Spokane Child Injury Attorneys
Every child has the right to a safe and healthy childhood. Children should be able to grow up in environments where adults act responsibly. Unfortunately, young children are more susceptible accidents and injuries because of their lack of knowledge and experience. It is too easy for a defenseless child to fall victim to negligence, recklessness, or the malice of others. This is an experience that every parent dreads and finds heart-wrenching to experience when it occurs.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), more than 12,000 children from infancy to the age of 19 lose their lives in injuries annually. Another 9.2 million incur nonfatal injuries that require medical treatment. At Sweetser Law Office, we find these statistics reprehensible and understand the fear and trauma that can surround child injuries for parents, the child, and the rest of the family. Because of this, we are passionate about representing parents when their child has been unnecessarily injured due to the wrongdoing of others. Our legal team considers this practice area to be vitally important as we work to obtain compensation for families and to establish ways to prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Most Frequent Child Injuries:
- Birth Injuries – including deprivation of oxygen from asphyxia
- Car Accidents – including being struck on a bicycle or while crossing the street
- Defective Children’s Products – including choking hazards and infant suffocation
- Dog Bites
- Fall Injuries – including playground accidents, pool drownings, trampoline equipment, and stairs
- Improper Supervision, Neglect, or Abuse – including daycares, schools, and caretaking facilities
- Molestation and Sexual Abuse – including schools, daycares, churches, counselors, and caretakers
- Wrongful Death of a Child
Giving Children a Voice
No parent ever wants to be a position where they must consider a suit to protect their child. But no one can undo the damage – we can only secure the compensation a child deserves to make the best possible recovery. As a parent, you can setup a free initial case review and file a lawsuit on behalf of your child. That’s what Sweetser Law Office is here for. We start investigating the accident right away. We’ll get to the bottom of who caused the harm to your child and figure out what insurance coverage could apply to your child’s case. You don’t have to worry about digging up evidence or even organizing paperwork – we’ll do it all.
We’ll make sure your child has access to the right medical care, even if you’re not able to afford the expense right now, because nothing is more important than your child getting better.
Child Injury Laws Every Parent Should Know
Children are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Washington state law recognizes certain duties that protect children from injury. These state laws benefit, but can potentially complicate, legal proceedings. For example, a child less than six years old cannot be blamed for their own injury. Another important legal principle that applies in many school accidents is that of “in loco parentis," a latin term meaning “in the place of the parent.” This principle holds that when parents entrust a care facility, day care center or school, we expect our child to be cared for as if one of their own.
Washington State law also recognizes that a child, by nature, is less fearful than an adult, and that children do not always appreciate the risks associated with activities. The “attractive nuisance doctrine” requires a landowner to alert children about dangerous conditions on their property which children might be attracted to.
Other Information About Child Injury Claims
Damages available in a child injury claim are basically similar to those for adults including medical expenses for treatment, any estimated treatment needed in the future, and pain and suffering. Parents who may have to leave work to care for an injured child may also be eligible for loss of wages. Similarly, if a child is seriously or catastrophically injured in such a way as to prevent the child from being able to work as an adult, a claim may be made for future lost wages/income. In some cases, it may take years for a permanent disability to be fully manifest and be recognized. This can include cases where a child has been traumatized by the accident and/or injuries and cannot fully express such emotional or mental trauma until he or she becomes more mature.
Compensation recovered for a child may be placed in a trust fund to be accessed by the child upon turning 18. Additionally, in child injury claims and lawsuits, the statute of limitations for filing such claims is commonly extended beyond the three-year rule. However, in most cases, it is recommended to begin making your claim as soon as possible so that an investigation can be conducted and evidence gathered and preserved that will be needed to support it.
Can I file a claim against a public school for my child’s injuries?
Yes. However, these are among the most complex claims related to such injuries. In regard to public schools, you are basically filing a claim against a government entity that has a certain amount of immunity. This means following exact procedures, such as filing your claim within six months of the accident. All procedures and deadlines must be strictly met or your claim may fail. These types of claims generally include accidents involving buses, playground equipment, pools, sports injuries, slips and falls, and forms of abuse/negligence/bullying from staff or students.
What about claims against a daycare facility?
Claims against daycare facilities differ from those against public schools. These facilities have a responsibility to provide reasonably safe environments for children. That means they can be held liable like any property owner when they fail to adequately maintain the premises. These facilities are responsible for repairing playground equipment, toys, and other objects within the environment, maintaining proper lighting, clean and dry flooring, and other aspects of the property in a safe condition. It also involves keeping children safe from abusive behavior by staff or other children. Where these types of lapses occur, daycares can be held liable for damages through proper claims and lawsuits.
What should a parent do if their child is injured?
The first consideration is to ensure your child gets the medical attention they need. Following this, you should document the specifics of the accident and your child’s injuries. For instance, let’s say your child was knocked down by a loose dog in the street where her school is located. The dog is known to belong to a person living on the same street. The accident has traumatized your child and led to the loss of her two front teeth. Your first priority is to get her to a dentist and/or doctor. You also need to have photographs taken of your child’s face/mouth, get witness statements from anyone who saw the event, and locate the owner of the dog. After you get as much as information as possible, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in child injury cases, who can review and evaluate your case, and take action to pursue the damages that you rightfully deserve.