Lawsuits, Settlements & Verdicts for Injured Children in Washington State
Every child has the right to a safe, healthy, and happy childhood. It is all too easy for a defenseless child to fall victim to the negligence, recklessness, or malice of others. It is right to demand and fight for justice when our children suffer preventable injuries. When tragedy strikes and you don't know where to turn, you may need the help of an experienced attorney.
Attorney Chris Davis Discussing Child Injury Cases In The News
Washington State Child Accident Law
Parents and guardians of children that have been injured as a result of neglect, poor supervision, carelessness, or wrong-doing need to know that child injury claims are significantly different from adult injury claims.
- The statute of limitations for child (under age 18) injury claims and lawsuits is typically extended.
- A child (under age 18) cannot hire an attorney and file a personal injury lawsuit on their own, typically a parent or guardian must do so on behalf of the child.
- A claim for mental and physical health care costs can be brought by the parents or guardian who was responsible for the bills.
- Parents may have a legal claim for their lost wages due to an ability to work in order to care for their injured child.
- Seriously injured children may have a legal claim for future lost wages due to an inability to work.
- Children are not held to the same standard as adults when evaluating negligence--children are not necessarily responsible for their own actions.
- The settlement of a child injury lawsuit or legal claim must typically be approved by the court.
- In some cases, once a court has approved a settlement or claim, the child may not receive funds until he/she is 18 years of age. Settlement funds are often placed in a trust account on behalf of the child.
- A guardian ad litem is often required in cases involving a minor child.
- In a child wrongful death claim, the parent is often the executor (aka administrator, personal representative).
According to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), more than 2,000 children are killed in accidents or die from an unintentional injury every day. Every year tens of millions of children are left with life-long disabilities.
Children and adolescents are at high risk for many injuries including those caused by:
- Cars and other motor vehicle accidents
- Lack of proper supervision and/or neglect
- Bicycle accidents involving automobiles
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Ingestion of poisonous household products
- Amusement park accidents
- Household fires
- Falls due to lack of proper safety measures
- Swimming-related accidents
- Playground equipment accidents
- Fireworks and fire arms
These injuries can lead to severe disabilities. The person or company responsible can be held accountable through a lawsuit filed on behalf of the injured child. And when that negligence results in the death of a child, a claim by the parent or parents will be a difficult and sensitive matter best shepherded by professionals with years of understanding, compassion, and patience handling these situations.
When Hiring an Attorney May Help Your Case
Not every injury case requires an attorney, but if your child has been injured, it may be time to consult with a law firm to see if legal counsel will be able to help you with your case. Child injury claims are often extremely complex, especially in situations where the injuries and damages suffered by the child are extensive. Consulting with an attorney experienced in representing children and minors who have been injured due to negligence may be beneficial in determining your legal options moving forward.