An injury to a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. As parents and guardians, we’ll do everything in our power to prevent our children from being injured. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once, and when others fail to exercise adequate care and caution, innocent children could be hurt. According to the NY state department of health, injury is the leading cause of death of children. What happens if someone else’s negligence injures a child? Could the parents take legal action against the at-fault party?
In New York, parents or legal guardians could seek compensation and accountability if their child was injured. The process can be complicated, so hiring an experienced injury attorney in New York to represent you and your family is crucial.
At Finz & Finz, P.C., our Long Island child injury lawyers understand your desire to get justice for your child and help them get the care they need. We’ll be ready to stand up and fight for your family. Call us or reach out to us online for a free consultation.
Common Types of Child Injuries
While simple mishaps cause some child injuries, others can be caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness. Some of the most common types of child injuries in New York include:
- Traffic collisions and car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Birth injuries
- Daycare incidents
- School-related injuries
- Dog attacks
- Drowning accidents
Who is Liable for My Child’s Injuries?
The success of your claim or lawsuit depends on whether you can prove liability for the accident. If you can establish that another party was responsible for the accident that caused your child’s injuries, you should be able to recover compensation. There are four main elements of negligence:
- First, you need to establish that the at-fault party owed your child a duty of care. In other words, the defendant was obligated to prevent your child from being harmed.
- Second, you must demonstrate that the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care and breached it through some form of negligence. For instance, if your child were seriously hurt in a daycare accident caused by a negligent childcare worker, that would be considered a breach of the defendant’s duty of care.
- Third, you’ll need to connect the defendant’s negligence with your child’s injuries. You must show that because the defendant was negligent, they caused the accident that resulted in your child being injured.
- Lastly, you just need to show the court that you suffered losses. These losses could be financial (medical costs, reduced future income) or non-financial (physical pain, emotional trauma).
If your child was injured on school grounds or public property, the defendant in your case could be the school district or the city. If your child was injured at a childcare facility, the facility could be held responsible. If your child slipped and fell on someone else’s property, you might be able to bring a personal injury suit against the property owner.
A child injury lawyer could help you determine which party or parties are responsible for compensating you. It’s critical to note that if the defendant is a government entity, such as a municipality, the window of time to file a claim on behalf of your child is relatively short. In New York, you will have 90 days to file a notice of claim. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you could forfeit your ability to seek compensation for your child’s injuries.
Compensation for My Child’s Injuries
We understand how heartbreaking it can be to watch your child suffer from a severe injury. No matter what steps you take to protect your child, unexpected events happen, and it is impossible to predict someone else’s reckless behavior. If your child suffered severe injuries, you could be entitled to claim compensation for:
- Present and future medical care costs
- Medical equipment
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent disabilities
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Rehabilitative care
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Mental trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of quality of life
Whether you receive financial relief through a settlement or a jury verdict, your child will most likely be unable to access the funds until adulthood. However, you should be able to get reimbursed for medical expenses your child has incurred right away. The remaining portion of your child’s compensation will most likely be placed into an account your child can spend once they come of age.
New York Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Children
Most personal injury lawsuits in New York have to be filed within three years. Otherwise, the court will most likely dismiss the suit. However, because minors are not legally permitted to file personal injury lawsuits on their own, the usual statute of limitations is “tolled” until the child becomes an adult. As a result, your child should have up to three years after they turn 18 to take legal action, unless you decide to sue on their behalf.
The NY statute of limitations for certain types of medical malpractice, including birth injury lawsuits, might be different from the statute for regular personal injury lawsuits.
Contact a New York Child Injury Attorney Today
If your child suffered injuries due to another person or entity’s negligence, contact the New York and Long Island child injury lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. to discuss your legal options. Our injury attorneys are committed to advocating for injury victims, no matter their age, and helping them pursue the financial relief they need and deserve.
Contact us for a free case review today.