Was your child injured due to someone’s negligence? You may have a claim, and our Dallas lawyers can help.
Personal injuries involving children are devastating, but they can also present unique legal challenges. If your child suffered an injury requiring medical care, it’s important that you understand your rights as well as the legal options available to your family.
As a parent, one of your main goals in life is to keep your child safe from harm. But even the most vigilant parent cannot prevent all accidents, which is why scrapes, bruises, and broken bones are staples of many childhoods. In some situations, however, a child suffers an injury not solely because of their own impulsiveness or inability to perceive danger—but because an adult, organization, or another responsible party acted negligently.
If your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence (or inadequate supervision), it’s important that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
At Montgomery Law, we help people in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area who’ve been hurt in all types of accidents. This includes representing injured children, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed. We understand the impact that an injury can have on a child’s future development, and our focus is on helping you and your family seek the justice and compensation you truly deserve.
We know that few parents are equipped to handle the financial strain that comes after a serious injury in the family. Medical bills and other expenses can quickly pile up, but it’s important to remember that Montgomery Law never charges our clients anything out of pocket. Consultations are always free, and we work on a strict no-win no-fee basis. Call us today at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free)—or email us now to learn how we can help.
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Common Causes of Injuries to Children
From sports injuries to bicycle crashes to jumping off of playground equipment—as parents, we know that kids can be injured in a number of ways. Approximately 9.2 million American children visit emergency rooms for accidental injuries each and every year, with falls being the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in the United States.
Remember that young children are at higher risk of certain types of accidents, such as suffocation, poisoning, slip and falls, dog bites, and drowning. Unfortunately, kids are also sometimes hurt by the very people who we entrust to care for them (e.g., birth injuries or physical/sexual abuse by a daycare worker).
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 217,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries every year. School bus accidents account for around 17,000 child injuries per year, and nearly 4,500 more are injured in amusement park accidents.
Tragically, more than 12,000 American children under the age of 19 die from accidental injuries each and every year. When it comes specifically to teenagers, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death.
Swimming pools also present a major risk to young children. In Texas, there are several rules and regulations when it comes to swimming pools and premises liability (e.g., adequate fencing). In certain circumstances, irresponsible property owners can absolutely be held civilly liable should a child suffer a serious injury or drowning as a result.
Negligence, Common Sense, and Liability
When it comes to a personal injury case involving a child, negligence often hinges upon several key factors. One of the biggest factors is often the age and maturity of the victim. Children are not held to the same standard as adults are—and for good reason. They have less experience and are not able to perceive danger in the same way that adults can.
The frontal lobe of the brain (the part which helps you avoid risk, plan, make decisions, and exercise impulse control) is not fully developed until around the age of 25. Because of this, it’s generally understood that kids are held to a lower standard of care/conduct than adults when it comes to things like reasonability, foreseeability, and even contributory negligence.
In addition to a higher risk of engaging in risky behavior, children are also more prone to serious injuries. Their bodies are still developing, which means that any type of injury can have significant, lasting effects. For example, a child who suffers a broken elbow might never fully regain 100 percent functionality. While it can be difficult to estimate the financial impact that a disability could have on the rest of a child’s life, it is something that your claim will need to account for.
On that same note, recovering from an injury may mean significant time off of school, putting a child behind their peers both socially and academically. This (as well as any resulting scars, disfigurement, or disability) can also cause long-term social, emotional, and/or mental health issues to a child who is still developing their sense of self-esteem.
The truth is that personal injury claims involving children are almost always complex. Liability is rarely clear and uncontested, damages are often very high, and most families simply don’t know where to turn to for help. At Montgomery Law, our job is to work on your behalf to ensure your child gets the medical treatment they need, as well as the compensation they deserve.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of Your Child
Seeing your child suffering from an injury can cause a range of emotions (e.g., anger, worry, fear and anxiety). While a personal injury claim or lawsuit cannot undo the harm and trauma that your child has experienced, it can allow you and your family to recover the compensation needed to cover all related expenses and help provide for their future.
For children under the age of 18, the recommended course of action would be to have the parent(s) or guardian, with the help of an attorney, file a claim on behalf of the child as well as a claim on behalf of the parent(s). In this situation, the parent (AKA “next friend”) can recover for their own related financial losses as well as for any losses suffered by the child.
For example, a parent may seek damages for any out-of-pocket medical expenses as well as lost wages for time that they took off work to care for their child (including expected future lost income). At the same time, they can also seek compensation on behalf of their child for his/her damages, including compensation for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost quality of life.
In some cases, you may be able to seek what are called punitive damages—compensation awarded solely to punish the wrongdoer or deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are generally limited to cases where the responsible party acted with gross negligence, malicious intent, or wanton disregard for the safety of your child. Your attorney can help you determine if punitive damages are warranted in your case.
One way in which personal injuries involving children differ from those involving adults is the “statute of limitations” (i.e., the legal time period in which you have to file a claim). In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is typically 2 years. However, if the injury occurred before the victim’s 18th birthday, this two-year time limit is technically “tolled” (paused) until they reach the age of 18. This effectively gives a child until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas—but the truth is that it’s almost never a good idea to wait.
Even though your child’s injury claim may be tolled, the parent’s right to recover their related medical expenses is not. Medical costs are usually the bulk of any personal injury claim, which is why it’s often best to pursue both claims simultaneously.
Even if you don’t intend to immediately purse a claim or lawsuit, it’s vital that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Over time, people’s memories will fade and evidence vital to your child’s claim may be lost forever. In addition, the responsible party may no longer be able to pay for your losses if they declare bankruptcy, go out of business, or pass away. Our experienced Dallas child injury lawyers are happy to explain the options available to you and your family by phone or email at no cost.
Montgomery Law is Here to Help
If your child was injured due to the actions or inaction of another person or entity, you’re likely angry—and rightfully so. Depending on the facts of your case, you and your child may technically be owed compensation. The bad news is that not every defendant is financially solvent, and insurance companies are typically ruthless when it comes to any personal injury claim brought by an unrepresented claimant.
At Montgomery Law, we’re here to help families just like yours. Not only will we handle your child’s entire claim on a no-win no-fee basis, but we can also help ensure that they receive top-notch medical care and rehabilitation—regardless of insurance coverage. Our ultimate goal is to help you get the money necessary to take care of your child, provide for their medical treatment, and even set them up for the future.
Our team is available 24 hours a day, free of charge, to discuss how we may be able to help. Montgomery Law takes all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you never pay us a penny unless (and until) you win your case and receive a check. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our child injury attorneys, shoot us a quick email or call us at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).