Having a child accidentally injured is every parent’s worst nightmare. If your child has been injured or killed in an accident you need to understand your legal options.
Child Injury Definition
Every injury to a child should be investigated. Who investigates, of course, depends on what type of accident it was. By definition, a child injury is caused when the child performs an unsafe act and is physically injured, either by the activity or a physical object.
A classic example of a child injury is when a child is injured on a playground either because of defective equipment or lack of adult supervision. Unsupervised children can also be injured in household situations, such as electrical shock or kitchen burns.
Injury to a child can also happen when that child improperly uses an object or uses an object not designed for use by a child. For instance, the high risk of a child being injured by an airbag is the reason children under 12 should not sit in the front seat of an automobile.
Whenever a child injury occurs, a child accident and injury report should be filed with local authorities. This report helps establish what happened for purposes of insurance compensation or a child injury lawsuit.
Child Injury Statistics and Child Injury Actions
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the following situations can result in an injury to a child:
Sports and Recreation – Every year, emergency rooms treat more than 2.6 million children for recreation and sports-related accidents and injuries. In such cases, parents, coaches, teachers, and supervisors are responsible for making sure children wear the proper protective gear, have been sufficiently taught the activity, and (in the case of contact sports like football) are not mismatched with bigger children. Adult supervisors are also responsible for making sure children have appropriate rest and refreshment to prevent heat-related injuries.
Car accidents – The leading cause of child death in the United States is car accidents. Tragically, more than two-thirds of fatal auto accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers. Other fatal child injuries in car crashes are caused by faulty child car seats. Having a size-appropriate car seat or booster seat significantly reduces the risk of child injury in a car accident.
Drowning – Every day in the United States, three children drown. For children between the ages of 1 and 4, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death. Unsupervised children playing in or near swimming pools, decorative ponds, and other water-related locations can have tragic results. Property owners are responsible for securing these dangerous areas from unauthorized and unsupervised use by children.
Falls – As the leading cause of non-fatal child injury, falls can occur on playgrounds and in homes. These falls can include from stairs and windows. Children at playgrounds can suffer serious injuries, such as fractures, concussions, dislocations, internal injuries, and even amputations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about three in four non-fatal child injuries happen on playgrounds.
Suffocation and Choking – Newborn infants until they are two years old are the most at risk of suffocating while sleeping. On the other hand, toddlers (children between two and five years of age) are more at risk of choking on small objects.
Poisoning – Every day in the United States, more than 300 children are treated in emergency rooms for poison, and according to the CDC, two die from poisoning every day. Taking precautions to child-proof your home can reduce the risk of a child injury caused by common household chemicals.
Burns – Younger children are more likely to suffer scalding burns from hot liquids such as stove-top pots and hot bath water. In contrast, older children are commonly burned by direct contact with open flames or fire.
If your child has been injured in an accident –
It’s difficult for a parent to maintain perspective when their child is injured or killed. If something has happened, it wouldn’t hurt to talk with a personal injury attorney and learn what your legal options might be. A call to the experienced personal injury and accident lawyers at the Advocates Law will cost you nothing, you will get valuable advice and information from our expert attorneys. Call us now at 206-452-4200.