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Temecula Child Injury Lawyers

No one wants to think about a child suffering an injury, even if it is just a scrape on the knee. It’s even harder to consider a child suffering from neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, far too many children are victims of the negligent or intentional acts of others. Even in a beautiful place like Temecula, tragedies like child injuries and even abuse can still occur.

Children may suffer injuries in the same accidents as adults, like in a slip and fall accident or a car crash. But because children depend on others for their care and wellbeing, they are also susceptible to unique injuries, including abuse, neglect, bullying, harassment, and unsafe hazards on a property. A child injury lawyer may prove a critical advocate on behalf of a child who has suffered injuries at the hands of another.

The Temecula personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are highly experienced in supporting individuals who have been injured through the negligent or intentional acts of another party. We zealously advocate for our clients and are conscious and aware of the special caution and care necessary when working with children. With a presence in Temecula and the surrounding area, Gomez Trial Attorneys is well-positioned to support children suffering from injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Gomez Trial Attorneys Get Results

Gomez Trial Attorneys has secured $550,000,000 in results for its clients over the last 20 years. John Gomez has received the San Diego Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award 11 times, more than any other lawyer in San Diego history. Our attorneys have been named Top Lawyers in their fields, including child injuries. In 2018, we were the recipient of the #1 intentional tort verdict.

Our skilled lawyers bring their unique talents to each client’s case. These skills can be seen in our strong history ofcase results. While every client we serve is important, we understand the additional emotions and stress involved in cases involving children. We work with our young clients and their families or loved ones to serve as an important relief point for that stress.

Common Types of Child Injuries in Temecula

Children rely on adults to take care of them and to put their best interests first. When adults fail in this responsibility, children are likely to suffer injury. These injuries can be physical or emotional and affect children for the rest of their lives.

Children are as susceptible to personal injuries as adults. For example, 675 children under the age of 12 died in motor vehicle crashes in just one recent year, and last year, there were recalls of 58 children’s products due to the likelihood that they would cause harm.

Common causes of child injury include failure to maintain safe premises, bullying and harassment, and abuse and neglect. We discuss each cause in further detail below.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drivers have a responsibility to pay close attention to their surroundings. They need to watch for children playing by the side of the road—a child could easily chase a ball that rolls into the street and into the path of a car or truck. Drivers must avoid speeding or texting that could prevent them from stopping in time.

Children walking to school or a park and crossing the street, or riding their bikes, could easily find themselves under the wheels or slammed against the bumpers of a negligent motor vehicle when a driver fails to provide room to brake or simply doesn’t notice them.

Premises Liability

Many states place a special responsibility on landowners to keep their properties free of dangerous obstacles on their property that could attract children and cause injury. California does not have a law specific to children, but it does place liability on negligent property owners for harm suffered by trespassers, including children.

In California, a court will analyze whether a property owner used reasonable care to keep his or her property safe from foreseeable risk. The property owner must consider the probability that a child would enter the property due to the risk.

A court will consider:

  • If the property owner knew or should have known that children were likely to enter the property;
  • If the property owner was aware or should have been aware of a hazardous condition on the property;
  • If the property was aware or should have been aware of the risks posed by the hazardous condition;
  • Whether the injured child could understand the risks posed by the condition; and
  • If the property owner could have fixed or reduced the risks associated with the hazard.

Dangerous structures that commonly give rise to child trespasser liability include swimming pools, construction equipment, lakes and ponds, discarded appliances, abandoned automobiles, and unsafe play equipment, such as trampolines, jungle gyms, or skateboard ramps.

Establishing a valid premise liability claim is highly fact-dependent and complicated. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence and analyze the strength of your claim for your child’s recovery.

Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment are daily problems for many children across the United States (and the world). The prevalence of these concerns has only increased with the rise of social media.

Bullying statistics. These statistics highlight the ongoing issue of bullying faced by children and teens:

  • Every seven minutes a child is bullied in the United States, with no intervention in 85 percent of these instances;
  • 33 percent of teenagers have been the victims of cyberbullying;
  • Approximately 160,000 children miss school every day out of fear of attack or intimidation from other students;
  • Children who are biracial, multiracial, obese, gay, or have disabilities are far more likely to feel victimized;
  • American schools are home to an estimated 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims of bullying; and
  • Victims of bullying are more likely to grow up socially anxious and with lower self-esteem.

In California, 78 percent of students in middle school and high school reported being bullied at some point in their lives, and over 50 percent reported being bullied in the last 30 days.

Bullying laws in California. California has robust rules and regulations governing bullying and harassment in schools.

California law defines bullying as any “severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act” that is directed toward one or more pupils and that has the effect of one or more of the following:

  • Placing a pupil or pupils in reasonable fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupil’s person or property;
  • Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health;
  • Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance; and/or
  • Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

The California law includes cyberbullying that occurs off of the school campus if the creation or transmission of the bullying content was created on or off the school site.

Schools are required to take an active role in preventing and punishing bullying. Schools have an obligation to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying. This policy must include reporting and investigation procedures, publication of relevant laws, provision of resources to at-risk students, and protection from retaliation for individuals who report bullying. The state provides school districts with a sample policy for bullying prevention. If your child is bullied or harassed, the school must create an action plan to address the bullying.

While anti-bullying laws and policies create an important framework, they may not be enough to prevent your child from being injured. Pursuing relief for your child’s injuries will require an interpretation of the school’s obligations. The lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys work with each client to evaluate their unique scenario and to create a plan of action for compensation.

Child Abuse and Neglect

In one recent year, California had 400,187 referrals for child abuse and neglect, and more than half were referred for further investigation. In that same year, more than 57,000 children in California were victims of neglect, more than 5,000 were physically abused, and nearly 3,500 were sexually abused. Furthermore, there were 147 heartbreaking child deaths from abuse or neglect reported in California in that same year.

These jarring statistics demonstrate that child abuse and neglect affect too many children in California. The definition of child abuse and neglect is located in the California Penal Code and includes physical injury or death inflicted by non-accidental means upon a child by another person, sexual abuse, neglect, the willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child, and unlawful corporal punishment.

Neglect is further separated into two categories:

  • Severe neglect: The negligent failure of a person having the care or custody of a child to protect the child from severe malnutrition or medically-diagnosed nonorganic failure to thrive. It also includes situations of neglect where any person having the care or custody of a child willfully fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care resulting in injury.
  • General neglect: The negligent failure of a person having the care or custody of a child to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision where no physical injury has occurred.

The extent of the abuse or neglect and the injury to the child will determine whether the responsible party is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony.

Many individuals who regularly come into contact with children are mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect, including medical professionals, firefighters, school employees, film processors, clergy, social workers, daycare workers, police department employees, and employees of public or private youth organizations.

When these employees fail to report the abuse or neglect—or worse, try to cover it up to protect their employer—you might have a civil case against the organization where the abuse or neglect took place. The Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, for example, have long histories of not reporting abuse and even covering it up.

If a child you love has suffered from abuse or neglect, your mind is likely reeling. Securing recovery for the child’s injury requires a complicated analysis of the intersection of criminal and civil law, reporting requirements, and the injury suffered by the child. Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you sort through these difficult but important considerations to ensure a safe and danger-free environment for the child.

Determining Damages for Temecula Child Injuries

Quantifying the damages resulting from injuries is difficult in any personal injury action, but it is especially complicated when children are involved. Given their young age, the physical and emotional impacts can spread throughout the rest of their lives. It may also require an analysis of federal and state laws.

An attorney will be a critical partner in assessing and preparing a comprehensive damages claim, including coordination with necessary financial and medical experts.

Potential damages for child injuries include:

  • Medical expenses: Physical injuries will require expensive medical support and intervention. Common medical expenses include doctors’ bills, hospital stays, the cost of procedures, and ongoing medical support, such as physical therapy or assistive devices, like wheelchairs.
  • Caregiver financial impact: The parent or custodian of an injured child will be responsible for accompanying a child to appointments and tending to them as they recover. The caregiver must often miss work or remain home temporarily or permanently. Loss of this income stream will have a detrimental impact on the family’s income which should be included in a damages claim.
  • Impact on future earning potential: While most victims of child injury have not yet begun a career, their injuries can have a long-term impact on their career prospects. If an injury limits the career options the child has considered, these limitations are important to include in the damage assessment.
  • Property damage: Property damage is an unfortunately common result of bullying, including damage or destruction to electronics or vandalism of physical property, such as a car. Be sure to include the costs of repair or replacement in your damages claim.
  • Emotional distress: Child injuries are often accompanied by emotional distress that can accompany a child through the rest of their lives, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and behavior disorders. The child may deserve adequate compensation for this unfortunate consequence.

While financial compensation cannot relieve a child of the physical and emotional pain associated with an injury, financial relief will allow his or her caregiver to provide the focused attention that the child needs throughout recovery.

Temecula Child Injury FAQ

There are few thoughts more painful than a child suffering due to the negligent or intentional act of another individual. Children sustain injuries far too often, and they depend on the adults and caregivers in their lives to advocate for their safety. An attorney is a valuable resource in the pursuit of recovery for children who are the victims of abuse or neglect.

Read on to understand more about injuries that are common or unique to children and how to seek compensation for the associated costs.

Can children recover compensation for common injuries, like those suffered by adults in Temecula car accidents and slip and fall accidents?

Absolutely. Children are just as eligible to seek compensation for injuries that are caused by the negligent or willful act of another party.

Children are no strangers to these types of injuries. For example, 675 children under the age of 12 died in motor vehicle crashes in one recent year, and two years later, manufacturers recalled 58 children’s products due to the likelihood they would cause harm. At some point in their careers, about 21 percent of pediatricians were defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Take special care when developing a damages claim for a child injury. Children have a long lifespan ahead of them, so hire a lawyer, like those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, who will consider the physical and mental effects of the injury across the entirety of their lifetimes.

Do Temecula property owners owe a special duty of care to children?

Many states require property owners to keep their properties free from hazards that would be particularly attractive to children, such as swimming pools. This theory of liability is called the doctrine of attractive nuisance. California does not have specific attractive nuisance laws. Instead, California holds property owners liable for any negligent action that causes harm to a trespasser.

If your child trespasses on another person’s property and sustains an injury, you will need to establish the negligence of the property owner to secure recovery.

Who is responsible if my child is bullied or harassed at a Temecula school?

The schools in California have a legal responsibility to prevent bullying and respond when bullying occurs.

The California law includes cyberbullying that occurs off of the school campus if the creation or transmission of the bullying content was created on or off the school site.

California schools must be proactive in preventing bullying and reactive by punishing bullying when it occurs. Schools must adopt policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying. The policy will detail the school’s reporting requirements and investigation procedures. Schools are required to publicize relevant laws and provide resources directly specifically to at-risk students, including LGBTQ youth.

The school is required to protect anyone who reports the bullying from retaliation. The state provides school districts with a sample policy for bullying prevention. If your child is being bullied or harassed, the school is obligated to create an action plan to address the bullying. Should it fail to do so, or to enact the plan, the school could face civil liability.

What actions constitute abuse or neglect in Temecula?

The definition of child abuse and neglect is located in the California Penal Code and includes physical injury or death inflicted by other than accidental means upon a child by another person, sexual abuse, neglect, the willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child, and unlawful corporal punishment.

The extent of the abuse or neglect and the injury to the child will determine whether the responsible party is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony.

What injuries or signs should I look for if I suspect a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect in Temecula?

Children are often too ashamed, embarrassed, or scared to report child abuse or neglect, or they may not even realize that the way they are being treated is neglectful. The adults in these children’s lives need to advocate on their behalf, which requires noticing and reporting signs of potential abuse or neglect.

Common signs or symptoms include:

  • Withdrawal from friends;
  • Unwillingness to participate in usual activities;
  • Increased anger, hostility, or hyperactivity;
  • Change in school performance or frequent absences;
  • Reluctance to leave school or school activities;
  • Rebellious or defiant behavior, including attempts to run away;
  • Self-harm;
  • Unexplained injuries, including bruises, fractures or burns;
  • Insufficient or suspicious explanations for injuries;
  • Advanced sexual knowledge or behavior;
  • Inappropriate sexual contact with other children;
  • Statements of sexual abuse;
  • Delay or loss of developmental skills;
  • Poor growth, weight gain, or being overweight;
  • Stealing food or money;
  • Poor hygiene; and
  • Insufficient medical care

The list of signs and symptoms is long and is not exhaustive, as each child responds differently to abuse or neglect. When in doubt, say something. The health and happiness of a child may depend on it. Certain individuals are required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect through California’s mandatory reporter law. Mandatory reporters include medical professionals, firefighters, school employees, film processors, clergy, social workers, daycare workers, police department employees, and employees of public or private youth organizations.

Who is responsible for Temecula child abuse or neglect?

The perpetrator of the abuse and neglect could find him or herself subject to criminal and civil liability. The prosecutor will be responsible for pursuing any criminal charges. You will need to work with an experienced child injury attorney, however, to secure a civil recovery for the injuries suffered by the child.

The most obvious person responsible for a child’s injuries is the perpetrator of the abuse and neglect. If, however, a mandatory reporter failed on his or her reporting obligations and allowed the abuse and neglect to continue, then that individual also bears some responsibility. Moreover, a daycare center, school, religious organization or church, social club or service group (like the Boy Scouts), sports team or league, or medical facility could bear responsibility for the actions of an employee or volunteer that they failed to adequately screen or supervise.

Work with our experienced child injury attorneys to identify the parties at fault and hold them accountable so that other children don’t suffer from the same abuse or neglect.

Gomez Trial Attorneys Is Here to Help With Your Temecula Child Injury Case

Attorney John Gomez

John Gomez, Temecula Injury Accident Lawyer

The lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys have focused experience in supporting child injury victims. The distinguished attorneys of the firm treat our clients with respect and care, and we pride ourselves on providing high-level service, zealous advocacy, and excellent communication.

Our firm is committed to offering affordable representation for all clients.

If a child you loved was injured in Temecula, or the surrounding area, contact the firm today at (619) 237-3490 or through our website to schedule a free consultation.


Gomez Trial Attorneys
27720 Jefferson Avenue
Temecula, CA 92590
(951)-900-3440

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