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There are few things a parent would not do to spare their child pain and anguish. Our instinct is to protect our children at all costs. However, no parent can have their eyes on their children 24-hours a day and sometimes accidents occur. Unfortunately, in some cases, your child might suffer an injury. Regardless of how much you try to shield your child, they scrape their knees, get into fights with friends, or get hit with a ball. These are often truly innocent accidents and are typically unavoidable.
However, when we learn our child has suffered an injury that could have been avoided, the concern often turns to anger and we may want to demand the person who is responsible is held accountable. While money cannot always repair the physical or emotional damage your child might suffer at someone else’s hands, it can help ensure your child is properly cared for in the aftermath of an accident that harms them.
From the moment our child is born, we have an instinct to check out every wrinkle, finger, and hair. Unfortunately, sometimes a child suffers an injury even before they are born because a doctor or other medical provider failed to properly monitor the signs of potential distress during the birth process.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that approximately three percent of all children born in the United States are born with some kind of birth defect. Some of these defects can be traced back to signs the mother’s medical team overlooked either during pregnancy or during birth.
When you believe your child suffered a defect as the result of a medical mistake you might feel helpless. While we all know many birth defects cannot be prevented, but when they are avoidable the medical team can be held responsible if you contact a Gomez Trial Attorneys for help.
One would think that given the rigorous safety standards that the law mandates for a child’s toys, furnishings, and car seats that these products would be safe for our children. However, every year, more than one-quarter of a million children suffer a serious injury due to a defective toy. These defects can occur in any type of toy including motor scooters, games with small pieces, or toys with projectiles.
Hazards are often known to the manufacturer, but may not be properly disclosed to parents and guardians. When a child suffers an injury because of a toy’s design or manufacturing defect, a child injury attorney can help you seek to recover financially from the losses you suffer including medical bills for the child, the time you lose from work caring for your child, and any long-term treatment your child may need.
Most of us don’t think twice about bringing our child to a local playground or sending them off to play their favorite sport. We make sure they are dressed properly for the weather, we make sure that if they are playing sports they have the right safety gear, and yet every year thousands of children suffer debilitating injuries while playing sports or while on a playground.
Sports injuries can include concussions, broken bones, and sprains. Children can avoid these injuries if the coaches who are working with children take the time to give them proper instruction and make sure they are following the rules. Proper playing surfaces can also play a role in sports safety, and any official who holds an organized sports practice or event on an unsafe area might be responsible for injuries their students suffer.
Playground safety is also important to the health and well-being of our children. On an annual basis, nearly 200,000 children suffer an injury on playgrounds according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These injuries can be the result of poorly maintained equipment that gives way when a child is on it, burns a child suffers because the surfaces were not properly designed to protect them, and from poorly designed surfaces that can result in serious injury if a child falls from a swing or other playground equipment.
No parent should have to worry about whether the equipment their child is using in a playground owned by the municipality or on school grounds is safe enough to keep their child from being seriously injured. The owner of playground equipment owes children using it in the manner it was designed to be used a duty of care to ensure the equipment is safe and properly maintained. Those who are responsible for a child’s injury can and should be held accountable.
Many children love animals, and they do not always understand that other people’s dogs may not be as friendly as their family pet. On an annual basis, more than 300,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for dog bites. Dog bites are most common in children between the ages of five and nine years old. Not only are dog bites painful, but they can leave life-long physical and emotional scars.
Some states have what is known as a “one bite” rule. In effect, this rule means a dog’s owner may not be responsible if their animal bites someone but the owner did not know the dog might be aggressive. However, in California, the law is less forgiving of dog owners. Owners are strictly liable for any injuries a dog causes to a person, whether the owner was aware the dog may bite or not.
The California statute that applies to dog owners states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
While San Bernardino has strict regulations about barriers around both public and private swimming pools, it is worth noting that the leading cause of death of children under the age of four is swimming accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children between one and five are more likely to drown in a pool than people in any other age group. As children get older, they are more likely to suffer a water accident in open water, including ponds and lakes.
When your child sees an open gate and a swimming pool in the background, it may look like an open invitation to swim. Property owners are required to keep their swimming pool inaccessible to prevent accidents.
School busses dot the roads from the time when school starts until it ends. While school busses are one of the safest modes of transportation for children, this does not change the fact that annually four to six children lose their lives in a school bus accident. In some instances, children suffer injuries that parents must deal with following an accident. Parents need to hold abusive bus drivers and monitors accountable when these authority figures harm their children.
Parents often depend on others to assist when they are at work, socializing, or attending school. When a parent entrusts another person with the care of their child, they anticipate that the person is responsible and will be vigilant in how they care for the child. Unfortunately, in some cases, children may be neglected, or they may suffer harm at the hands of a caretaker.
Children are vulnerable, particularly when they are outside the care of their parents. Statistics show that childhood maltreatment causes a staggering burden in terms of economics. Parents should also be aware approximately one in seven children experience some form of neglect or abuse on an annual basis. When we depend on daycare centers, teachers, coaches, or clergy members to protect our children, we want to hold them accountable if negligence or deliberate abuse harms a child.
Just as adult drivers and passengers face risks from poor driving decisions made by others, our children are at risk in our vehicles from drunk drivers, reckless drivers, and distracted drivers. Children are especially vulnerable even when parents take every possible precaution including using proper car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
When you are in a car accident and your child suffers an injury, you have the right to file a child injury claim on your child’s behalf when you file your own car accident injury claim.
Broken bones, skinned knees, scrapes, and bruises—these injuries heal over time, and often leave little physical evidence. However, when a child suffers a dog bite, is injured in a car accident, or is physically or emotionally abused by a caregiver, the injuries the child suffers are often greater than those we can see. The unseen trauma a child suffers is often much longer lasting than the physical signs.
In addition to basic medical care to address physical injuries, children may also need professional counseling to help them with the emotional trauma they suffer as a result of their injuries. Without such counseling, children can develop depression, anxiety disorders, and new destructive behaviors.
Getting your child the help they need to heal emotionally following any type of injury may be necessary for their long-term mental health. This type of treatment can be expensive and last for months or years. The party responsible for your child’s injuries should be held accountable for these costs.
When a minor child suffers an injury because of someone else’s negligence, as a parent you may not know where to turn. A minor child cannot file a lawsuit on their own behalf, which leaves parents to act as their advocate. Under California law, a guardian ad litem is appointed to protect a child’s interests when a personal injury lawsuit is filed on their behalf. However, parents must still have an attorney to represent them and their children in pursuing their claim.
Emotions often run high when a child suffers an injury either at the hand of another or because of someone else’s negligence. No amount of money can compensate your child for what they have suffered, nor is money going to ease your distress over their suffering. However, you want to ensure that you can take care of your child’s medical care and emotional needs, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Hiring an attorney who will serve as an advocate for you and your child is important. You can count on the party responsible for your child’s pain and suffering to hire an attorney who will attempt to justify their actions. You also need someone familiar with the laws regarding liability and negligence so you understand what rights you and your child have during this difficult time.
Parents are often concerned about the costs associated with hiring a lawyer after someone injured their child. This is understandable since many parents have to take time off work to care for their child, which means they are suffering from a loss of income on top of the emotional strain they face caring for their child.
You can consult our San Bernardino child injury attorneys free of charge by requesting a free case review. Should you decide that your best option is to pursue a child injury lawsuit against the responsible party or parties, your attorney will not charge you legal fees unless your attorney can successfully obtain a settlement or court award on your behalf.
If your child was injured, or you suffered the unimaginable loss of a child due to someone else’s negligent behavior, contact a San Bernardino child injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys, or call us at (619) 237-3490 today to determine what you can do to pursue justice.
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