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When Children Are Victims in Personal Injury Cases

What to do if your child is a victim on a personal injury.

A personal injury case is based upon one party being injured by another party’s negligence. These types of cases can range from fairly straightforward, such as when a two car accident results from one driver’s intoxication behind the wheel, to very complex cases, such as when manufacturing defects result in a motor vehicle accident. But even simple cases can become more difficult when children are the injured victims.

If your child has been injured due to another party’s negligence, gaining the legal support you need is critical for your child’s future. You will need a highly qualified attorney with experience in Arizona personal injury cases involving child victims. Because your child cannot fight for him or herself, having the right attorney matters.

Common Injuries of Children in Personal Injury Cases

Children are vulnerable to some types of injuries that adults do not experience or rarely suffer. For example:

  • Infants may be injured during birth from a doctor’s improper use of vacuums or forceps
  • Babies can suffer injuries when a cesarean section is delayed, due to loss of oxygen
  • Pregnant mothers may use products that injure babies in the womb
  • Children may experience traumatic brain injury from falling furniture and equipment not secured into place
  • A child being hit with an object can suffer catastrophic injuries more readily than adults
  • Many children drown each year in swimming pool accidents
  • Young children may swallow pieces of defective toys that can become detached
  • Children are often burned when their clothing is not flame retardant

Children also experience events that adults may experience, but are more heavily injured in these accidents. As examples, a child is bitten by a dog there is the potential for more serious wounds, greater need for emergency medical treatment and results in deeper psychological trauma for kids.

Another example of how children suffer more from injuries include motor vehicle accidents, in which children are more vulnerable to the most serious injuries because their bodies are smaller, still developing and fragile. There are many safety precautions parents or caregivers will take, but because of the nature of car accidents, children are much more vulnerable to injuries.

If your child has been injured in an accident, product or negligence, speak with us today.
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Filing a Claim When a Child Is Injured

Minor children cannot act on their own behalf in legal matters. A parent or legal guardian must file a lawsuit, if one is going to be initiated on a child’s behalf. When funds are recovered in such a lawsuit, the funds may be placed in a trust or protected in other ways for the child to use when they are of legal age.

Medical expenses are often a primary focus for damages in such cases. Loss of future income, emotional distress and pain and suffering are also often sought for child victims of injuries.

There are many websites, such as KidsHealth, that can help provide information and comfort to parents that have injured children.

Claims Made After the Death of a Child

When an accident takes the life of a child, the parent or legal guardian may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. Damages in these types of cases are similar to those in adult cases and will usually consist of medical expenses, loss of future income, funeral costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Claims may also be made due to someone’s negligence. Examples such as birth injury, child drowning in a pool, safety recalls, defective products and so on. Speak with a lawyer if you have any questions concerning these matters.

Proving Negligence in Child Injury Cases

When child injury cases are pursued, most involve the same legal theory of negligence as adult cases. This means that there was a duty owed to the child by the defendant and that defendant breached this duty, thereby causing injury to the child.

The precise duty that is owed in a child injury case is based upon facts of the case. The defendant may have been responsible for acting in a manner that a prudent person would not in the same circumstances.

An example of duty of care for an adult taking responsibility for a child is that of ensuring the child is in his or her safety seat with seatbelts correctly fastened before operating the motor vehicle with the child inside. If an auto accident occurs and the child was not secured in the safety seat, therefore suffering injuries, the duty of care was breached.

In medical malpractice cases, duty of care requires a physician to provide the same care and skill that another physician would exercise under similar circumstances.

Statutes of Limitation for Child Injury Cases

When filing any personal injury claim, Arizona statutes of limitations apply. This means that there is a set deadline for filing the claim, starting from occurrence of the injury or when the injury was realized. These statutes of limitation differ from state-to-state and between types of cases, such as for wrongful death or personal injury claims.

Help for Your Child Injury Claim

If you are a parent or legal guardian of an injured child in Arizona and would like to pursue a personal injury case, you should contact an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer. A qualified lawyer will explain the parents’ rights and viability of a claim for the child’s injuries.

Call the Law Office of Hirsch & Lyon Accident Lawe in Phoenix at (602) 691-7278 for more information about your potential child injury case. The no-obligation consultation is free and can provide the answers you need about filing a claim.


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