Has Your Child Been Hurt? Have a Claim?
When a child is injured and someone else is at fault, the child and their family are entitled by our laws to receive compensation to help make them whole again, just as adults. However, the circumstances surrounding a child’s injury can be different than those sustained by adults. In addition to this, filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor child will also have differences from an action filed for injuries incurred by an adult.
Because children or generally more fragile, injuries to children are often even more serious, and can have a huge impact on both the child and their entire family. In the most severe cases, a child and their family may deal with the consequences from a child injury for the rest of their life.
When a minor has been injured, and the parents or other family members suspect someone else was at fault, it is crucial they speak to a Kentucky child injury lawyer immediately. These cases do have significant differences from other types of lawsuits. An attorney can advise on these differences, and all aspects of a case.
Common Types of Injuries to Children
Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in which a child may suffer a painful injury:
Amusement park injuries. Many of the rides and attractions at amusement parks are aimed at children. Lax security could cause children to be injured, defective rides can cause catastrophic injuries or even death, and slip and falls are common child injuries sustained at amusement parks.
Car seat injuries. Car seats are intended to help children remain safe while traveling in a vehicle. Kentucky has several car seat laws to help prevent child injuries. However, the actual car seat, or lack of one, can cause injuries to a child.
Birth injuries. These injuries are sustained during labor and delivery of a newborn. They can result in brain injuries, broken bones, or conditions such as Erb’s Palsy that a child will have to live with for some time.
Daycare injuries. When children are not properly supervised at a daycare, or equipment is faulty or defective, children can easily become injured. They may burn themselves on a hot stove or with hot liquid, or toys they use can be defective or faulty. If you're not sure how your child was injured while at daycare then it may be because they were not being watched at all or closely enough.
School bus injuries. Like other vehicles, school buses can get into accidents and cause serious injuries to the children on board. Many school buses still do not have seatbelts and injuries can be sever in bus accidents.
Swimming pool injuries. Drowning and near-drowning are accidents that happen to children all too often. Common causes of injuries or drowning deaths in pools include improper supervision, improper or insufficient fencing surrounding the pool, absence of or faulty locks around the pool area, absence of or faulty pool/hot tub covers, suction hazards, drain issues, lack of lifeguard, improperly trained lifeguard, chemical imbalances in the water, contaminated water, diving board accidents, overcrowding, water depth, water visibility, and more.
Dog bite injuries and dog attacks. Due to the fact that children are of similar to a height to a dog, dogs will sometimes react differently to them and they can sustain serious injuries to the face, head, and legs including scarring from a dog bite. A large dog can even cause injuries when it plays too rough. All dog owners in Kentucky are liable for any injury their dog causes and this is called "strict liability."
Playground injuries. When playground equipment is defective, it can cause a child to be seriously injured. Improper supervision can also cause a child to become injured on a playground. Common causes of playground injuries include improperly assembled or maintained playground equipment, not enough shock absorbent surface around the playground or the wrong kind of mulch, old or dangerous playground equipment, circumstances in which children have been injured before but nothing has been done to prevent the same from happening in the future, and more.
Defective toys. Toys are meant to bring fun and entertainment to a child. When they are defective, however, they can cause a child to sustain great injury.
Determining Liability After a Child Injury
Children are generally more prone to accidents that are their own fault; they may fall when learning to walk, or trip over an untied shoelace. However, many times when a child has been seriously injured it is because of the fault of an adult who didn't take the necessary precautions to create a safe environment for children.
Daycare workers may fail to properly supervise children, and school bus drivers may not always drive as carefully as they should. Dog owners may not properly restrain their pet in order to keep children safe, or the dog owner's own child may have let the dog out. Toy manufacturers, and manufacturers of children’s equipment such as cribs, may also be at fault for not ensuring their products were safe for children to use.
Determining liability in a child injury case can be difficult. Even when it’s clear who was to blame for the accident, another person or organization may also be partly responsible. While a school bus driver may cause an accident, the company that hired them may also be partly at fault if they did not perform proper background checks or properly train their drivers.
For this reason, it is important that any parent or guardian speaks to a child injury lawyer if their child has been seriously injured.
Statute of Limitations in a Child Injury Case
Kentucky law states that most personal injury lawsuits have a statute of limitations of one year, although it's two years in car accidents. This is the time limit in which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed if it cannot be settled without litigation. When a minor child has been hurt, however, the time limit for them to bring an action is extended. For minors in Kentucky, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of 18.
Attempting to resolve the matter immediately may be appropriate in some cases, but not in others. Because of this difference in child injuries, the helpful advice and guidance of an attorney is usually essential in these matters.
Contact a Kentucky Child Injury Lawyer Who Can Help
While children have the same right as adults to compensation after being injured due to someone else’s negligence, there are some differences in these types of cases. Dealing with insurance companies, determining who is liable for the accident, and deciding on when to file a lawsuit are just a few ways a child injury attorney in Kentucky can help.
If your child has been injured in an accident, and you believe someone else was at fault, contact Morrin Law Office at (859) 358-0300 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation. Child injuries can take a long time to recover from and we want to help your child, and your entire family, get back to living your best life as soon as possible.