Philadelphia Child Injury Lawyer
A severe injury to a child can have a devastating affect on the entire family. Not only does the child suffer, but there is an emotional and financial toll on the parents as well. If your child has been victimized by the negligence of another, our Philadelphia child injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Associates can help.
Most children are resilient and can bounce back quickly from minor injuries, but certain fractures or head trauma can have a lasting impact. Many accidents to children occur do to lack of supervision. Obviously, a young child does not always appreciate the dangers of their surroundings, and therefore expose themselves unintentionally to risk of injury.
This is recognized under Pennsylvania law and a child under 7 years of age cannot be found negligent for their conduct. Older children can be negligent, but due to their age and maturity they are not held to the same standard as an adult. While the child has a right to bring their claim until they turn 20, the parents only have 2 years to file a lawsuit for their own claim.
Unintentional or accidental incidents comprise nearly 90% of yearly injuries to children. Accidents claim the lives of nearly 10,000 children per year. Wrongful death resulting from accidents are the leading cause of death in people age 1 to 19. Accidents are the fifth leading cause of death for children under one year of age.
Philadelphia Child Injury Legal Resources
- Why Choose Us?
- What are Common Types of Child Injuries?
- What is Unique About a Child Injury?
- What Is The Statute of Limitations to File a Claim for an Injury Involving a Child in Pennsylvania?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered in Child Injury Case?
- Contact Us
Why Choose Us?
The Philadelphia child injury attorneys at Rosenbaum & Associates have helped injured victims and their families since 1992. Our law firm specializes in personal injury services, and our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Simply put, our firm only collects money when our clients do. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
What are Common Types of Child Injuries?
- Playgrounds are among the most fun, and the most dangerous, places children can visit. Many parents in Philadelphia send their child to the playground without supervision, increasing the likelihood that they will be injured while playing. Swings, slides, monkey bars, and merry-go-rounds are dangerous without adequate adult supervision.
- Necklaces or toys, such as whistles, that are worn around the neck pose a health risk on the playground. Slides often have bolts that can catch a necklace or rope and cause burn injuries to children. Worst-case scenario includes cuts, choking, or even death.
- Road-related accidents are to blame for the majority of injuries to children and deaths of children age 10 to 19. Children on bicycles are at risk of being struck by moving vehicles and may be seriously injured whether or not they wear protective gear. Protective gear such as a helmet protects the child’s head from injury.
- Swimming is a very popular activity for children ages 10 to 19. Drowning accidents claim the lives of several children in this age range each year. Lifeguards and protective water gear help minimize the risk, but accidental injuries to children cannot be prevented 100% of the time.
- Burns are a serious risk to children of all ages. Children are curious by nature, and don’t recognize dangerous situations for what they are. A saucepan simmering on the stove stirs that curiosity and a young child may reach for the handle and get seriously burned. Burn injuries to children may be caused by a variety of things that they simply don’t realize are dangerous.
- Falls from toys, furniture, windows, and play equipment are the most common types of fall injuries to children. They find climbing to be a very fun sport, full of adventure and challenge. Unfortunately what goes up must come down, and if they aren’t prepared with a way down, they often fall.
- Toddlers often use unstable toys to climb on to look out tall windows or doors. Many toys used for this purpose have wheels, which make them very unsteady to use as makeshift ladders. Toys are also often stacked precariously in order for the child to climb for a different view of the world.
- Unintentional poisoning from cleaners and medicine cabinets is also high on the list of things that cause injuries to children. Most medicines and cleaners come with childproof lids, but accidents still happen every year. Parents are urged to lock away cleaners or put them out of reach, and keep the poison control hotline phone number handy in case of accidents. The poison control center receives hundreds of calls per day. These calls range from requests for safe storage procedures to help resolving a possible poison case. Most of the calls are resolved over the phone, but others are directed toward their local emergency room for poison care.
What is Unique About a Child Injury?
Thousands of children are injured each year in preventable accidents. Since children’s bodies are smaller compared to an adults’ bodies, they are more likely to be severely injured when involved in the same kind of accident.
When the injury is severe to the point that it leaves a child with cognitive, physical, or emotional disabilities, the impact on the family as a whole can be life-changing. For example, studies have shown that traumatic brain injuries in children, including concussions, are associated with an increased risk of subsequent mental illness, poor school attainment, and premature death. As a result, a child can face a lifetime of hardship and financial distress for the family.
Guardians of a child injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence have the right to file a claim on their behalf. That includes making critical decisions, such as whether to accept a settlement offer or take the case to trial. Many parents raise concerns regarding whether filing a claim will further traumatize the child. Fortunately, most civil cases resolve in a settlement, which means the process requires little to no input from them.
What Is The Statute of Limitations to File a Claim for an Injury Involving a Child in Pennsylvania?
Parents or guardians of a child injured due to the negligence of another party have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is due to a law known as the statute of limitations. States have these laws in place so that lawsuits are handled in a timely manner to ensure that evidence remains available and because witnesses’ memories begin to fade.
However, Pennsylvania law affords special protections to minors. The statute of limitations is tolled (delayed) for minor children until they reach the age of 18, which means they have until the age of 20 to file a lawsuit. The law allows this extra time for minors for a few different reasons. These include the fact that the parents may not be aware of the injury and potential lawsuit, the parents may decide not to pursue a claim, or the extent of the child’s injuries may not be apparent for years.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Child Injury Case?
When another party is responsible, the following types of compensation may be available to pursue in a child injury case:
- Medical Bills & Expenses: Including current and future medical bills for emergency care, surgeries, physical and occupational therapy, medications, medical equipment, in-home care, and more.
- Lost Income: Current and future lost wages for the time a parent must take off of work to care for their child.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain endured and any emotional distress suffered by your child. Emotional distress can refer to mental anguish, depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and any other resulting psychological effects.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your child can no longer engage in activities they were able to do before.
- Loss of Consortium: If the parent-child relationship is permanently changed. For example, due to the child’s injury, they are no longer able to provide the same level of care and affection.
- Property Damage: If the accident caused any property damage. (e.g., vehicle, phone, clothing, etc.)
If the at-fault party exhibited extreme recklessness or egregious behavior, the court might award punitive damages to punish the defendant (at-fault party) and deter others from similar acts.
A broad range of injuries to children may result in long-lasting disabilities or death. Prevention methods are often taken, but 100% of accidents cannot be prevented. Children are very curious and often unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way. Parents and other adults are there to guide them in the right direction, but unfortunately accidents continue to cause injuries to children every day.