Surprise Child Injuries and Your Family
When faced with the serious injury or death of a child in your family, it's easily among the most tragic and difficult situations to encounter. As a parent or guardian of a child, you know that there is no amount of money that will help you recover emotionally from such a loss. When a child under your care sustains serious injuries, it is critical for you and your family to be able to access the medical care, financial resources, and additional assistance needed to ensure that your child receives proper care and makes a full and complete recovery as quickly as possible. But the serious injury or death of a child is not easy to navigate alone. There is significant stress, depression, and worry that come with these incidents that can make even the most “together” parents forget critical steps that come in the wake of an accident involving their child.
Your family will need support, guidance, assistance, and resources to move forward after the serious injury or death of one of your children in an accident. It is critical for you to take control of your family's future and fight for your rights as well as those of your injured child.
Types of Surprise Child Injury Incidents
When you think about your child being hurt, you likely only think of a few different types of accidents. That's because we don't hear about many different types of incidents that could lead to serious injuries for our children, or even for ourselves. Commonly parents worry about their children being hit by a car while crossing the street, getting hurt playing sports, or being bitten by a dog. There are, however, many different types of incidents that you should be aware of and prepared for at all times. Just some of the types of incidents your child could be involved in and sustain serious or life-threatening injuries include:
- Auto accidents, in which your child is the passenger in a vehicle that you are driving or that someone else is driving
- Crashes involving the school bus, where either the school bus is involved in a collision or the child is hit by a bus
- Pedestrian injuries, which involve your child being struck by a vehicle, either while they are crossing the street, while they are playing near to the road, or when a car backs out of a driveway, among others
- Bicycle accidents, in which your child is struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle
- Accidents that occur on the grounds of the school or at daycare that are caused by a caregiver, teacher, faculty or staff member, or by another child
- Fireworks accidents, in which your child sustains severe injuries, including burns, due to being allowed to play with fireworks
- Accidents in and around the swimming pool or another water source, including drownings, which almost always can be prevented with proper caretaking, security, and monitoring of activities
- Burn injuries, which can be caused by touching a hot stove, being left in a sunny location, or by some other means
- Accidents that lead to traumatic brain injuries, which may happen while playing sports, or when involved in almost any other type of incident that causes your child to be struck on the head
- Poisoning accidents, including the ingestion of chemicals, cleaning solutions, medications, and drugs or alcohol
- Premises liability incidents, which involve your child slipping and falling, getting cut, being smashed, or otherwise sustaining injuries while at a business
- Dog attacks, which can occur at any time and may results in serious injuries or permanent disabilities for your child, including scarring and other disfigurements
- Medical bills, physical therapy bills, and other care bills, including in-home nursing care, if applicable
- Lost wages for the parents who must take time off from work in order to ensure that their child is receiving proper care and support throughout the healing process
- Future medical bills and other care costs that will arise down the line due to the injuries the child sustained, such as plastic surgery or additional therapy that will be needed later in life
- Pain and suffering felt by the child involved in the accident
- Mental health counseling needed for the parents, the victim, and for other children living in the household who were impacted emotionally and mentally by the accident and the injuries sustained by their sibling
- Bring the family together to talk about what is going on and how it will impact their lives
- Don't try to cover up the severity of the situation, but talk openly and softly
- Get mental health counseling for the family, and additional counseling for any individual who needs it
While these are not the only types of accidents that can cause harm to your children, they are some of the most common accidents that are reported in the state of Arizona and in the city of Surprise. This doesn't mean that you have to place your child in a plastic bubble, but it does mean that, as a parent, you must carefully consider your options for keeping your children safe, and look forward to helping them have a safe, fun, and fulfilling life.
Compensation You May Be Entitled to After a Surprise Child Injury
If your child was seriously injured, then you may be entitled to compensation for losses and damages associated with the accident and with your child's injuries. Some of the most common types of damages parents can seek compensation for after a child has been injured include:
If your child dies as a result of the injuries sustained in the incident, there are additional damages that can be filed for your family. These damages include compensation for the cost of the funeral and burial, additional mental health counseling, time away from work for parents who are grieving, and the loss of human life.
What You Can Do to Minimize the Impact of a Child Injury
Emotions run high after a Surprise, Arizona child injury accident, especially for parents and siblings, but it's important to try to minimize the damaging effect these incidents can have on the emotional and mental state of the victim and your family. Some of the most important things you can do after an accident involving one of your children include:
Who Can File a Surprise Child Injury Accident Lawsuit?
Sometimes there is confusion about who can legally file a lawsuit after a child injury accident. If you are the legal parent, either adoptive or biological, of the child who was injured in the incident, then you have the right to file a lawsuit on their behalf. In many cases, a trust fund will be set up for your child to ensure that the compensation for the accident is appropriately used for their injuries and their care throughout their life as needed. Those damages associated with the suffering experienced by other family members may be paid separately in these instances.
If you are not the parent of the child who was injured, you must be able to prove that you have the legal right to file on the child's behalf. If you are the legal guardian of the child, you may still have the right to file, and if you are an adult sibling, or another vested party, like a foster parent, you may be able to have a guardian ad litem assigned to help you file a case on behalf of the child who sustained injuries.
What to Do After Your Child Has Been Hurt
There is going to be a significant amount of confusion, upset, and frustration. But as the protector of the child who was injured, you must keep your wits about you. One of the most important things you can do is ensure that your child receives adequate medical care so that they can begin the healing process, physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, there are additional steps that you should take after an accident to help ensure that your rights as a parent, and the rights of your child, are upheld, and that you are all treated fairly by the person who caused your child's injuries.
First, it's critical to make certain that you get the information of the person who caused the accident and your child's injuries. If you are unable to get this information, it is important to involve the police so that they can begin tracking down the person who hurt your child. This is especially important in cases of traffic collisions, including hit-and-run crashes. If your child is able, it is important to tape record their version of the events, or if they are able, have them write down what happened to them, so that there is a written record of the events leading up to the accident, the accident itself, and what happened immediately thereafter. It is important to never coach your child on what to say and to allow them to genuinely tell their version of the events. If there is any suspicion that you prompted or coached your child, your case could be thrown out or seriously damaged, meaning that your child could receive little to no compensation for their injuries, medical care, and other damages.
Additionally, it is important to reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney. Although you are not required to hire an attorney to help you with your child's personal injury case, someone who understands the law can take over the particulars and negotiate on behalf of your child while you focus on providing the love, support, and care to make it through their recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney understands the nuances of the law and will make certain that all of the necessary paperwork is filed within the statute of limitations and that there are no gaps in the case. If you need help right away with your child's accident, even if you're not sure whether or not you have a case, contact the Husband and Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. for a free consultation and help understanding your rights and the rights of your child.