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Over 25 percent of Riverside’s population is under the age of 18. With its substantial child population, it’s not surprising that Riverside families’ top concern is likely the well-being of their children. Watching the children we love suffer injuries and pain is a heart-wrenching experience.
Children are prone to accidents—a fact that parents and guardians throughout Riverside must accept. However, when our children sustain injuries and endure pain because of another person’s carelessness, it may prove especially challenging to accept knowing that such injuries were preventable. Accidental or intentional harm to children has a similarly painful impact on child injury victims and their families.
Severe child injuries come with costly medical treatment and lost wages for you and/or your partner when missing work to stay with your child in the hospital, or to care for your child at home. Even children who have positive long-term prognoses sometimes still need weeks or months to recover from serious injuries. Fortunately, California law provides an avenue for families to seek compensation for damages when children suffer injuries.
A child injury lawsuit will not take away the pain or undo any of the damage. Financial compensation can, however, help ensure that you have the funding you need to provide the best care and treatment for your child, and help partially or fully eliminate the economic burden that your family might be experiencing as a result of your child’s injury.
If you live in Riverside or the surrounding area, contact the compassionate Riverside child injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free case evaluation to discuss your child’s injury, and the way it has affected your family’s life.
Our award-winning team of child injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys understands the tragedy, pain, and anguish related to child injuries. We have over two decades of experience helping Riverside parents and guardians seek justice after their children have suffered serious injuries from accidents, events, and intentional harm. Our firm’s resounding commitment to advocating for families of injured children has led to tens of millions of dollars in compensation for clients from settlements and jury awards.
Recent case results involving child injuries include a $5 million settlement after a child suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, a $1.25 million jury verdict after a child fell victim to sexual abuse in school, and a $1 million settlement for child injuries as a result of daycare negligence. These past examples cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your child injury claim. Gomez Trial Attorneys, however, can aggressively pursue justice by building the best case possible against the defense, giving you the highest likelihood of recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your child’s injury.
Children are more vulnerable than adults because of their small frames. Additionally, some children fall victim to intentional harm from others. We can help you and your child with any type of child injury caused by another party, but most child injuries typically fall under one of the following categories:
Adults who ride in motor vehicles rely on safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags, for protection when a crash occurs. Children, however, do not have the same luxury. These features often lead to injuries, and even young children who ride in booster seats or car seats still face the risk of injury during a severe accident.
Children’s small frames and low weights make them especially vulnerable to common auto accident injuries, such as concussions and whiplash. The human brain does not completely develop until early adulthood, so even a seemingly mild concussion can cause lifelong struggles for a child. This is especially true of toddlers and babies who cannot yet speak. It can take parents months to notice an injury, because the only symptoms of a brain injury might be missing one or more developmental milestones.
A California court might find another driver financially liable for your child’s injuries if that party caused the traffic accident that led to the injuries.
Riverside County has one of the worst rates for child bicyclists suffering injury and fatality. Over 50 children under the age of 15 sustain injuries or die each year, according to California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Southern California’s sunny and warm climate makes cycling a fun activity for kids of all ages, who also reap the health benefits of remaining active, but even with all of the positives of riding a bicycle, it does carry risk, especially for young children.
Motorists have an elevated duty to drive with caution when children are riding bikes on the road. However, negligent and distracted drivers may not notice children bicycling and accidentally collide with them, forcing the bicycle accident victim to face severe injuries and complications for life (if fortunate enough to survive the accident).
Childbirth is an exciting time for new parents who cannot wait to take their newborns home from the hospital to care for them and start making unforgettable memories. Birth injuries can rapidly disintegrate the joy of childbirth. Birth injuries can occur naturally without cause, but many happen because of medical negligence or malpractice.
Doctors and other medical professionals have a responsibility to evaluate and diagnose any complications with a pregnancy. If these professionals fail to recognize a problem or misdiagnose a condition, newborns risk a birth injury that can lead to health struggles for life. Labor and delivery may also prove a dangerous time for a fetus if doctors improperly use birthing tools or do not adequately monitor it during delivery.
There is no shortage of public and private swimming pools in Riverside and throughout Southern California. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 140 children age 14 and under drown in swimming pools between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. This tragic statistic does not include children who almost drowned or drowning accidents that occurred during the rest of the year.
Swimming is another activity that provides children with opportunities for exercise, outdoor time, and simply having fun in the water. However, swimming pools can be death traps for young children. In fact, more than 60 percent of children under age four who have a drowning incident do not survive. Private and public pool owners have a legal duty to maintain a safe pool area. Negligent owners who do not properly maintain their pools, such as failing to erect proper barriers, put children at risk for accidents and injuries.
Toddlers and young children love to play at the park, especially in Riverside’s pleasant climate. Public and private parks at schools and throughout Riverside provide these opportunities, but owners have a legal obligation to keep parks safe for children. This also includes the proper maintenance of swings, slides, jungle gyms, and other playground equipment. Failure to fix or replace old equipment can lead to severe, sometimes deadly injuries for children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 children age 13 and under receive medical treatment for injuries from playground accidents each year. Among those who receive treatment, about 10 percent sustain dangerous traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The CPSC estimates that children across the nation sustain over 200,000 injuries each year because of defective or dangerous toys. About 75 percent of those injuries happen to children age 14 and under. According to the CPSC, non-motorized scooters cause the most toy-related injuries. Kids play hard and often hurt themselves with toys, so not all toy injuries warrant legal action.
However, if your child suffered toy-related injuries from a defective toy, or the manufacturer didn’t warn of the dangers of a particular product, you need to consult with a child injury lawyer immediately. The toy company might be held strictly liable for damages related to your child’s injury if its product was defective, or if the company did not warn the public about related hazards.
Poorly trained or aggressive dogs can attack innocent passersby, but young children are especially vulnerable to dog bites. Kids do not always realize the risk of approaching a strange dog, and their shorter frames put them at increased risk of dog bites. Dog bite injuries are not only sometimes fatal, but when a dog bites a child’s face or arm, it can leave permanent scars.
A national study of fatal dog bite injuries found that California consistently ranked second in the number of dog bite attacks over a 13-year time frame. Children under age nine suffered approximately 50 percent of dog bite attacks, and babies under age two suffered approximately 25 percent of dog attacks. Negligent pet owners who keep dangerous animals and do not properly restrain their dogs while walking put children at risk for painful and emotionally traumatic dog bite injuries.
Middle school and high school kids who play school-sponsored or extracurricular sports during or after school are at risk for a sports injury. The CDC reports more than 2.5 million children visit emergency departments across the nation each year from sports-related injuries. Full-contact sports, such as football, hockey, martial arts, and boxing, are the largest culprits. Repeated contact often leads to concussions.
The long-term impacts of concussions can devastate child victims. Once a child suffers one concussion, he or she is prone to suffering repeated concussions. Many schools require parents to assume the risk if they allow their children to play sports. You may think you have no recourse for your child’s sports injury if you’ve signed a waiver, but that is not always the case. Consult a child injury attorney who can evaluate your claim and advise you on the best course of action.
Even in two-parent households, one parent staying home to care for young children is often a luxury. Today’s economic reality is that most households rely on income from both parents working, which means that families need to rely on daycare facilities to care for their children while working. Most daycare providers, whether at home or in a facility, are exceptional people who love kids and provide the best care possible for little ones. However, children suffer accidents, and some daycare providers abuse and neglect children.
Finding out your daycare provider has harmed your child will certainly anger you and inspire you to take legal action. If your child suffers injuries from abuse or neglect at a daycare facility, you can report the facility to the police for criminal charges, and you can also bring a lawsuit against the individual or facility. Many situations fall under the umbrella of daycare neglect and abuse, including physical abuse, dehydration, malnutrition, sexual abuse, confinement, and lack of supervision.
Children walking, riding their bikes, or riding in a vehicle face risks from careless and reckless drivers. The impact of a car accident, pedestrian accident, or bicycle accident can cause severe physical injuries, emotional trauma, and life-long disabilities.
Parents of Riverside children injured in traffic accidents often struggle to manage the combination of anger, fear, and devastation they feel. They also frequently have a wide range of questions about their child’s and their own legal rights.
Below we answer some common questions our firm gets from parents of children injured in traffic accidents. For answers to your specific questions about your legal and financial rights after a negligent or reckless driver injures your child, contact a skilled Riverside child injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys today.
Chances are good that you can. Speak with an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney today to learn more.
First, parents of Riverside minors who suffer injuries in traffic accidents generally have the right under California law to take legal action on their children’s behalf. The law does not require them to do so, but oftentimes it serves the child’s best interests to take legal action soon after the injury, instead of waiting until the child turns 18 (when the law permits the child to take legal action independently).
As for the lawsuit itself, the general rule in California is that a child (or, in your case, a minor victim’s parent) has a right to take legal action for damages against any party whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions caused harm to the victim. So, assuming the driver caused the accident that harmed your child, then chances are good that you have a legal claim to make on your child’s behalf.
Keep in mind, too, that the driver in the accident may not be the only party who has potential legal liability for your child’s injuries and losses. The decisions or actions of multiple parties may have contributed to the accident, or may have a legal obligation to answer for the driver’s actions.
These are just a few examples. The point is, your rights to take legal action may extend beyond suing the driver in the accident that injured your child. An experienced Riverside child injury lawyer can identify all parties who may owe you damages.
The exact statute of limitations for your child’s injury depends on the situation which led to the injury. Under California law, most accident cases have a two-year statute of limitations with the biggest exception being medical malpractice cases, which have a one-year statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit.
In the vast majority of child injury cases, the law tolls, or pauses, the statute of limitations clock until a child turns 18. This is typically the case with car accident injuries, but other tolling rules apply for medical malpractice and some unique claims. The tolling of the statute of limitations provides young adults the opportunity to take legal action on their own if their parents did not file a lawsuit on their behalf while they were underage.
However, as we mentioned above, it is often in the child’s best interests for a parent to take legal action on the child’s behalf as soon as possible after an injury. As time passes, evidence can go missing and memories can fade, making it difficult to pursue a successful claim for damages. Additionally, the child and parents may need financial support immediately to help pay for medical care and other expenses related to the child’s injury.
If you choose to bring a lawsuit on your child’s behalf in connection with injuries your child suffered in a traffic accident, then your child could receive compensation for a wide range of damages.
The types and amounts of compensation a Riverside child injury victim might recover through legal action vary depending upon the individual circumstances of each case.
However, in general, you may have the right to seek payment for:
No reputable lawyer can guarantee that you and your child will obtain compensation for all, or even any, of these categories of damages, nor the amount you might receive. However, you can give yourself the best chance of recovering maximum payment by selecting an attorney who has years of experience and a track record of success in representing victims of child injuries.
Probably not, but there are no guarantees.
The overwhelming majority of child injury lawsuits settle out of court before trial or any other courtroom proceedings where a child victim might need to play a role. However, some do not, and so there is always a chance a child might need to participate in a court hearing.
Rest assured, however, that California courts and lawyers make every effort to minimize the stress and trauma for a child participating in a court proceeding. No one wants a child to suffer additional emotional harm. Courts often allow children injured in accidents, for example, to testify via video or in another setting that feels safe and secure for the child.
An experienced Riverside child injury lawyer fights to make sure that a child victim stays protected and safe in the course of any legal action.
In California, parents can file a wrongful death claim for damages after the loss of a child. California courts generally award economic and non-economic damages to parents for the wrongful death of a minor child.
Economic damages may include:
Non-economic damages may include the loss of:
An experienced Riverside child injury attorney can advise parents who have lost a child in a tragic accident about their rights.
This FAQ focuses on child injuries in traffic accidents, but of course, children can sustain preventable injuries in a wide variety of scenarios.
A skilled Riverside child injury lawyer can represent the injured child, and parents acting on the child’s behalf, in virtually any case in which a child suffers harm because of someone else’s wrongful decisions or actions, including:
No, at least not without consulting with our child injury attorneys. We can advise you about your and your child’s rights.
Insurance companies stay in business by protecting their bottom line, which often means making quick, lowball cash settlement offers to child injury victims. These offers fall far short of the amount of money the victims deserve—and need to pay their bills. Insurance companies make them in hopes the prospect of fast, no-hassle money will prove too tempting to pass up.
However, settlement money comes with strings attached. In exchange for payment, the victim must give up legal rights to sue the at-fault party. That means no do-overs, even if you later discover that you had a right to receive far more money than you agreed to take.
Instead of taking the offer, leave negotiations with insurance companies to an experienced Riverside child injury attorney whose sole mission is to protect your and your child’s interests and to get you the maximum amount of money possible.
It depends on the specifics of the case. Child injury claims can take anywhere from weeks, to months, to years to resolve. Experienced lawyers can sometimes give a rough estimate of how long a case will take after they hear the facts, but even they get surprised from time-to-time by the timeline a case takes.
The factors that contribute to how long it takes to resolve a Riverside child injury claim can include:
Most of these factors lie beyond any one person’s ability to control. However, you do control one critical aspect of the timeline of your child’s case, and that is: when you speak with an experienced Riverside child injury lawyer for the first time. The sooner you take that important step, the sooner the rest of the process can start.
Yes, you can. Our Riverside child injury lawyers offer free consultations with parents of child victims, and will make the time to meet wherever and whenever is most convenient for the parents. Our child injury lawyers in Riverside will also represent injured children on a contingency fee basis in which we do legal work in exchange for a percentage of the money we succeed in recovering. We do not charge money upfront or as we go. Instead, we only get paid if our clients get paid.
If your child suffered injuries in a Riverside traffic accident, or any other incident caused by someone else’s dangerous decisions or actions, then you and your child may recover significant financial compensation. Contact an experienced Riverside child injury attorney today for a free consultation to learn more.
Watching your child suffer after a preventable injury is an emotionally draining and painful experience for parents. Child injury cases are emotionally charged situations because of the anger, rage, and despair that often accompanies child injuries. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we understand your feelings and are here to help you seek justice against those who harmed your child. Our experienced legal team can investigate the circumstances of your child’s injury, gather relevant evidence for your claim, and build a strong case against the defense, while you focus on helping your child through this difficult time.
If you reach a settlement agreement or the court rules in your favor, you can receive compensation for damages, such as medical treatment costs, lost wages, and the pain and suffering your child has experienced. Don’t delay; reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your child’s injuries and opportunities for compensation.
Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online today or at (619) 237-3490 for a free case review to discuss your child’s injury and the best way to move forward for you and your family. We are ready to help your family seek justice.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
11840 Pierce Street
Ste 200 Riverside, CA 92505
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf