Child Injury Attorney Philadelphia
Most of us would never knowingly injure or abuse a child. However, child injury and abuse cases, as well as allegations, happen every day. In fact, some of these injuries result in child fatalities and horrendous grief for families. If you have been accused of injuring a child, or if you know it is happening and want to protect our most vulnerable population, let the personal injury attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices help. Our team of legal and medical experts will give your case a thorough overview and provide the information you need to ensure the child or children in question are safe.
Common Causes Of Child Injuries
A child fatality or serious injury doesn’t have to be related to abuse. Children can die from diseases and injuries that, while common, are no less insidious than active abuse and neglect. However, there are times when children sustain injuries caused by the careless or negligent acts of others, including caregivers, guardians, companies, teachers, coaches, and others. Some of the most common causes of child injuries include:
Children can fall from various types of locations, and these falls can happen on the same level or from one level to another (i.e., falling down regularly versus falling from one floor to another). Some of the most common fall incidents occur around stairs, beds with no railings, windows, elevated decks or landings, in slippery bathtubs, along cluttered pavement or pathways, etc.
Children can get struck by various types of objects that lead to serious injuries, particularly if they play sports. However, any type of fixed or moving object can cause harm to a child. For example, injuries can occur when a child walks into a door or a piece of furniture. They can be harmed by impacts from falling furniture or appliances.
Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injuries in both children and adults. These accidents can occur with children as passengers in a vehicle or on vehicles like ATVs, motorcycles, scooters, electric bicycles, etc.
Dogs may be a person’s best friend, but they can inflict major injuries on a child. Unfortunately, children often sustain the brunt of major injuries with dog bite incidents because they are lower to the ground, thus more likely to sustain upper body and facial injuries.
Burn injuries can occur in a variety of settings, and they are not just caused by fire. Curious hands may grab a hot pan from the oven or touch the stove. Kids could get into various types of acids or solvent cleaners, and they could come into contact with an electrical current.
Drowning or near drowning
Drowning and near-drowning incidents can lead to major long-term complications if a child survives the incident. This can include cognitive or physical disabilities in the event the drowning incident leads to a period of unconsciousness.
Types of Child Injuries
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that for every child who loses their life, there are 25 others who experience hospitalizations, and 925 that are treated in the emergency room. Many others are treated in clinics or other outpatient settings.
Some of the most common types of child injuries that effective families include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Concussions or a more severe traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord trauma
- Various types of soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Major lacerations, puncture wounds, or road rash
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
One issue associated with child injuries is the emotional and psychological trauma caused by these incidents. Even though children are resilient, they can still suffer from lasting effects caused by the injury itself, the recovery process, and any disabilities or disfigurement that occur.
Who Is Liable In A Child Injury Case?
There may be various parties who could be held responsible for a child injury claim. Each incident must be examined specifically to determine possible liable parties. For example, some of the individuals or entities who could hold liability for these claims include:
- Parents, guardians, or caregivers
- Teachers or school administrators
- Schools or school districts
- School bus drivers
- Youth sports agencies
- Clergy or religious institutions
- Property owners
- Government entities
When you work with a skilled child injury lawyer in Philadelphia, you will have an advocate ready to investigate every aspect of your claim and help determine each possible liable party. A claim may be filed against more than one party.
How To Prove Negligence In A Child Injury
Determining negligence after a child’s injury can be challenging, and the process should begin fairly soon after the incident occurs. First, it is important to ensure the child receives prompt medical care after an injury or suspected injury occurs. You will need all of the medical bills associated with the incident for your claim, and showing proof of seeking prompt medical attention will help establish a timeline of events.
We also encourage you to get a police or incident report related to the incident. This information should include:
- The date, place, and time the incident occurred
- Details related to the incident
- Witness statements or witness contact information
- Conclusions about who caused the incident
It is not uncommon for there to be photographic or video evidence related to the incident in question. Sometimes, individuals take photographs at the scene of the incident, and there may be cameras nearby that capture the incident on the footage.
Compensation Available for Child Injury Claims
There may be various types of compensation available for a successful child injury claim against another party. Our team works diligently to recover both economic and non-economic compensation on behalf of injured minors and their parents or guardians.
- Economic damages. Economic damages associated with child injury claims revolve around calculable expenses the family will likely incur due to the injury. By using receipts or bills, the following types of expenses can be added up and included in a demand letter:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Follow-up doctor or hospital visits
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications or medical devices
- Lost income if a parent cannot work while caring for their child
- Property damage expenses
- Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are more immeasurable than the economic damages mentioned above due to the fact that there will not often be receipts, invoices, or bills to help with the calculations. These types of losses focus on the child victim’s emotional and psychological trauma as well as their loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. There are various accepted calculation methods when working to determine a non-economic damage total.
Preventing Child Injury
At Ciccarelli, we encourage all our clients to do everything possible to prevent child injury, abuse, or neglect. If you encounter child abuse or neglect, report it immediately to the proper authorities. Also, take as many measures as possible to protect children in your home or on your property.
- Never leave medication, household cleansers, or other poisons in a place a child can access them.
- Ask your doctor for guidance on administering medication to children.
- Vaccinate pets against rabies and other diseases.
- Require children to wear helmets while biking or using scooters; do not allow any child under 16 to operate an all-terrain vehicle.
- Use safety gates and booster seats for young children.
- Make sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date.
- Stay in close touch with your doctor for information about how to treat injuries and childhood illnesses.
Despite these and other precautions, serious child injuries can happen on the watch of the most vigilant parent or guardian. Additionally, it is easy for certain situations to be misinterpreted as willful child injury. For example, if your child has a bone disease such as osteogenesis imperfecta, you might be accused of child abuse. If that happens, or if you have another case involving child injury, contact our experienced Philadelphia injury lawyers. We will fight for you and your children.