Children may be seriously injured in a number of different ways in San Diego. When they are injured, their families may be devastated. Some children’s lives may be negatively impacted by injury accidents for the rest of their lives. In cases in which the injuries happened because of the negligence of others, the parents may be able to seek compensation for their losses with the help of an experienced San Diego child injury attorney.
Most common causes of child injuries in San Diego
Children may be injured in a number of different ways. According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common causes of child injuries include the following:
• Suffocation from choking
While some of these incidents may result from unfortunate accidents, others may be caused by the negligence of drivers, inattentive babysitters or caregivers and property owners. When accidents are caused by negligence, the claims might be compensable.
How often do child injuries happen?
Accidents in which children are injured or killed happen with much greater frequency than many people might realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.2 million children between the ages zero and 19 are injured and visit the emergency departments each year in accidents. Another 12,000 children suffer fatal injuries in unintentional accidents. It is important for people to take steps to prevent child injury accidents so that they might be protected.
How liability is established when children are injured
Liability in a child injury accident may be established in several ways, depending on the underlying circumstances of what happened. In the case of a motor vehicle accident in which a child passenger is injured, the parents may file a lawsuit on behalf of their child against the negligent driver who caused the accident. Drivers owe duties of care to exercise reasonable care and caution when they are operating their vehicles. In order to prove that a driver was negligent, the plaintiffs must be able to prove the legal elements of negligence. They must first show that the driver owed the child a duty of care and that the driver breached the duty that was owed. The plaintiffs must then show that the driver’s breach directly or proximately caused the injury accident and that the child suffered harm as a result.
In cases in which children are injured while they are on the property of others, the property owners may hold liability in certain situations. For example, if a child falls down an unprotected staircase at a daycare center, the daycare’s owner may be liable for failing to correct the hazard and to keep the child safe.
Some child injury and fatality accidents in San Diego involve drowning incidents. People who have pools in their backyard are supposed to keep them enclosed with fences and locking gates that make it less likely that children will be able to trespass to swim. Children also must not be left unsupervised while they are in the pool. If pool owners fail to keep fences and gates around their pools or fail to supervise children who are visiting, they may be liable to pay damages in subsequent lawsuits.
Recovering compensation after children are injured
Families may face devastating financial losses when their children are seriously injured. Some children may require a lifetime of care and permanently reduced qualities of life. By filing personal injury lawsuits against those who are responsible for the accidents in which the children were injured, the parents may be able to recover compensation in an amount that fairly compensates them and their child for all of the losses. Some of the types of damages that might be available may include the following:
• Past and future expected medical costs
• Future reductions in earnings capacity
• Reductions in the quality of life
• Past and future pain and suffering
• Disfigurement damages
• The importance of getting help from an experienced San Diego injury lawyer
It is important for families to talk with an experienced child injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident happens. In California, there is a two-year statute of limitations in most injury cases. For minor children, however, the statute of limitations is tolled until they reach age 18. However, if people wait for long periods of time before filing lawsuits, important evidence might be lost as time passes. By retaining an experienced San Diego child injury attorney quickly, parents might be able to help to preserve their children’s rights and to recover compensation for the losses that have been suffered.