Childhood can be a bumpy ride. And minor cuts and bruises come with the territory. Because kids are natural explorers, often learning what not to do by trial and error, most parents expect some amount of scrapes and contusions. But having a child suffer a severe injury is a parent’s worst nightmare.
Severe injuries can negatively impact a child’s and their family’s lives. Such injuries can result in permanent or temporary brain damage, deformity, paralysis, and disability. These tragic medical conditions can create hardships for a child and a child’s family and spawn a lifetime of surgeries, treatments, and medical care, all of which can result in astronomical expenses.
While nothing can restore a child or parent’s losses, when someone else’s negligence causes a child’s injury, the child’s parent may be able to seek compensation. At the Wakeford Law Firm, we understand that child injury cases often present complex personal injury and liability issues. We also understand the physical, emotional, and financial stresses our clients suffer when their child is injured. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing focused and individualized attention and always remain accessible and responsive.
Our firm has tried many successful child injury cases. We provide high-quality and aggressive representation and will fight to ensure you receive justice. With the help of an experienced San Francisco child injury lawyer, you can win the compensation for your child’s injury that you deserve.
Common Causes of Child Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one child per hour dies from an injury in the United States. Similarly, emergency departments treat one child for an injury every 4 seconds. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children. And for every child who dies from drowning, often in a swimming pool accident, another eight receive emergency room care for water injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents follow close behind drownings. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 139,042 children suffered injuries in traffic crashes in 2020, and 1,093 died.
Accidental poisonings, fires, and playground injuries are also common. In fact, according to the CDC, 200,000 children ages 14 and under visit emergency rooms in the United States for playground-related injuries every year.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are also a concern and resulted in 2,774 childhood deaths in 2020 and over 16,000 hospitalizations in 2019.
Other common causes of childhood injuries include:
- Animal attacks,
- School and daycare accidents,
- Pedestrian and bicycle accident injuries,
- Car seat defects,
- Dangerous toys,
- Unsafe medications,
- Child abuse, and
- Child neglect.
If your child’s injury resulted from these or similar circumstances, contact a San Francisco child injury lawyer at the Wakeford Law Firm immediately. Taking action as soon as possible ensures we can gather all testimonies and evidence needed for a successful claim while still fresh in witnesses’ minds. We offer free consultations and are eager to help you down the best pathway forward.
What Should I Do If My Child Was Injured in an Accident?
Depending on the source of your child’s injury, you can file an insurance claim and hold the liable party accountable. If you are your child’s legal guardian, you will represent your child’s best interests and file an insurance claim on their behalf. The liable party’s insurance company will then calculate a settlement offer. However, it’s always best to speak with an experienced child injury attorney first. A skilled attorney can help you settle on fair compensation that includes your child’s predicted future medical expenses and assure that the insurance company offers you a strong settlement package.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Party that Injured My Child?
When a party breaks the law or violates a duty to use reasonable care toward a child, it is called “negligence.” If you and your attorney decide it’s appropriate, you may file a lawsuit against the negligent party that caused your child’s injuries. To prove that negligence occurred, you will have to establish four elements. They are:
- The party that caused your child’s injury owed your child a duty of care;
- The party breached their duty;
- The breach caused your child’s accident and injury; and
- Your child suffered damages as a result of the accident.
Even if you file a lawsuit, personal injury claims don’t always go to trial. Often, parties settle them out of court. This usually happens when you can show that all four negligence elements exist and that your child’s injury is severe. When a party’s liability is evident, or the at-fault party’s potential damages are excessive, insurers often explore all settlement options to protect the insured.
A skilled child injury attorney in San Francisco can explain your legal options and help determine whether negligence has occurred. They can also handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company. Working with an attorney will strengthen the chance you’ll receive the compensation you’re entitled to and allow you to focus on what counts—your child and their recovery.
California Statute of Limitations
California law dictates a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Typically, that means you would have to file a lawsuit within two years of the date your child’s injury occurred. However, for minors in California, the statute of limitations pauses until they reach the age of 18.
Depending on your child’s age at the time of their injury, you could wait several years before filing a lawsuit. However, if you wait too long to bring a claim, witness memories could wane, you may lose access to evidence, and your case may cease to be as strong as it would be if you filed years earlier. For the greatest advantage, contact an attorney as soon after your child’s injury occurs as possible.
Contact The Wakeford Law Firm – Child Injury Attorneys Serving San Francisco
At the Wakeford Law Firm, we will work tirelessly for every dollar you deserve. We understand the complexities inherent in child injury cases and are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies. If someone else’s negligence injured your child, we will fight for you every step of the way, helping to ensure your best possible outcome. Contact us online or call us today at 415-569-7495 for a free consultation.