Child Injuries

Child Injuries

Child Injuries

Children are naturally curious and energetic, which can lead to accidents and injuries. When a child is injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness or misbehavior, it is critical that their parents obtain legal counsel to safeguard their kids’ rights and receive the compensation they deserve. Child injury cases in New York are unique and need the skills of an experienced child injury lawyer. 

Who’s at Fault? Demystifying Legal Liability in Child-Related Accidents

The legal liability for accidents caused by minors is centered around the same notion of care and carelessness as accidents that are caused by adults. However, on the opposite side, the same standards of care that are expected of an adult cannot be applied to minors.The legal definition of carefulness implies an understanding of risks because most minors (especially young children) do not understand and interpret risks in the same way as adults. For this reason, very young children (or children under the age of 7) are generally not liable for accidental injuries because they are too young to understand what makes something “careless.”Regardless, this does not prevent parents or legal guardians from being held liable for negligence in failing to control a child. Additionally, once a child becomes old enough to be aware of right vs. wrong, the child can also be held responsible for intentional injuries.

The laws and principles that govern a personal injury settlement for a minor/child get muddled because there are so many exceptions. For example, a personal injury case may involve an older child (teenager) injuring a younger child, two younger children being involved in an accident, or an adult hurting a child.These three different examples would all be treated differently in a court of law. Therefore, you should reach out to a professional law firm if you have a child that was injured and the circumstances around the accident are suspect. 

How Does New York Law Define If A Child Is Injured?

A child is defined by New York law as anybody under the age of 18. When it comes to child injury cases, the law considers the children’s specific situations and vulnerabilities. Children may not completely comprehend the implications of their acts or be able to appropriately defend themselves, making it critical to provide them with specific legal protection.When children are injured as a result of the negligence or misbehavior of others, the law acknowledges that they may require special care and assistance.

Why Do I Need a New York Personal Injury Attorney if My Child Is Injured?

If your kid has been hurt as a result of someone else’s carelessness, you must seek the advice of a New York personal injury lawyer who specializes in child injury cases. Navigating the legal complexity of child injury lawsuits necessitates expertise and experience in this field.A child injury attorney knows the specific problems involved, such as obtaining evidence, demonstrating fault, and advocating for the kid’s best interests.A knowledgeable lawyer will defend your child’s rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for reasonable recompense on your behalf. They will walk you through the legal procedure, making sure you satisfy all dates and criteria.You may focus on your child’s recuperation while knowing that your case is in experienced hands if you choose a New York personal injury attorney.A knowledgeable lawyer will defend your child’s rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for reasonable recompense on your behalf.They will walk you through the legal procedure, making sure you satisfy all dates and criteria. You may focus on your child’s recuperation while knowing that your case is in experienced hands if you choose a New York personal injury attorney.

What to Do Following an Accident Causing Injury to a Child?

Following a child injury event, it is critical to take particular procedures to safeguard their well-being and your legal rights. Here are some steps to think about:

  1. Seek medical assistance right away: The health and well-being of your child must come first. Ensure that they receive proper medical attention for their injuries. Prompt medical assistance not only aids your child’s rehabilitation, but it also establishes a record of the injuries, which might be important evidence in your case.
  2. Take images or videos of the accident scene, including any potential hazards or situations that may have contributed to the injury, if feasible. This evidence can be useful in determining culpability.
  3. Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Their remarks might help your case and bolster your compensation claim.
  4. Notify the relevant authorities or property owner if the accident occurred in a public area or on someone else’s property. This ensures that the occurrence is documented and aids in the creation of a chronology.
  5. Keep any tangible evidence linked to the accident, such as faulty items or damaged equipment, safe. These elements might be helpful in establishing responsibility.
  6. Consult a child injury lawyer: Speak with a New York personal injury lawyer who has handled kid harm cases. They will provide you legal advice, assess the merits of your case, and assist you in navigating the judicial system.

How Long Do I Have to File a Child Injury Lawsuit in New York?

The statute of limitations in child injury claims does not commence until the kid reaches the age of 18. As a result, a child has until the age of 21 to initiate a personal injury case. This longer time frame reflects that youngsters may lack legal competence or understanding of their rights until they reach maturity. However, it is critical not to put off getting legal counsel since gathering evidence and establishing a compelling case is simpler when the occurrence is fresh in everyone’s mind.

personal injury claim for children’s injuries requires an adult to file the claim on their behalf. This adult must either be the child’s parent or legal guardian. Time limits on filing child injuries claims are much different than those of adults.For a personal injury claim involving a child, the statute of limitations does not end until the child’s 21st birthday. This is true for injury claims against people and against regular corporations. For medical negligence cases against children, the time limit to bring a claim expires 10 years after the date of injury or 2 ½ years after the child’s 18th birthday—whichever is sooner. For cases against towns, cities, villages, counties, or other city/municipal agencies, the time to bring a case for a child is 1 year and 90 days after their 18th birthday.(NOTE: Even though a child has a long time to bring a case against a municipality, they still are required to file a Notice of Claim against the municipality or agency. This must be done within 90 days of the accident or incident.)

A medical malpractice claim against a municipal hospital for a child must be made within 90 days. Then, the child has 10 years after the injury to bring a lawsuit. If a child is injured by the New York State or one of its departments/divisions, the claim must be submitted within 90 days. Claims against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey must be brought within 10 months after the injury with a lawsuit filed within one year (a claim can be instituted anytime within the 10 months, but you must wait until at least 60 days after the claim is made to start the lawsuit).

Can I Gain Access to My Child’s Settlement Money?

This is an important question, and one that is not always straightforward to answer. Whether a parent may access the settlement money of a child depends on the type of settlement and if the funds are held in trust.The general rule is that settlement funds reserved for the injuries of a minor are for the exclusive benefit of the child. This general rule makes sense because the child is the victim of the injuries, and it also prevents some parents from taking advantage of the situation.However, parents are sometimes entitled to a portion of settlement funds. For example, a parent is the one who may have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on medical costs. He or she may also miss time from work caring for an injured child. Therefore, a court may allow the adult guardian to access some of the funds in order to recover damages for medical bills and other applicable expenses.Regardless, before you decide to touch the funds in a settlement reserved for a child, you should contact an attorney. It is essential to make sure that you are legally allowed to have access to the money for reimbursement purposes. If not, you may be violating the terms of the agreement.

Settlement money for a child injury lawsuit may be paid in a lump sum, structured payments, or different periodic structures. The settlement agreement will set forth the specific rules regarding the distribution of the funds and how it must be used. In a personal injury settlement for a minor/child, you need to make sure that, as an adult, you can legally access the funds or a portion of the money.

What are the Most Common Child Injury Cases?

Child injuries can occur in a variety of circumstances, and numerous types of accidents frequently result in kid injuries. The following are some of the most prevalent child injury cases in New York:

Playground Accidents

Playgrounds should be safe places for children to play, but faulty equipment, poor maintenance, or insufficient supervision can all contribute to accidents and injuries. Broken bones, head traumas, wounds, and bruises are all common playground injuries.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Children can sustain serious injuries in car accidents, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, shattered bones, and internal organ damage. Negligent driving, failure to properly strap children in car seats or seat belts, and hazardous road conditions are all major causes of these incidents.

School Accidents

Children spend a lot of time in school, and sadly, accidents sometimes happen on school grounds. Slip and fall incidents, sports-related injuries and inadequate supervision can all result in injuries that need medical care and legal action.

Daycare or Nursery Negligence

Parents anticipate a secure and caring atmosphere when they leave their children to daycare facilities or nurseries. However, accidents and injuries to children in these settings can occur due to negligence, insufficient staffing, a lack of monitoring, and a failure to maintain necessary safety standards.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pools pose major dangers to children, especially when proper safety precautions are not in place. Due to irresponsible pool care or minimal lifeguard supervision, drowning, near-drowning occurrences, slip and fall accidents, and injuries caused by faulty pool equipment can occur.

Defective Products

Toys, cribs, car seats, and high chairs that are defective can cause significant injury to children. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may face liability for injuries caused by faulty products, inadequate warnings, or insufficient safety requirements.

Dog Bites or Animal Attacks

Because of their small stature and limited capacity to protect themselves, children are especially vulnerable to dog bites or animal assaults. Owners of violent or improperly controlled animals may be held liable for their dogs’ injuries.

Sports Injuries

Participating in sports activities entails inherent hazards, but significant injuries can occur when coaches, schools, or sports facilities fail to provide enough supervision, correct training, or suitable safety equipment. Children’s sports injuries can include head injuries, fractures, and sprains.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence may cause harm to children through misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, drug errors, or birth complications. Medical personnel and healthcare institutions can be held liable for their mistakes, which might have long-term effects on the kid.

Accidents at Home

Because children spend so much time at home, it is a typical location for accidents and injuries. Falls, burns, poisonings, and other accidents can occur as a consequence of unsafe circumstances, a lack of supervision, or defective domestic items, resulting in injuries that need medical treatment and legal action.

Who Can Be Liable for Child Injuries in New York City?

In New York City, several parties may be held accountable for child injuries. It is critical to identify the guilty parties in order to determine who should be held liable for the child’s injuries. Among those who might be held accountable are:

  • Property Owners/Occupiers: Individuals or entities who own or occupy premises where the child was injured, such as homeowners, business owners, or landlords.
  • Manufacturers and Distributors: If a faulty product caused the child’s harm, the product’s maker or distributor may be held accountable for damages.
  • Schools and childcare centers: It is the responsibility of educational institutions and childcare facilities to ensure a safe environment for children. Negligence or poor supervision might result in responsibility for child injuries.
  • Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other medical workers may be held liable for injuries caused by medical negligence or misconduct.
  • Animal Owners: If a kid is hurt as a result of a dog bite or an animal assault, the animal’s owner may be held accountable for failing to prevent the incident.
  • Motor Vehicle Operators: Negligent drivers who cause accidents that result in kid injuries can be held liable.

A detailed analysis of the facts underlying the child’s injuries is required to determine culpability. To prove culpability and develop a solid case, a qualified child injury lawyer will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with specialists.

Types of Liability for Child Injuries in New York

Depending on the circumstances, child injury lawsuits may entail several sorts of responsibility. Understanding various types of liability is critical in choosing how to pursue a compensation claim. In New York, the following are frequent categories of liability in child injury cases:

  • Negligence: Negligence occurs when a person or entity fails to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person. In child injury cases, negligence can involve actions or omissions that create dangerous conditions or fail to prevent foreseeable harm. 
  • Premises Liability: The legal obligation of property owners or occupiers to guarantee that their premises are safe for visitors is referred to as premises liability. When a kid is hurt on someone else’s property, the property owner or occupier may be held accountable if they failed to keep the area safe or warn of known risks.
  • Product Liability: Product liability is the process of making manufacturers, distributors, or retailers liable for harm caused by faulty products.
  • Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare personnel or institutions stray from the agreed standard of care, causing a patient to be injured or harmed, in this case, particularly a child. 
  • School or Daycare Liability: Schools and childcare facilities are responsible for providing a safe atmosphere and adequate supervision for children. If a child is hurt while in the care of a school or childcare facility owing to carelessness or improper monitoring, the institution may be held accountable.
  • Animal Owner Liability: Animal owners, such as dog owners, may be held accountable for damage caused by their pets.
  • Car accident liability: When a kid is harmed in a car accident, the motorist who caused the accident may be held accountable for their injuries. This includes careless, dangerous, or illegal drivers, as well as persons or entities who irresponsibly entrusted a vehicle to an unsuitable driver.

What is My New York City Child Injuries Case Worth?

In New York City, determining the total worth or value of a child injury lawsuit is a complicated procedure that takes into consideration several criteria. The worth of a child injury lawsuit is determined by:

  • The magnitude and nature of the child’s injuries: Serious injuries that need intensive medical treatment, long-term care, or result in lifelong disability are usually compensated more. Compensation can be used to pay the costs of medical care, such as hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, drugs, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Future medical care: If the child’s injuries necessitate ongoing medical care or rehabilitation, the compensation should cover these costs in the future.

Children may endure physical and mental agony as a result of their injuries. Compensation for the child’s pain and suffering, as well as any long-term emotional or psychological repercussions, may be paid. Compensation may be awarded to address future limits if the child’s injuries develop in a handicap or impairment that impacts their quality of life. Remuneration can be granted to account for the prospective loss of earning capacity in circumstances where the child’s injuries will influence their ability to work or make a living in the future.

  • Impact on the child’s education: If the child’s injuries prevent them from pursuing an education or necessitate special educational assistance, compensation may be awarded to address these consequences.

To determine the worth of a child injuries case, it is essential to consult with a child injury lawyer who can evaluate the specific details of the case and consider all relevant factors. An experienced attorney will assess the child’s injuries, gather necessary documentation, consult with medical experts, and calculate the appropriate compensation to seek on behalf of the child.

How is Liability Determined in Child Injury Cases?

Liability in child injury cases requires a thorough evaluation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. Liability is proved by demonstrating that the responsible party owed the child a duty of care, broke that obligation, and caused the kid’s injuries directly.

A child injury lawyer will gather evidence, interview witnesses, analyze accident reports, consult with specialists as needed, and develop a compelling case to demonstrate the negligent and liable party for the kid’s injuries.

What Compensation Can I Recover for Child Injuries in New York City?

  • Medical expenses: Compensation can cover the costs of past, present, and future medical treatment, such as hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, drugs, rehabilitation, therapy, assistive equipment, and any continuous medical care that is required.
  • Pain and suffering: As a result of their injuries, children may feel physical pain, emotional misery, and mental agony. Compensation for the child’s pain and suffering, including physical discomfort and mental distress, can be reimbursed.
  • Loss of pleasure of life: If the child’s injuries have impaired their capacity to participate in previously enjoyed activities, compensation may be awarded to compensate for the loss of enjoyment of life.

Compensation may be provided if the child’s injuries have resulted in a permanent handicap or impairment that impairs their daily activities, mobility, or quality of life.

  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation: Reimbursement may cover the expenses of rehabilitation treatments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other therapies required to assist the kid in recovering and regaining functioning abilities.
  • Education and tutoring: If the child’s injuries have caused them to miss school, compensation may be awarded to cover the costs of special education programs, tutoring, or educational accommodations.
  • Future earning capacity: Remuneration could be given to account for the possible loss of future wages in circumstances where the child’s injuries may impact their ability to work or make a living in the future.
  • Parental loss of consortium: If the child’s injuries have harmed the parent-child connection, the parents may be compensated for their loss of consortium or parental support.
  • Wrongful death: In terrible circumstances where a child’s injuries result in death, surviving family members may be qualified to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income, and emotional pain and suffering.

Are there any exceptions to the statute of limitations for child injury cases?

As previously stated, the statute of limitations for adult personal injury lawsuits is normally three years from the date of the event. When it comes to child injury lawsuits, however, the statute of limitations is extended.In New York, the statute of limitations for child harm lawsuits does not commence until the kid reaches the age of 18. This implies the youngster has until the age of 21 to initiate a personal injury case. The purpose for this extension is to give the youngster more time to mature and gain the ability to grasp their legal rights and pursue a claim.

Why Hire a Child Injury Lawyer in New York?

When it comes to child injury cases, having a skilled and experienced advocate who can understand legal complications and fight for the kid’s rights is critical. Hiring a New York child injury lawyer gives you the best opportunity of obtaining appropriate compensation and ensure that your kid’s future needs are fulfilled.At Greenberg & Stein, we understand how painful it can be for a parent to see their child suffer the consequences of an accident. Nonetheless, if the injuries sustained by the child were caused due to someone else’s negligence, you must ensure that your child is properly rewarded. If your child has recently been the victim of an accident, do not hesitate in contacting us.

Our legal team has experts in child injury claims and we are ready to help you get the compensation your child deserves. Call us at 888-716-4088 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.

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