How a California Child Injury Attorney Can Help
When a child is injured or killed in an accident, not only is a precious life needlessly lost or damaged, but friends and family are devastated as well. Loved ones, weighed down with sorrow, are left wondering: How could this have happened? Who is going to answer for this terrible tragedy?
While circumstances may vary, the law generally does not hold child injury victims responsible for actions that contributed to his or her injuries.
If your child has been in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical and funeral bills, wages lost while assisting in your child’s recovery, pain and suffering, and more. Consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about your rights and best legal options.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we can provide you with a team of highly qualified professionals to tackle your child’s case. Our legal team is comprised of attorneys and staff that have plenty of experience handling issues specific to child injuries. We can help you recover all of the damages associated with your child’s injury, including lingering psychological scarring and trauma. To discuss your case with a knowledgeable lawyer in a free consultation, call us today at (888) 989-0039.
What Are the Facts and Statistics on Child Injury?
Childhood is a period of discovery and development. As children play and find out things about the world and themselves, injuries arise – it’s a natural part of life. However, there is a difference between a bump or scrape on the playground and more serious injuries. There are state and federal laws which include safety guidelines that are supposed to protect children from the latter, but unfortunately, they are frequently ignored – and innocent children end up paying the price, sometimes with their lives.
According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- More than 12,000 people between 0 to 19 years of age die from unintentional injuries every year, and more than 9.2 million are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries.
- Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for children.
- For infants, suffocation is the leading cause of death.
- Drowning is the leading cause of death for toddlers.
- Falls account most of the nonfatal injuries sustained by children.
The common scenarios for child injuries include animal attacks, dangerous toy accidents, falling, choking, poisoning, swimming pool accidents, sports injuries, and playground injuries.
Negligence and Liability: Child Injury Attorney
Any entity that knowingly accepts the responsibility for your child then has a “duty of care” to both you and the child to ensure his or her safety while the child is in their care. This may be a babysitter, other children’s parents, the daycare center, or the school. If the caretaker’s breach of that duty leads to your child’s injury, you may pursue compensation for whatever damages that result.
However, you must be able to prove that the caretaker’s negligence led to your child’s injury by establishing the following factors:
- The liable party had a duty of care to ensure your child’s safety.
- A breach of that duty directly caused your child’s injury.
- Even if your child’s actions contributed to his or her injuries, he or she was too young at the time of the incident to reasonably be held liable for his or her conduct.
The law applies different standards to different age groups when determining whether a minor is liable. To learn more about how your child’s age may factor into his or her case, consult with a trusted attorney.
California Child Injury Lawyer: Backovers
According to kidsnadcars.org, approximately 50 children are getting backed over in car crashes each week in the U.S. In order to avert gruesome statistics such as this, creating awareness is absolutely essential.
Backover car accidents happen when a car backing out of a parking space or a driveway accidentally runs over a child since the driver had no sight of him/her. In most cases, the child is usually very young and is just quietly playing. They are usually too engaged in their games to even be aware of any changes in their surroundings.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rollaway cars and parking lot accidents, together with other non-traffic related auto accidents, make up approximately 1,500 deaths and 90,000 injuries every year in the U.S. Despite the fact that the driver’s driving speed is usually very low, severe and potentially fatal injuries could still be caused by backover accidents which happen when a driver is pulling out a parking space. Some of the most common injuries caused by backover car accidents include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Crushing injuries, featuring damage to the internal organs
- Broken bones and multiple fractures
In residential settings, particularly, part of what makes this type of car accident even more tragic is that the victim is frequently someone the driver knows. Children playing in the driveways could easily go unnoticed by a driver rushing to get to school or work. Additionally, blind spots could mistakenly lead the driver to believe that the path behind them is all clear.
The NHTSA put together a list of actions that we all need to embrace in order to avoid these unthinkable accidents:
- Teach children not to play in or around cars; they should play as far away as possible from cars.
- Teach children to move away from a car if the driver gets in and starts it.
- Teach children to keep their bicycles and toys out of the driveway.
- Always check around and even beneath your car before finally hitting the road.
- Have children stand on the sidewalk or side of the driveway, so that you can see them as you reverse your car.
- Always look behind you as you reverse in case a child unexpectedly runs behind your car.
- Check your mirrors as you reverse as children have unpredictable movements.
- Always bear in mind that the tinier a child is, the more likely you will not be able to see them.
- Large cars have larger blind spots, so be extra careful with your SUV or truck.
Luckily, backover accidents are preventable. We all just ought to be very mindful of the above steps any time we back up our vehicles.
Are Child Car Seats Really Safer? Ask our Child Injury Attorney
It can protect your child in a car accident
Parents make use of child car seats because they trust that they will keep their most valuable “cargo” safe from any kind of harm. We put our trust and the lives of our kids into the hands of child car seat manufacturers every time we use them. When these manufacturers fail to produce safe and 100% reliable products, it is our children and families that are left to bear the consequences.
Child car seats are meant to prevent injuries. When an accident occurs, and the child car seat doesn’t do its work, resulting in a child getting injured or even dying, the cause is often its bad design, defective construction, or a production error. If your child sustains any injuries as a result of a faulty car seat, you might have a claim against the seat manufacturer. You should immediately contact an experienced car accident attorneyin the immediate aftermath to discuss your legal options.
Children outgrow child car seats faster than you think
Babies should ride in a car seat that has a detachable carrier. Out of all car seats, this is the only kind that offers proper support for an infant. The majority of these seats have a weight limit of around 30 to 35 pounds, which leads some parents to believe that it is actually safe to continue using this kind of car seat until the baby reaches this weight (around two years).
Testing from Consumer Reports has, however, disclosed that height is a lot more important than weight when it comes to establishing whether a child has outgrown his or her car seat. In tests involving a 22-pound dummy (the average 1-year old), Consumer Reports discovered that 16 out of the 30 child car seats tested did not offer protection against head injuries. This is because the dummy was sufficiently tall to slide up the child car seat upon impact and then strike its head against the rear of one of the two front seats. When the same dummy was put in a convertible back-facing car seat, the head injury risks almost disappeared; out of the 25 dummies tested, head injuries were witnessed in only one dummy. Based on these results, the experts at Consumer Reports are advising parents to switch to convertible car seats once their children turn one.
What if my child gets injured in a car accident?
In case your child sustains injuries in a car accident when riding in a child car seat, you might be entitled to compensation for the injuries he or she suffered, as long as you did not in any way contribute to the injuries. If the faulty car seat directly contributed to the injuries of your child, the seat’s manufacturer is liable for your child’s injuries. If you are not responsible for the car accident, but you failed to install the car seat properly, this could you make you somewhat liable for your child’s injuries.
You should bear in mind that child car seats which have been recalled, are expired, or have been involved in an accident in the past should not be used. If you choose to use such a child car seat and your child gets injured when riding in it, this could adversely affect your claim. The person at fault for the accident might argue that your child would not have sustained any injuries had you used the car seat properly.
Let Our California Child Injury Lawyer Help Now
At Wilshire Law Firm, it always saddens us to see innocent children and their families suffer because of someone else’s mistake. If you have a child injury claim, please let us help you get the justice you deserve and the compensation you need for your child’s recovery. Our dedicated legal staff members are on standby, ready to answer any of your questions.