Injuries to Children
You love your children and would do anything to keep them happy and safe, and you trust certain establishments to care for your children when you are not with them. Sadly, negligence from trusted individuals can result in serious injuries that cost a lot of money and can impact your children for the rest of their lives.
Many parents are confused and don't know where they should turn when their children are injured at the playground, day care center, school, or another trusted location. If your children were injured because of someone else's negligent, careless or malicious behavior, you could be entitled to compensation.The Reasonable Standard
Washington judges personal injury cases on the reasonable standard when deciding whether or not to award compensation for a personal injury involving a minor. For example, your child is at a desk at school doing her homework when the desk breaks, causing her to fall and injure her wrist. If the school knew about or should have known about the damaged desk but failed to act, you can hold the school liable for your child's injuries.
Moving your case forward will be a little harder if you can't establish that the school failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident. In simple terms, the reasonable standard asks what a reasonable person would have done to avoid such an incident from taking place. Winning damages becomes much easier if you can prove the school's failure to meet the reasonable standard contributed to the accident.Injuries to Children in Swimming Pools
As far as most children are concerned, swimming at the local pool is a classic staple of the warm and sunny months of summer. You put the sunblock and swimsuits in your bag before loading your family into the car for a fun day in the sun, and you are ready to have an amazing time that creates lasting memories.
While swimming pools are a lot of fun, those who run and manage pools must take certain steps to keep everyone safe. The unthinkable can happen when pool management or staff fail to take their responsibility seriously. Most people picture drownings when they think of pool injuries, but drownings are rare. Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of pool injury children experience when trying to have fun. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause injuries ranging from minor to severe, and the worst cases can result in permanent soft tissue damage.
Pools must place no running signs around the pool deck to alert children and their families of the danger. People getting in and out of the pool create wet surfaces that make it easy to fall, but signs that remind people to be careful make a difference. Being in the water for prolonged periods can soften the skin and increase the odds of getting cut. Pool operators must ensure no sharp objects are in or around the pool, which lowers the risk of injury.Injury to Children at Daycare Centers
Most people drop their children off at day care centers without giving it another thought, knowing their children will be safe until they return. Most day care centers do an excellent job of keeping children out of harm's way each day, but not all of them are that careful.
Day care staff must ensure that chairs and desks are safe. They must also keep harmful chemicals out of reach so that children don’t try getting into them and get hurt along the way. Negligent day care staff can increase your child's risk of broken bones, chemical burns and many other injuries.
If your child has been injured at a daycare center, then you have to make a claim against the owner of the daycare facility, which means making a claim with the owner’s insurance company. These claims are not always easy to resolve unless there is some physical evidence or an eyewitness who saw the negligence on the part of the of the daycare. Common ways children are hurt at daycare centers:
- Trip and falls
- Slip and falls
- Physical abuse by a daycare center employee
- Sexual abuse by a daycare center employee
Children have to be monitored much more closely than adults, especially very young children. If you think your son or daughter has been injured at a daycare center, The Jackman Law Firm has the resources and experience and track record to aggressively litigate a case against the owners of the daycare.Injuries to Children at Playgrounds
Taking your children to the playground is a fantastic experience that lets them run free, make friends and allow their imaginations to go wild. Most people don't consider the possible dangers because they trust those in charge of the playground to keep it safe and in top shape.
Loose rails, damaged chains and sharp objects create risks that put your children in harm's way. If your children were injured at a playground and you want to seek compensation, you might have a case. Decide whether or not the injury resulted from an issue that a reasonable person would have addressed.
Common injuries at playgrounds with children are:
- Trips and falls
- Falls from playground equipment
- Physical abuse by adult
- Sexual abuse by adult
If a child is harmed at a playground, especially if there is not adequate supervision by an adult, you may be able to bring a claim against the school for injuries sustained by the child. If this comes to be the case, then you must file the appropriate tort claim form with the school district. A tort claim form simply puts the school on notice of your intention to pursue a claim against them for monetary damages for your injuries. You must do this, otherwise your claim could be dismissed. Once the school receives it and reviews it, you can proceed against the school in a normal manner.Foster Care Abuse
Foster homes seem like the perfect place for children who have nowhere else to go, and some people assume that all foster parents have the interests of children in mind. Sadly, foster parents don't always take care of children the way the public believes they do. Children in foster homes are much more likely to face physical, mental and sexual abuse than children who live with family. If you recently adopted a child you believe was abused at a foster home, you have the right to seek compensation in addition to pursuing criminal charges. Children have one year from their 18th birthday to file a civil lawsuit and seek damages for the abuse they sustained in a foster home.Time Restrictions
If you believe your child suffered an injury at the hands of someone's negligent or malicious behavior, time is not on your side. Washington places a three-year limit on personal injury cases. While some exceptions exist to the rule, waiting to file your claim makes it much harder for you to reach the outcome you have in mind.
In addition to the statute of limitations, you have other reasons to move your case forward as quickly as possible. People can forget facts and lose evidence, and security cameras can record new footage over the video you could have otherwise used in your case. Taking action the second you learn about your child's injury is the only safe option if you are serious about seeking compensation.Burden of Proof
Many cases that open the possibility of a civil lawsuit also carry criminal penalties. For example, a day care worker assaults and breaks the bones of a child under the worker's care. The day care worker has committed a crime, but you can also seek compensation for your child's injuries and medical expenses. In a criminal trial, you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the day care worker committed the alleged crime. On the other hand, you only have to prove beyond a preponderance of doubt to win a civil case. The difference in the burden of proof means you could fail to earn a criminal conviction but still win your lawsuit.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
Having a lawyer on your side is critical if you want to get the best odds of getting compensation for your child's injury. When you hire a lawyer, he will begin collecting evidence and reviewing the facts of your case before helping you decide what path is right for your situation. In a process called discovery, your lawyer and the other party will trade evidence and reveal what they will use if the case makes it to trial. The lawyer you hire will vigorously defend your rights in the courtroom if you are unhappy with the settlement offer.
In addition to being our future, children are also the most vulnerable population among us. All adults have an obligation to support and ensure the safety of children under their care. When someone else in a position of trust fails to live up to that standard and your child gets hurt as a result, you have the right to seek compensation for your child's injuries.
If you want to know the strength of your case, speaking to a caring personal injury attorney is the first step in the process. The Jackman Law Firm will guide you along the correct path and give you the best possible odds of reaching a favorable outcome.