McAllen Children’s Injury Attorney
Children are sometimes entitled to compensation after an accident, but these claims are quite different from others.
Texas personal injury law allows victims of accidents to hold negligent parties liable when they cause an accident. Children are also allowed to seekcivil damages for their injuries but because minors cannot legally enter into a contract, claims involving minors differ slightly from others. Due to the complexities of these claims, it is important that parents of children speak to a Texas child injury lawyer who can guide them through the process.
If you are a parent, you can expect your child to get injured at some point. Most children are active. They go to school, play sports, and engage in extracurricular activities. While you may be there to provide most of their care and supervision, you cannot keep a watchful eye on them 24/7. Children go to school, go to friends’ and relatives’ houses, go to daycare, and play on sports teams.
Young children are especially prone to accidents and injuries. They do not always have the common sense to know what is safe and what is dangerous. They depend on adults to guide them through life’s obstacles and protect them.
Children are not small adults. They are not fully grown and developed. Therefore, their bodies cannot handle the same force as adults. What would be a minor injury to an adult could be catastrophic to a child.
Common Child Injuries
Children, like adults, can potentially sustain a variety of injuries during an accident. The most common of these include:
- Neck and head injuries, including whiplash and concussions
- Facial injuries
- Airbag injuries
- Car seat injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Permanent scarring or disability
- Psychological difficulties
No one wants to see their child become injured but unfortunately, it happens all too often due to the negligence of others.
Common Causes of Child Injuries
When a child is in an accident, it is much more likely that they will suffer long-term effects, and there are many causes of these accidents. The most common are as follows:
- Negligent supervision: Staff members at day care centers, schools, and childcare centers are responsible for ensuring children are safe, but do not always watch them as carefully as they should.
- Auto accidents: Car accidents, truck accidents, and school bus accidents cause serious child injuries.
- Playgrounds and parks: Even with proper supervision, children can become hurt in parks and on playgrounds when the play equipment is defective.
- Swimming pool accidents: Property owners are responsible for ensuring swimming pools are properly fenced and blocked from children.
- Sports: Sports are known for causing injuries such as concussions. Children should never continue playing once they have become hurt.
- Dog bites: An attack or bite from a dog can cause injury, scarring, infection, and even trauma for a child. No one should have to deal with this, but without a statewide leash law, some dog owners are irresponsible and let this happen.
Although these are common causes of child injuries, there are others, as well. It is important to determine how the accident occurred, so the appropriate party can be held liable.
Negligence in Daycare Facilities
As a parent, it can be hard to leave your child in a daycare facility. You trust that the workers will supervise your children and give them the best care possible. It can be disheartening when you pay a lot of money for quality childcare only to have the facility cut corners and be negligent or abusive toward your child.
While caring for a child is not easy, your daycare facility should take every measure possible to keep kids safe. That does not always happen, though. Many children are injured or neglected while in Texas daycare centers. Here are some ways in which this can occur:
- Unqualified workers. Daycare workers in Texas must meet certain requirements. For example, they must have a high school diploma, complete eight hours of training, and pass a background check. If your child is injured by someone who does not meet these requirements, the facility will be held liable.
- Inadequate staffing. The facility must have enough workers to watch the children. Texas law states that daycare workers may not supervise more than four babies between up to 11 months of age. However, that changes as the children get older. Workers are allowed to watch 15 3-year-olds and 26 6-year-olds.
- Unsafe facilities. Texas has a list of required safety practices that are required of daycare facilities. If workers do not inspect the facility often, it can become dangerous.
After a daycare injury, take these steps:
- Seek medical attention. Make sure your child gets the medical care they need.
- Ask the daycare facility for an incident report. The facility should have a policy in place for creating an incident report any time a child is injured, even if it is minor.
- Conduct an investigation. Take pictures and get as much information as possible about what happened. Talk to witnesses if possible.
- Get legal help. Your lawyer can assess your case and help you understand your legal options.
Why Are Child Injuries Different?
Everyone deserves compensation after an accident caused by another person’s negligence, including children. However, these claims are unique from cases involving adults. Some of the ways in which they differ include:
- Children cannot enter into contracts with an attorney and so, they must use a guardian or next friend who can do so on their behalf.
- Any settlement awarded to the child can be placed into a trust or an annuity, payable once they are no longer a minor. Parents can file a separate claim for medical expenses and lost incomes they lost while helping the child in their recovery.
- Thestatute of limitations, or time limit, can stand at two years from the date of the accident, or may be tolled until two years after the child’s 18th birthday.
These are just a few different ways in which child injury cases differ from those of adults, and a few ways in which a Texas child injury lawyer can help.
Call Our Texas Child Injury Lawyers Today
If your child has been hurt in an accident, call our Edinburg child injury lawyers today. At the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, our skilled attorneys understand the complexities associated with these claims, and will help you through them to give you and your child the best chance of securing the maximum damages you deserve. Call us at (956) 318-3200 or contact us online so we can get started on your claim.