor vehicles, or while participating in recreational activities.
Potential injuries include:
When someone else’s negligence or carelessness has directly contributed to your innocent child’s injury, you should hold the liable party accountable.
Injuries happen in a wide variety of settings and circumstances, including:
Therefore, liable parties might include:
When someone’s negligence causes a child to suffer an injury, the parents (or legal guardian) of the injured child may take legal action against the negligent party to recover compensation for damages. Parents often feel concerned that a lawsuit will cause their child to suffer additional trauma; however, the laws have changed dramatically in recent years to protect child injury victims. A child does not have the legal standing to file a personal injury lawsuit until he or she reaches the age of 18. Intsead, a parent or legal guardian must file the child injury lawsuit on behalf of the child. Negligence is the basis of most child injury claims, which means that the responsible party failed to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in a similar situation.
In California, you must establish the following elements to prove negligence on the part of the defendant:
California child injury lawsuits are different from other types of personal injury lawsuits. For example, when a child is injured, a guardian ad litem may represent the interests of the child. A court appoints a guardian ad litem (GAL) to act on behalf of a child. GALs protect and represent a child’s best interest in a particular case. The Court chooses the GAL, who may also be one of the minor child’s parents. The GAL is not a party to the lawsuit and has no right to recovery. He or she is simply acting on behalf of the child.
Another major difference in child lawsuits is how the funds from a judgment or settlement are handled. There is a good chance that your child injury lawsuit will settle out of court, as over 90 percent of child injury and death cases settle at some time before trial. After the settlement or judgment is reached and costs have been paid, the law requires that the child’s compensation be placed in an annuity or a blocked account until the child is an adult.
After the child turns 18‚ the Court will disburse all funds to the child. The rule is meant to ensure that the money will not be used for any purposes other than the child. Parents need to petition the Court for any periodic, necessary expenditures. The Court will only grant these requests if the expenses relate to the child’s injury.
If your child is injured, you generally have until your child’s 18th birthday to file a lawsuit, and once your child turns 18, he or she has an additional one year to file. The exception to the usual statute of limitations rules occurs in medical malpractice cases and cases against government entities. For example, in cases against government entities, plaintiffs should file their claims within six months; courts may allow a late claim up until one year from the date of the accident.
In cases in which your child has died, you have two years from the date of the death to file, unless the case involves a government entity, in which case you have six months to file. In a medical malpractice case, you have three years from the date of the malpractice or one year from the date that you discovered that your child died as a result of the malpractice, whichever is sooner.
Importantly, there has been a major recent change in the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As of January 1, 2020, survivors of abuse have a three-year window to file civil claims that were barred under the prior law. Previously, in most cases, childhood sexual assault victims could only file a lawsuit against the perpetrators until the age of 26. Under the new law, victims can file civil claims until the age of 40. Survivors over 40 must file their claims within five years of when they made, or should have made, the connection between their abuse and their adult psychological injuries or illnesses.
Parents should consult a child injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid losing the right to file a lawsuit.
In this tragic situation, whether still living together or separated, parents have a right to bring a lawsuit for their loss of comfort, society, and child care. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a child, but in some situations, it helps to know that the wrongdoer was held accountable.
The consequences of a child injury often include enormous financial stress and emotional pain for both children and their families. In California, injured victims are entitled to full compensation for all of their injury-related losses, including all medical expenses and pain and suffering. The child’s parents may recover medical costs and expenses related to the injury while the child is a minor. After the child reaches the age of majority, the right to recover medical costs and expenses related to the injury shifts to the child.
An injured child may also seek to recover for the following:
California is one of only a few states that provide for wrongful life lawsuits, which are legal claims against healthcare professionals or hospitals for the failure to provide information regarding the risk of being born with either a genetic impairment or disability.
The first and most important step is getting prompt medical attention for your child. Even if it seems that the injuries are minor, symptoms of some injuries may take days or longer to appear. Some types of injuries have long term physical or psychological consequences.
After ensuring proper medical care for their children, parents should take the following steps:
A child injury may result in permanent or temporary brain damage, partial or complete paralysis, disfigurement, and disability. An injured child may require a lifetime of medical and emotional care. If your child has sustained an injury due to the actions of someone else, consult an experienced, compassionate El Centro child injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. For further information, or to schedule a free case evaluation, call Gomez Trial Attorneys.
There are few things in life worse for a parent than knowing that their child was injured and is in pain. While parents have an enormous responsibility to keep a child safe, that responsibility is shared by others as well. No child should ever suffer because of someone’s carelessness or recklessness. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we hold individuals, companies, and government agencies accountable when their dangerous decisions and actions lead to a child getting hurt.
If your child suffered an injury in a preventable accident or incident in any El Centro-area setting—at school, on the playground, in a neighbor’s backyard, on a scouting trip, or on the sports field—you may have the legal right to seek substantial compensation to pay for your child’s care and recovery.
Do not wait to seek experienced, compassionate legal representation. Contact the caring, committed El Centro personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation to learn about your and your child’s legal rights to the financial compensation you need and deserve. You can reach us online or by calling (619) 237-3490.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf