While injuries to any family member is devastating, when a child is seriously injured or killed, it is particularly tragic. One simple act of negligence on the part of another person can change the course of the child’s life as well as that of his or her family. Obviously, nothing can alter the pain and suffering felt following an injury to a child or the death of a child, however under the laws of California, victims of negligence or wrongdoing can receive the financial resources which can allow them to move forward with their lives. There are many different types of accidents which can befall a child, however some of the more common accidents responsible for a child’s injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents—although deaths of children younger than the age of 13 from motor vehicle collisions have declined since 1975, one out of every 4 unintentional injury deaths for children younger than 13, are the result of a car crash. Further facts regarding children and motor vehicle accidents:
- The reduction in auto accident deaths among children since 1975 is almost certainly due to the use of car seats. Unfortunately, there are still many children who ride in vehicles unrestrained
- More than 240,000 children under the age of 16 are injured in car crashes each year, and
- The use of booster seats among children between the ages of 4 and 8 can reduce the risk of serious injury as much as 45 percent;
- Bicycle accidents
- Child bicyclist deaths have declined 91 percent since 1975, likely due to the increased use of bicycle helmets, and
- About 257,000 children are injured from a bicycle accident each year.
- School bus accidents
- In 2006, about 17,000 children were injured in a school-bus accident;
- Nearly half of all injuries to children on school buses were the result of a collision with another vehicle;
- About a fourth of all school bus accidents occur when children are boarding or leaving the bus, and
- Other ways children are injured on school buses are from slip-and-falls on the bus.
- Pedestrian accidents
- Child pedestrian deaths have declined by 90 percent since 1975, and
- Despite the decline, there were 167 pedestrian accidents resulting in death among children in 2014;
- Playground accidents
- More than 200,000 children younger than age 14 are injured annually on playgrounds, and
- About 45 percent of playground injuries are severe, including concussions, dislocations, amputations, internal injuries and fractures.
- Injuries from dangerous toys
- Once every three minutes, a child is treated in the ER for a toy-related injury;
- Younger children are more likely to choke on small parts;
- Older children are more likely to be hurt on a riding toy, and
- Injuries from toys are often the result of substandard manufacturing practices, and inadequate premarket testing.
- Birth injuries
- Six to eight infants out of every 1,000 suffer a birth injury;
- Erb’s Palsy, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy are among the top ten injuries suffered by infants at birth, and
- Birth injuries are the highest for mothers who have birthing-tool assisted deliveries.
- Sports injuries
- More than 3.5 million children fourteen and younger are hurt annually while playing a sport;
- Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children, and
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice.
- Dog bites
- About one thousand people are treated in U.S. Emergency rooms every single day for non-fatal, dog-bite-related injuries;
- Children are the victims of about 42 percent of these injuries;
- About 46 percent of dog bites to children involve family pets, and
- The head and the neck of the child is involved in about 67 percent of all dog bite injuries.
Who is Responsible for Your Child’s Injuries?
If your child has been injured, it is important to determine who caused the accident, and whether negligence was involved. Whether a negligent caregiver was responsible for the accident, another driver or a defective product, the victim and his or her family deserve compensation for the injuries. A child who is permanently injured is entitled to have medical expenses covered for the remainder of his or her life, and may also be entitled to loss of future earning potential, pain and suffering, and emotional distress stemming from the accident and injuries.
Child injury cases can be complex, as it can be especially difficult to determine damages and losses for a young person’s permanent injury. Having a knowledgeable injury attorney by your side throughout the process can lift a huge burden from your shoulders, giving you the necessary time to help your child deal with his or her injuries.