Charlotte Child Injury Lawyers
Protecting young victims of injury throughout North Carolina
Children are among the most vulnerable of our population, and as parents and guardians we do our utmost to protect them and keep them safe from harm. When your child is hurt due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you may feel helpless. Of course, their future and health are your priorities, but it’s also natural to be concerned about who will be responsible for medical bills – now and going forward.
Here at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC, we fight for the rights of your family and advocate for your child. We have a successful record of representing families in child injury claims, as well as with wrongful death claims. When you put your trust in us, we work with you personally every step of the way. Call us today.
Common Reasons Children Sustain Injuries in Charlotte
Generally, child injuries are the same types of personal injuries that happen to adults. However, because children have a limited understanding of risk, they can become injured in situations or places that might pose less danger to adults. But more importantly, children have the same right as anyone else to be protected from harm and negligence.
School and Daycare Negligence
One of the more common places children get injured is school or daycare. Many times, injuries occur due to lack of or improper supervision, negligence, or defective equipment. School- and daycare-related accidents include:
- Playground injuries. Recess and playgrounds are a traditional part of school and daycare. From swings to monkey bars to playground gyms, kids have lots of fun, but there are also many opportunities for injury. Common injuries from playgrounds include head injuries, bone fractures, lacerations, sprains and strains, and internal injuries.
- Youth and school sports injuries. Our children can suffer sports injuries during practice, competition, training camps, or scrimmages. Types of injuries can include heatstroke, concussions, knee injuries, broken bones, or neck and spine injuries.
- School bus accidents. School bus accidents are more complex than regular car accidents. Laws governing these types of accidents are unique, and your personal injury lawyer can help you work through the details. Injuries from school bus accidents include broken bones, head injuries, lacerations and abrasions, or wrongful death.
- Slips and falls. Your child may slip and fall at school due to wet floors, cracked pavement, worn carpet, or from other improper premises maintenance. Common injuries include broken bones, strains and sprains, head injuries, or even spinal injuries.
Car and Bicycle Accidents
Children can often suffer life-threatening injuries in auto accidents. This can also include injuries from bicycle, pedestrian, or scooter and skateboard accidents. Remember, drivers owe children a duty of care when operating their vehicles in areas where children are present. Additionally, in certain circumstances, a child’s injuries from a car accident can be caused by vehicle defects or a faulty child safety seat. Product liability laws may apply in cases like these.
Dog Bites and Other Animal Attacks
Here in North Carolina, we have a “one bite rule,” which generally protects a dog owner from liability the first time their dog injures someone. Then, if the dog injures or bites someone again, the owner is then liable, as they’re aware their dog has a history of this sort of behavior. However, even when a dog bites for the first time, the owner may still be liable under various legal theories of negligence such as violation of an animal control law. Children who are bitten by dogs and other animals can suffer scarring, disfigurement, lacerations, or broken bones.
Dangerous or Defective Children’s Products
Manufacturers of children’s products have the same responsibility as every other manufacturer to ensure their products are safe. Defective products for babies or children can include things like car seats, high chairs, toys, cribs, playground equipment, or scooters.
Injuries to Children with Special Needs
Children who live with mental or physical disabilities often need specialized care and attention. This includes school, daycare, work, group homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. When a caretaker, teacher, or other professional fails in their duty to protect your child from harm, they should be held liable.
If a staff member lacks the proper training to care for a special-needs child, he or she is putting that child at risk for injury or worse. When you entrust your child to anyone’s care, you should expect that everyone is trained to supervise and protect your child from harm.
It’s crucial to work with a personal injury law firm experienced in special needs law. When a special needs child receives a settlement, a plan should be put in place that financially benefits him or her for as long as possible. This involves much paperwork and should be handled differently than typical personal injury cases – typically in the form of a trust or annuity for the child. We can answer all your questions.
Liability for Child Injuries
With many cases involving injury to a child, an adult, business, or organization has failed in their duty to act with reasonable care to prevent your child from harm. And, this duty can often be held to a higher standard when it involves children.
One example might be the following – property owners should take extra steps to prevent child trespassers from injury, like fencing in a pool in the backyard. If a pool is not protected from a child and they fall into it, even while trespassing, the parent(s) of the child may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the owners of the property. (Of course, every situation is different, and your personal injury attorney can tell you more.).
Here in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina, we follow the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if an injury victim is found to have contributed to their accident at all, they can’t recover any injuries. However, children are typically held to a lower standard when it comes to this doctrine, meaning that what might be considered contributory negligence for adults may not be the same for a child.
In general, children under the age of seven are considered incapable of negligence. A child between the age of 7 and 14 is presumed to be incapable of negligence but this presumption may be overcome based on the evidence.
The True Cost of Child Injuries
Parents are financially responsible for their children, and when an accident causes their child serious injury, they can find themselves facing harsh economic realities. Costs can include medical bills, both current and future, as well as ongoing expenses like physical therapy or rehabilitation and home care. Sometimes insurance will take care of some costs, but with catastrophic injuries, you may exhaust your options quickly. Many parents go into medical debt when taking care of an injured child, and you should never be financially responsible for an accident that wasn’t your child’s fault.
Your child may also suffer more than just physical pain. Serious accidents and injuries can cause psychological and emotional trauma. Injuries involving disfigurement or long-lasting disability can reduce future ability to work and earn money, as well as diminish quality of life.
Nobody, including children and their families, should have to deal with the financial and psychological costs of an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Experienced personal injury attorneys can work with you to help bring the responsible parties to justice.
North Carolina Child Injury Lawyers with the Experience You Need
If your child experiences an injury because of someone else’s carelessness, we can help. Warren & Kallianos will help you seek compensation for your child’s injuries, and work to ensure they have a bright future. To schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Charlotte, please call 704-275-5593 or fill out our contact form.