Common Childhood Accidents
There are numerous ways a child could be injured if someone is negligent, including the following:
- Animal attacks — Many dogs, cats, and other household pets are friendly around children, but some animals can be extremely dangerous. Children cannot always tell a dangerous animal from a friendly one, and they might not see warning signs on a property to alert them of the potential danger.
- Car accidents — Car accidents can be dangerous for anyone involved, but they are particularly dangerous for children. Children’s bodies are more susceptible to the strain caused by the impact of an accident. This makes them more likely to suffer major injuries.
- Dangerous toys and other products — Toys and other household products can be extremely harmful to children under certain circumstances. Young children may choke on small toys or pieces of a toy. Children can also be poisoned by ingesting toys or products containing harmful substances, such as cleaning supplies.
- Daycare accidents — Poor supervision at daycare can lead to injuries if children aren’t supervised appropriately. Common daycare accidents include falls, injuries from roughhousing with other students, choking on toys or other objects, becoming entangled in the strings from window blinds, and ingesting toxic substances.
- Drowning accidents — Children need to be closely watched whenever they’re around a pool or other body of water. They can drown in water only a few inches deep. Young children could stumble into a pool by accident if nobody’s watching.
- Playground accidents — Playgrounds are meant to be fun for kids. Still, they should be carefully supervised to avoid possible injuries. All playground equipment should be well maintained to minimize the potential risk of injuries to students.
- School accidents — Children at school sometimes suffer injuries in settings other than the playground. For example, a child might slip on a wet floor or trip down the stairs due to a defective hand railing. Students are also sometimes picked on by other students in the hallways, leading to physical assaults and major injuries.
- School bus accidents — Unfortunately, many school buses lack basic safety features like seat belts. Children can easily be flung about within the bus and suffer major injuries if a crash occurs. School buses also frequently travel through urban areas with heavy traffic, increasing the chances of an accident occurring. Finally, it’s not unheard of for school bus drivers to cause accidents because they were impaired, fatigued, distracted, or otherwise negligent behind the wheel.
Most Common Long Island Child Injuries
Some of the most common child injuries resulting from negligence include the following:
- Animal bites
- Broken bones
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of emotional distress
- Severe cuts/lacerations
Who’s Liable for Injuries to a Child in New York?
Depending on where and how the accident occurred, many parties could potentially be held responsible for the injuries your child sustained. These parties include the following:
- Companies that make children’s toys or other defective and dangerous products
- Other children and their parents
- The other driver in a motor vehicle accident
- The owner of a dangerous animal
- The owner of a pool
- School bus drivers
- Teachers, administrators, and other school staff
This is not a full list of who could be at fault for a negligent injury to a child. A children’s injury attorney can advise you regarding who might be responsible for the injuries your child sustained.
How to Prove Negligence in Long Island Child Injury Cases
Proving negligence in child injuries can sometimes be a challenge, depending on the circumstances of the accident. In some cases, such as motor vehicle accidents, proving responsibility is pretty straightforward. You simply need to conduct an investigation of the accident and follow the traditional rules of demonstrating negligence in personal injury auto accident cases. Proving fault may require more work in some other cases, though.
For example, injuries sustained while a child is at a daycare, at school, or an after-school activity would fall under the doctrine of caretaker responsibility. To prove responsibility in cases like these, you have to show that the child was legally under the care of the school or daycare. You would also have to show that the accident was foreseeable and that the school or daycare did not do enough to prevent it.
Other child injury cases that can be difficult to prove include defective product cases and premises liability cases, such as drownings. In the case of a defective product, you must demonstrate that the company that designed or manufactured the product knew or should have known about the manufacturing or design defect that led to the child’s injury. In premises liability cases, you need to show that the property owner knew about the hazard and did not do enough to mitigate the potential danger.
Compensation Available in Long Island Child Injury Claims
Compensation in Long Island child injury cases can be substantial, as childhood injuries can linger and have lifelong effects. If your child was hurt in an accident caused by negligence, you could potentially recover compensation for the following:
- The child’s medical expenses, including future care they may need
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Lost future earning potential due to a disability
- Pain and suffering
Notice of Claim Deadlines in Long Island Child Injury Claims
In cases involving a municipality, such as an injury that occurs at school, on public transportation, or during a government-sponsored activity, there are strict time limitations in which a notice of claim must be filed. In most instances, this deadline will be ninety (90) days following the date of the injury. If the notice of claim is not filed within that period, you could be forever barred from recovery. An experienced child injury attorney will let you know the required deadlines based on how, when and where your child was injured.