Childhood is a time for innocence, play, learning, and exploration. To a child, the world is a new and fresh thing, and they are full of seemingly boundless joy for a vast and almost inconceivable future that lay sprawling ahead. As parents, we do our best to protect our vulnerable children and defend them from harm, but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, accidents and injuries happen. Here are some of the most common childhood injury causes that can lead to lawsuits, and how to get legal help when your child has been hurt.
Common Causes of Childhood Injuries
Not every child injury results in the need for a lawsuit. As explorers in the world, children can be prone to minor bumps, scrapes, and injuries. Sometimes, though, an avoidable tragedy happens as the result of someone’s negligence or carelessness, including the following types of accidents or injuries:
- Motor vehicle accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19 was the result of motor vehicle accidents. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC-DHEC) reports that from 2008-2012, motor vehicle accidents were the top cause of death for children 5 to 19 in our state, too.
- Swimming pool accidents. Swimming pools are a fun part of summer for many children, but pools can be dangerous if children are left unattended. CDC figures show that between 2005 and 2014, as many as one in five victims of drowning were age 14 or under, and drowning was the second most likely cause of death for children between 1 and 4 years old. Near-drowning, when a victim is rescued from the water on the brink of death, can also result in serious and lifelong health consequences. Pool owners or operators need to be vigilant and ensure that pools are properly maintained, children are supervised appropriately, and the area is fenced or gated to prevent young children from accidentally falling in.
- Amusement park accidents. Myrtle Beach is a popular South Carolina destination for family fun, especially for the many amusement parks. However, issues such as ride operator negligence, poor maintenance, or bad engineering can lead to head, spine, or neck injuries, drowning or near-drowning, broken bones, or other injuries.
- Playground accidents. Issues such as poor construction, lack of routine maintenance, or manufacturer recalls can lead to serious injuries on playground equipment. Some playground equipment may also not be age- or developmentally-appropriate for your child. Teachers, babysitters, or other individuals caring for your child should be providing appropriate supervision to prevent serious accidents from happening on the playground.
Another overlooked source of childhood injuries can be dangerous toys. Shoddy craftsmanship or defective manufacturing, toxic paints or chemicals, or age-inappropriate small parts can all cause injury to an unsuspecting child, so be sure to inspect toys before you buy them.
What to Do After Your Child Is Injured
While nobody can reverse the harm that’s been done to your child, one legal remedy available to you is to file a personal injury lawsuit, so that you can seek compensation from the responsible party. A lawsuit can help you recover financially from your child’s injury, including compensation for damages such as the following:
- Emergency medical treatment costs
- Long-term care expenses, including rehabilitation and therapy
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of future earning potential
- Emotional or mental trauma
- Pain and suffering
In some cases, punitive damages may even be awarded, depending on the nature of your case. An attorney with experience handling child injuries will help you determine what your legal options are, and what damages you may be eligible for, when he or she reviews your case with you.
Get Legal Help Today
Has your child been seriously injured as a result of the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another party? We are here to help you. The Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger is proud to stand up for the rights of children who have been hurt, and help parents seek the compensation that they may be owed in a court of law. Our office is conveniently located in Columbia, and we proudly serve residents from across the entire state of South Carolina, including the Sumter, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas. To speak to a professional about your legal situation, call or email us today.