The children in our lives are precious. When they get hurt, we hurt. When they are in pain, we want to take the pain away for them. When someone else’s actions intentionally or accidentally hurt them, we have a hard time forgiving. Whether you are a parent, family member, or guardian, watching a child you love recover from a serious injury is a painstaking journey. In addition to the mental anguish that accompanies watching a child you love suffer, you might face piles of medical bills and have to take time away from work to care for your injured child. Under Florida law, you have recourse against those who have harmed your child. If you live in the Fort Myers area, contact the skilled child injury attorneys at Viles & Beckman at 239-334-3933 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your child’s injury.
Advocating for Injured Children Since 1995
At Viles & Beckman, our award-winning legal team understands the devastation of child injuries. We have decades of experience helping parents and guardians seek compensation for damages after an accident or event which harmed their child. The firm’s strong dedication to seeking justice and advocating for their clients has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars in damages. Money cannot undo the harm your child has experienced, but it can help with the financial burdens which accompany a severe child injury. We cannot guarantee a specific outcome for your child injury case, but we will diligently pursue the best outcome for your family by building the strongest case possible against the at-fault parties who harmed your child.
Types of Child injury Cases We Handle
Children are more vulnerable to injury than adults and might suffer harm a variety of ways. Sometimes, others intentionally hurt children. In other cases, carelessness or negligence can cause a child to sustain an injury. Below find examples of the kind of child injury cases we handle:
Newborns can enter this world with complications and conditions which naturally occur; medical professionals could not have done anything to prevent these things. Yet, many birth injuries are preventable. Misdiagnosis of fetal distress and issues with the mother’s health can cause long-term health problems for newborns. In other cases, misuse of birthing tools and poor fetal monitoring can lead to a wide range of injuries and conditions—some of which can affect your newborn for life. If you know or suspect your newborn suffered a birth injury, one of our compassionate attorneys can help you file a medical malpractice suit against relevant parties.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
When severe accidents occur, little ones can suffer minor injuries such as broken bones, but likely will suffer more serious injuries. Even when children are secured properly in car seats or booster seats, safety features, such as airbags, seat belts, and harnesses can cause injury. The impact of a car crash can easily cause whiplash and/or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young children. When another party’s careless driving leads to an accident that injures your child, a Florida court might find them liable for damages. Your mandatory Florida personal injury protection (PIP) coverage extends to children in your car, but severe injuries easily meet and exceed PIP limits, requiring you to take further legal action to recover losses.
School Bus Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates school bus accident fatalities comprise less than 1 percent of all traffic fatalities each year, making it the safest form of transportation for your children to get to and from school. In fact, students are 70 times more likely to arrive safely at school than if they ride in a car. Yet, school bus accidents do happen and can result in injury or fatality. We can help you seek compensation for damages if your child has been injured in a school bus accident.
Learning to ride a bicycle is the first major rite of passage for many young children. Cycling is a great way for children to get exercise in the wake of the growing childhood obesity epidemic in the United States. Yet, it does come with risks. Drivers on the road have a legal obligation to exercise care and caution towards children on bicycles. When inattentive or careless drivers cause a bicycle accident, the small frames of children with little protection can easily suffer multiple fractures and internal injuries if they live through the ordeal.
Amusement Park Injuries
Florida law subjects theme parks and amusement parks to strict regulations to protect visitors from harm. Negligent theme park owners and employees can set up conditions for accidents which can cause severe injuries to children. Some examples of things which might cause your child injury at one of Florida’s many amusement parks include:
- Malfunctioning or defective restraints or lap bars
- Distracted ride operators or errors by ride operators
- Poorly trained ride operators and other staff
- Poorly designed rides or components
- Inadequate inspections
- Ride operators who let children on rides who don’t meet the minimum height requirement
Florida’s sunny and warm weather gives ample opportunity for children to play in the state’s many green spaces. Whether a public or a private playground, when those tasked with the job to maintain the playground fail, children are at risk for injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 children under age 14 get treated for playground injuries each year. About ten percent of these children suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI); most injuries are fractures, abrasions, and contusions. When faulty playground equipment causes harm to your child, a court might hold those responsible for maintenance liable for injuries.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates more than 250,000 toy-related injuries occur each year, 75 percent of them occurring to those age 15 and under. While several different toys can lead to injuries, non-motorized scooters remain the largest culprit. Getting injured by a toy typically isn’t enough to warrant taking legal action, but if your child has been injured by a defective toy, you might recover compensation for damages. Toys can be defective because they have an unsafe design, they were poorly constructed, or manufacturers didn’t properly warn consumers of hazards or dangers related to the product. If you prove your child’s toy was defective, a Florida court will find the manufacturer strictly liable for damages.
Swimming Pool Accidents
According to the CPSC about 150 children age 15 and under drown in swimming pools across the nation during summer months. This doesn’t include children who sustain other pool injuries or are saved before drowning. Pools can be dangerous for children; more than 60 percent of all fatal drownings for those age four and under occur in swimming pools. Those who own swimming pools, public or private, have a duty to maintain a safe environment for those who visit their pools. Inadequate pool maintenance, failure to build a fence, cracked concrete, and slippery tiles can all lead to injury for a child. Pool owners must also protect their property from child trespassers who might be attracted to the pool. If a child trespasser wanders into a pool area and gets injured or drowns, Florida courts will likely find the owner liable for damages.
While anyone can suffer a dog bite injury, young children are especially vulnerable because of their size. A nationwide study by DogsBite.org studied fatal dog bite attacks across the United States for a 13 years. Researches found Florida had the third most fatal dog bite attacks. About 50 percent of all fatal dog bites occurred among those less than nine years old, with 27 percent of all attacks to those under two years old. Negligent dog owners or those who keep dangerous animals can be liable for damages related to a dog bite injury. Not all dog bites are fatal, but they can still lead to disease and injury. Young children can suffer lacerations on their face and body, many of which can leave permanent scars, as well as damage to soft tissues and fractures. Children who suffer dog bites often have mental trauma which needs to be addressed, too.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are the leading cause of injuries for those under age 19. Each day, more than 8,000 children across the United States are treated from fall-related injuries. When a property owner’s negligence leads to a child who trips and falls or slips and falls, he might be held accountable for damages. Some common hazards which lead to falls include wet and dry cleaning products, water, food, loose tiles, stairs, and handrails. Property owners must maintain a safe environment for visitors, including children.
Many children, especially tweens and teens might suffer sports injuries. The CDC reports more than 2.6 million children each year visit emergency rooms across the nation for treatment related to sports injuries. The most severe injuries often occur in full contact sports such as football, rugby, soccer, and hockey. Athletes in these sports risk concussion injuries. Even mild concussions can be dangerous for children because their brains are still developing. A concussion, formally a mild traumatic brain injury, can cause long-term developmental issues with cognition, behavior, and memory. If your child has suffered a sports injury, you might think you have no recourse because you signed a waiver of participation. This isn’t always the case; you need to consult a child injury attorney to learn how they still might be able to assist you in recovering damages.
Recovering Damages After Your Child Gets Injured
Under Florida law, you typically have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit when you have been injured. Exceptions exist for medical malpractice suits and children of a certain age, in certain situations. You need to consult with an attorney to find out which statute of limitations applies to your child’s particular situation. If you reach a settlement or a court rules in your child’s favor, you might receive compensation for some or all of the following damages:
- Medical expenses such as ambulance ride, emergency room visit, surgery, radiology, and medication
- Future medical treatment when your child’s injury requires extensive recovery or results in a permanent disability requiring lifelong care
- Lost wages for time you have missed from work to take care of your child
- Lost earning capacity if the child’s injury is so severe that he or she will not be able to seek gainful employment when they reach working age
- Assistive devices and technology used to help your child cope with their injury, including artificial limbs, crutches, braces, wheelchairs, and special computer programs
- Rehabilitation expenses for specialists who help your child regain function, e.g. speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist
- Cost of any home modifications to make your home more accessible for your child—for example, wheelchair ramp, handrails, widening of doors
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Other non-economic costs which might apply to your child’s individual circumstances
Your Child’s Rights. Your Child’s Recovery. Our Responsibility. Call Our Fort Myers Child Injury Attorneys Today
Watching your child suffer in the aftermath of an injury can bring unbearable emotional pain, which compounds when you know the accident or event which caused injury was entirely preventable. At Viles & Beckman, we understand the difficult time you and your family are enduring and we are here to help. We will advocate for your child’s rights and do our best to hold liable parties accountable. Our skilled child injury attorneys will investigate the circumstances around your child’s injury and uncover the facts to support your case.
If your child has suffered harm in Fort Myers because of another party’s careless actions, contact us online or at 239-334-3933 to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your case. Viles & Beckman handles personal injury cases, including child injury cases, on contingency, deducting attorney fees from any settlement or verdict we secure for you.