Children deserve protection, safety, and health. When someone violates the rights of a child, resulting in serious injury, as a parent, you become your child’s most valuable defender. You’re the person responsible for ensuring that your child gets not only the care necessary to recover as much as possible, but also the funds needed to provide for his or her future.
If your child suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party, contact the Tampa child injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman at 833-552-7274 to learn more about your child’s rights and the compensation that your family deserves.
About Our Experienced, Compassionate Child Injury Attorneys
When your child faces a serious injury, whether a birth injury or one resulting from an accident, you need an experienced attorney to help pursue the compensation your child deserves for that injury. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman, we have substantial experience in a wide range of personal injury cases, including birth injuries and injuries to children.
For example, we can:
- Help you better understand the financial compensation your family should seek for a child’s injuries. Often, in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may struggle to see what impact, including financial impact, your family will suffer long-term because of your child’s injuries. We will help you better understand the value of your child’s claim.
- Prevent you from making mistakes that could minimize your compensation. From accepting liability in the accident to ignoring a party potentially responsible for the accident, many steps during your claim can reduce your ability to receive full compensation. We will work with you to ensure that you understand each step of the process.
- Alleviate stress during a trying time in your life. When your child suffers a serious injury, you suffer along with them. Not only do you have medical appointments to coordinate and constant care for your child to arrange, but you must also deal with the emotional repercussions of your child’s injuries. When you work with Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Accident Injury Lawyers, you receive a caring, compassionate team of attorneys who will take over much of the negotiation process for you, alleviating much of your stress and preventing you from having to handle those negotiations on your own.
Types of Child Injuries
Children can receive injuries in a variety of ways. When someone who bears a duty of care to your child does not properly exercise that duty of care, it can lead to a personal injury claim that, while it cannot remove the damage done to your child, can help provide the funds you need to care for your child following a serious injury.
When a child suffers an injury during birth, it often results in lifelong implications. Even minor birth injuries can lead to significant medical costs and long-term recovery for your child. More serious injuries can cause your child to face nerve injuries, fractures, and even brain damage. Birth injuries occur more often when doctors must use substantial interventions during the birth process. When the doctor fails to use appropriate interventions when needed or uses unnecessary interventions that ultimately lead to serious birth injuries, both the doctor and the medical facility may face serious repercussions.
Your child has no control over a vehicle in which he rides as a passenger. Unfortunately, that also means your child has no opportunity to prevent or decrease injury in an auto accident. Children seated in appropriate car seats or using appropriate restraints, including sitting in the rear seats instead of in the front passenger seat, may suffer less severe injury than those who do not have appropriate restraints.
Those children still face a risk of sustaining serious injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage (SCI)
- Broken bones
- Chest contusions
- Severe lacerations
Product Liability Accidents
When you provide toys to or use other products with your children, you assume those products received care in construction to prevent serious injury. When those products do not function as intended, however, they can result in serious injury. Toys that catch on fire, for example, can result in serious burns to the children playing with them. Toys may also have unexpected dangers for the children who use them, leading to broken bones, reduced blood flow in fingers after they get stuck, or lacerations due to unexpected sharp edges on the toy.
As a parent, you likely also use many other products with your children on a daily basis. When improper construction of items intended for children and used appropriately by you and your children causes serious injury to your child, you may file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for injuries caused by that item.
Amusement Park Injuries
Amusement parks have rides and attractions designed to create a fun and exciting experience for the children and families who play there. When amusement parks fail in their responsibility to keep their patrons safe, including by properly inspecting rides and ensuring that all items intended for use by children will not cause them harm, it can cause serious repercussions. Children may suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injury, or even amputations due to improper ride maintenance or failed safety harnesses on rides.
School Bus Accident Injuries
Every year, buses provide more than 10 billion rides to students across the United States. Those students rely on bus drivers to provide safe transport to and from school and school-sponsored activities, including field trips and athletic activities. Bus companies owe every student on their buses a duty of care to transport the students as safely as possible. That includes properly maintaining buses, following local ordinances regarding safety precautions, and ensuring that students have fully cleared the area before moving the bus. Failure to adhere to those simple safety precautions can lead to serious school bus accidents with substantial injuries to the child.
When your child presents with the symptoms of a serious illness or injury, you rely on doctors to help diagnose that injury and provide appropriate treatment for your child. When doctors fail in that duty, you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim on behalf of your child.
This may include:
- Failure to properly diagnose your child. Often, children present with difficult symptoms that could indicate a variety of illnesses. When a doctor fails to diagnose your child properly based on reasonable criteria, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Failure to treat your child properly. Following a diagnosis, the doctor must then administer or recommend the appropriate treatment for your child. Your child has the right to proper treatment for any illness or injury regardless of your income status or perceived ability to pay, including the insurance you use to pay for services.
- Surgical errors. Sending your child off for surgery poses a risk, regardless of how simple or routine the surgery. When a surgeon commits an error during the surgical process, from operating on the wrong limb or organ to leaving items behind after the surgery, you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
When you send your child off to daycare, you assume the providers there will provide adequate care, protecting your child from harm. A daycare that fails to provide adequate care for your child can bear responsibility for any injuries caused due to that lack of care, including broken bones from falling off of items, burns, or illness due to improperly administered medications. Daycare workers must also provide safe equipment for the children who use the facility, from cribs and highchairs to playground equipment and toys. When daycare facilities knowingly use unsafe equipment or fail to properly inspect equipment, they may face liability for any injuries that occur.
Animal Bite Injuries
Your child has the right to play safely in public spaces, including at parks. When people bring their animals into such spaces or allow their animals to wander the neighborhood or onto your property, or when you bring your child to a space where your child should reasonably expect safety, and that animal bites your child, you have the right to file a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf. An owner who fails to take appropriate precautions with an animal known to have bitten in the past may face even more severe legal repercussions.
When you take your child to a playground, you probably assume that those responsible for the playground’s design and construction took into consideration the unique needs of children and provided adequately for their safety. Unfortunately, playgrounds may break down over time. Worse, in some cases, old playgrounds may not adhere to the latest safety standards, or new equipment might fail to take all appropriate safety precautions to protect your child. As a result, your child can suffer serious injuries after using playground equipment. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s accident, you may have grounds for a child injury claim.
Tampa Child Injury FAQ
A serious injury to a child often causes devastation for the entire family. If your child has sustained an injury, you likely want to know about your child’s right to compensation, including how that compensation will impact your ability to care for your child throughout the recovery process. If you have specific questions about an accident suffered by your child, contact a child injury attorney as soon as possible to review your claim and to learn more about both your rights and your child’s.
1. What should I do if my child suffers an injury due to someone else’s negligence?
First, seek medical attention for your child as soon as possible. Do not delay seeking medical care for your child. Even if you believe that your child suffered only minor injuries in an accident, seeking medical care will ensure that you do not miss a further injury and that your child’s recovery proceeds as smoothly as possible. By seeking medical care, you also create evidence of when your child suffered that injury, which can prevent challenges to a future lawsuit.
If possible, collect evidence related to your child’s injuries at the time of the accident. You may want to take photos of the scene of the accident or document your child’s recovery with photos. Avoid posting these photos or discussing your child’s accident on social media until you consult with an attorney and receive advice about what you can safely post.
Finally, contact an experienced Tampa child injury attorney as soon after your child’s accident as possible. You may deserve compensation for your child’s medical expenses, and your child may deserve compensation for the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident. A Tampa child injury attorney can provide quality advice about how much compensation you should expect and how it can impact your claim.
2. Who receives the personal injury settlement after my child’s accident?
Depending on the amount of the settlement and the circumstances that led to the accident, you may access some funds from the settlement to help pay your child’s medical expenses or to cover other expenses related to those injuries. The settlement for a child’s accident, however, ultimately belongs to the child. Consult an experienced Tampa child injury attorney in Tampa to learn more about the Florida laws governing your child’s settlement and how you must handle it.
3. How much compensation should my child seek for injuries suffered due to someone else’s negligence?
A settlement for a child injured in a serious accident looks much the same as a personal injury settlement for an adult. You, as the parent, can receive compensation for your child’s medical bills, while your child can receive compensation for pain and suffering due to those injuries. You may also have the right to seek compensation for lost earning potential when a minor child suffers injuries that will impact future work opportunities.
Keep track of all medical bills related to your child’s injuries. Some injuries, like spinal cord injuries and amputations, may have lifelong implications for your child. Likewise, while some children with traumatic brain injuries may make a full recovery, others may have lifelong impacts from their injuries. You may need to provide round-the-clock care for your child, including providing alternative educational arrangements instead of placing your child in a traditional school setting. By tracking all of the expenses related to the accident, you can provide a clear list to an attorney, allowing you to more effectively develop a Tampa child injury claim that accurately reflects your expenses due to the accident.
4. Who bears liability for an accident involving my child?
The party that bears liability for an accident will depend on the circumstances that contributed to the accident. Caring for children requires careful attention as well as consideration of unique factors, including children’s natural inquisitiveness and their often unpredictable behavior patterns.
To determine who bears liability for injuries caused in a Tampa accident, an attorney will consider the following:
- Who bore a duty of care to your child at the time of the accident? In the case of a school playground accident, for example, this may mean the school, while if your child suffered an injury in a school bus accident, the bus company may bear liability for the accident. The duty of care owed to your child extends to caregivers, as well as the individuals who bear a duty of care to all around them, such as construction workers, drivers, or premises owners.
- Who neglected their duty of care at the time of the accident? A negligent caregiver, for example, might not pay adequate attention as your child wanders off, leading to an accident. If your child suffered an injury in an accident with a driver who struck him while he was riding his bicycle, a distracted driver might have violated his duty of care to your child and to others who share the road.
- Did that violation lead to your child’s injuries? A negligent caregiver might allow your child to wander off, leading to some fearful moments, but if your child suffered no injuries, you may have no grounds for a Tampa child injury claim. On the other hand, if your child fell and broke a leg due to an inattentive caregiver, that individual and the company that employees him or her, including the school, could bear liability for the accident.
In many accidents, multiple parties share liability for an accident and the events that led to it. Working with a Tampa child injury attorney can give you a better idea of who caused the accident and, therefore, who you need to file a Tampa child injury claim against. If an attorney identifies multiple parties that contributed to the accident, you can file a Tampa child injury claim against each liable party.
5. Do I need an attorney to file a personal injury claim involving my child?
A Tampa child injury attorney can offer advantages to your child injury claim. By working with an attorney, many parents find that they can increase the compensation that they and their children receive for accidents suffered due to another party’s negligence.
For example, a Tampa child injury attorney will:
- Help collect evidence related to your claim. An experienced child injury attorney will look into all elements of your child’s accident. If your child suffered an accident on the playground at school, for example, an attorney might take a close look at the school’s past accident history. Did the school allow the playground equipment to break down without repairing it? Have other children suffered serious injuries on the equipment, or has the school been warned about the dangers of the equipment in the past? The attorney may also investigate a teacher with a significant history of accidents among children in his or her classroom or a bus driver who has a history of accidents in the past.
- Help you understand your child’s rights (and yours) after a serious accident. After an accident that results in substantial injuries, you may have a lot of questions about your rights, as the parent of a child injured in an accident, and your child’s rights. How much compensation should your family seek? How should you go about seeking that compensation? An attorney can help answer all of those questions and give you a better idea of what to expect through the claims process.
- Give you a better idea of the compensation you deserve and help you seek it. Many clients find that working with an experienced Tampa child injury attorney increases the compensation that they receive for a Tampa child injury claim, either for themselves or for their children, even once all of the legal fees are paid.
6. The liable party’s insurance company offered me a settlement right after my child’s accident. Should I take it?
Talk to a Tampa child injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer on your child’s behalf. That settlement offer may not reflect the total costs of your child’s injuries. Often, insurance companies will attempt to decrease the amount that they offer in compensation for an accident in the hopes that the other party will accept it without questioning it too closely. Accepting that offer can relieve the company of future financial liability and prevent you from receiving adequate compensation after a serious accident. Consult a Tampa child injury attorney before accepting that offer to get a better idea of the compensation your family deserves, when to accept a settlement offer, and when to continue negotiating for the compensation your family needs.
7. Will bringing a personal injury claim on behalf of my child result in additional trauma?
In most cases, a Tampa child injury claim will not add to the trauma that your child has already suffered. Your child will have only minimal involvement in the process, and you need not worry that an attorney will ask your child upsetting questions or force your child to relive the accident. In most cases, filing a Tampa child injury lawsuit will actually benefit your child. By filing a Tampa child injury claim, you can get funds that you need to pay your child’s medical expenses and help with other costs as you navigate your child’s injuries. Often, this can result in higher-quality medical treatment. You can also use funds designed to compensate your child for pain and suffering to help pay for college or for future expenses that your child may face.
8. How long do I have to file a personal injury claim on behalf of my child after an accident?
Minor children, according to Florida law, have a longer period of time to file a personal injury claim than adults. Minors have seven years after an accident, or until the end of the usual statute of limitations related to an accident, whichever is longer, to file a Tampa child injury claim. This helps protect the rights of minor children and increase the odds that they can file Tampa child injury claims and maximize their ultimate compensation.
The extension of the statute of limitations for minors, however, does not mean that you should put off filing a Tampa child injury claim after your child suffers substantial injury in a Tampa accident. In fact, if your child suffered serious injuries in an accident, you should contact an experienced Tampa child injury attorney as soon as possible.
The sooner you contact a Tampa child injury lawyer, the sooner that attorney can start working on your child’s behalf, including collecting vital evidence that can help prove the circumstances that led to your child’s accident. A Tampa child injury attorney can also help prevent you or your child from accepting a low settlement offer that does adequately compensate your family for your child’s injuries.
9. Can I file a wrongful death claim if my child dies in a Tampa accident?
If your child dies in an accident in Tampa, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can help provide compensation for medical bills faced before your child’s death as well as for the loss of that child’s presence in your life. While a wrongful death claim cannot bring your child back, it can provide much-needed compensation that will help you pay the bills associated with your child’s loss, as well as giving you more time to grieve before you have to return to a normal work schedule.
10. If my child suffers an injury at school, may I file a child injury claim against the Tampa school district?
In some cases, you may have the right to file a Tampa child injury claim against the school district if your child suffers serious injuries in an accident at school. Contact a Tampa child injury attorney with experience handling child injury cases to learn more about how to file a claim against the school district, including how to hold the school district liable for its actions leading to an accident. Schools owe a duty of care to all children in the school and the district, as they attend school each day, and a violation of that duty of care can lead to serious consequences for both the child and the school.
Your Tampa Child Injury Attorneys
When your child suffers serious injuries due to another party’s negligence, you may need an attorney to help you file a child injury claim. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman as soon after your child’s accident as possible at 833-552-7274 or by using our online contact form.