Children are naturally inquisitive, active, and curious. As a result, not every injury to a child can be avoided—they are bound to get bruises, cuts, scrapes, bumped heads, and maybe even a broken bone now and then. But sometimes a child becomes injured as a consequence of adults failing to take the appropriate amount of care. We have helped numerous personal injury clients recover damages for injuries caused by the negligence of others, and we have particular experience assisting children who have been injured through negligence.
Call us at 718-441-5050 today. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions.
Under the law, every person owes a duty to everyone else to refrain from conduct that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others, including children. When an individual breaches this duty, and the breach results in an injury to a child, the parent or guardian of the child has a right to sue on the child’s behalf to recover damages for the injury in a negligence suit.
Children have special vulnerabilities. Most young children lack the awareness to recognize serious risks, and also often lack the ability to deal with dangerous situations either physically or intellectually. For example, a child who does not know how to swim bears a much higher risk of drowning in an unfenced swimming pool, and few children know how to deal with an aggressive animal.
By far, the leading cause of accidental injury or death for minors (children up to 18 years) is from car accidents.
However, common injuries to children also come about from:
- School bus accidents;
- Falling off of playground equipment;
- Ingesting toxic household products, such as medicine, cleaning fluids, or cosmetics;
- Burns from stoves, ovens, hair curlers, or boiling water;
- Defective or dangerous products, including toys or baby items;
- Dog bites
- Abuse by a teacher, coach, or caregiver.
There are many special considerations involved in lawsuits involving injuries to children. First and foremost, the law does not allow a minor to sue directly on his or her own behalf. And when a parent or guardian pursues a lawsuit on a child’s behalf, the child may not later sue for the same injury when he or she grows up, even if the parent or guardian failed to obtain all the damages to which the child may have been entitled.
In addition, specific legal rules apply in child injury cases that greatly affect whether a given defendant can even be held liable. For example, many jurisdictions apply what is known as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which essentially creates for children an exception to the rule that trespassers on land may not sue the landowner for any injury they sustain while unlawfully on the property. The reasoning is that certain dangerous properties or structures, such as swimming pools, are considered to be inherently attractive to children. The result is that any property owner who knows or should know that children are likely to be in the vicinity is responsible for taking extra measures to prevent injuries to those children, by putting up fences, signs, or other relevant protections. An attorney with experience representing injured children can help you determine the extent to which this rule may apply to your case under New York law.
Further, even when a child suffers the same injury as an adult, it will often affect the child in a very different way, particularly when you take into account the long-term impacts. Because there are no second chances, it is critical to work with a personal injury attorney who has extensive and comprehensive experience handling cases involving children.
Because of these special considerations, when a child is injured, you need to consult an attorney who understands the special concerns that affect childhood injury cases. Our child injury attorneys in Queens have represented many minors and their families from Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx in personal injury lawsuits.
If you would like a free consultation to find out how we may be able to help you, contact us at 718-441-5050 or use our online contact form.