No parent ever wants to see their child suffer a serious injury, but when a preventable accident happens to a child due to someone else’s negligence, it’s particularly distressing. A Seattle child injury lawyer can help you deal with powerful insurance companies who do not have your child’s best interests at heart and, if needed, we will pursue additional damages from the party that caused your child’s injury. Instead of spending your time dealing with mounting bills and insurance companies, you deserve to spend your time focusing on your child’s health.
As a parent, you spend your entire life protecting your child and helping them grow up in a safe and happy atmosphere. When an injury to your child occurs, it can be life-shaking and a devastating experience for the whole family. While you’re consumed with nursing your child back to health, medical bills can pile up fast, leaving your family with undue financial burdens. A Seattle personal injury lawyer from The Fang Law Firm is ready to provide your family with the legal representation you and your child deserve.
If your child was injured in a car accident, a premises accident at a business, by medical malpractice, or at a daycare: you may be able to recover from the at-fault party’s insurance. If the at-fault driver’s coverage is not enough to cover your medical bills, a Seattle child injury lawyer can help you recover through a civil lawsuit.
Under Washington law, a parent can maintain a child injury action on behalf of their child.
If you win your suit at trial, the jury can award you the following damages:
While financial compensation for a child’s injury may not erase the pain or harm, it can open doors to the best medical care and help maximize recovery. It also helps families to achieve a sense of justice.
In most cases, a parent has 3 years from the date of their child’s accident in which to file a lawsuit. Child injury attorneys typically attempt to achieve an ample settlement out of court through negotiation with the appropriate insurance company before filing a lawsuit. By filing a claim as soon as you understand the full scope of your child’s injury and the medical costs involved, it allows plenty of time for your attorney to:
Only in the event that you cannot achieve a mutually acceptable settlement does the case proceed to a lawsuit, in which case you have 3 years from the date of the injury, or 3 years from the date that the injury is discovered, in which to file a lawsuit under Washington’s statute of limitations. The time limit serves to ensure that evidence is still available and witness testimony is fresh should the matter come to court.
Alternatively, when a minor turns 18, they have 3 years from their 18th birthday in which to file a lawsuit of their own in a Washington court.
Children do not have the same understanding of danger and consequences as adults. They commonly engage in high-risk behaviors while they also do not have the same physical coordination, balance, and other abilities as adults. For these reasons, anywhere children play or learn must be supervised, well-maintained, and monitored for safety. Depending on where and how the injury occurred, a number of parties could bear liability when a child is injured due to negligence. Some common liable parties in children’s injuries include:
When a child is injured due to someone else’s negligence, the child and the parents deserve to have their voices heard and corrective actions taken. A civil liability lawsuit is the court’s way of offering redress in the form of monetary compensation for damages.
Children have an underdeveloped sense of the relationship between their actions and their consequences. While children are sometimes injured in ways similar to adult injuries—such as in car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, defective product injuries, or from medical malpractice—other types of injuries are more unique to children. For example, children are more likely than adults to sustain injuries from being hit by a car, including “back-over accidents” when a reversing car backs over a small child. Playground accidents are also unique to children.
In some cases, what adults might see as a clear danger, a child might view as an attraction. For example, an adult might see a dilapidated wooden dock over a pond as a clear hazard, but a child sees it as an exciting adventure. In those cases, Washington’s “attractive nuisance” laws may come into play. A property owner is liable for damages when children receive injuries if the property owner has a hazard on their property that presents a clear attraction to children such as:
Any of the above may attract children who could then sustain serious injuries. It is a property owner’s duty to identify and address safety concerns to prevent injury to others on their property. The courts do not consider young children to be trespassers even if they are injured on a property to which they were not invited.
It’s hard to prepare for an injury, especially a preventable injury to an innocent child. The most common child injuries that we see include:
All children experience small accidents and injuries, no matter how diligently their parents care for them, but when a child experiences a serious accident that was preventable if only a party had taken reasonable care, it’s painful and traumatic for the child and their family.
Car accidents, including “back-over” accidents in which children are run over by cars backing out in reverse, are the most common cause of child injuries related to negligence. An at-fault driver is liable for all damages associated with these types of child injuries or fatalities.
Unsafe playground equipment is another common cause of child injury. Playground accidents may occur due to any of the following examples of negligence:
Children are also at greater risk of drowning, choking, strangling, and experiencing burn injuries compared to adults. When a child sustains a serious injury due to distraction, carelessness, unsafe equipment, or the negligence or reckless actions of another, that party is liable for damages—typically paid through their car insurance, property insurance, product liability insurance, or medical malpractice insurance, depending on how the injury occurred.
If this is your first time navigating a child’s injury, you might not be sure what the next steps are following the injury. We recommend the following steps to make filing a claim and recovering from the at-fault person easier:
Following these steps will assist you and your child-injury attorney in obtaining the largest settlement possible. Insurance companies will try their best to deny your claim for lack of information or documentation.
While we’d like to believe that insurance companies are on our side as they claim to be in commercials, the hard truth is that powerful insurance companies exist to make profits. Their profit margin depends on taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. For that reason, insurance representatives often employ common tactics to undervalue your claim for a child’s injury or to deny coverage completely. Some tactics to beware of include:
If your child suffered a serious injury due to negligence on the part of someone else, you should always hire an experienced Seattle child injury attorney with a track record of success in handling cases of child injury. Then, direct all communication with the insurance company to your lawyer.
Injuries are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States according to CDC statistics. These statistics also reveal several other startling facts including:
At The Fang Law Firm, we are skilled in child injury litigation with over a decade of experience and a winning record. We will fight against common insurance company bad faith tactics to get you the best settlement amount possible. If needed we will mount a detailed and thorough case against the at-fault party in court to maximize your damages. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying medical bills or fighting with the insurance company while your child is recovering from an accident. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 for a free case consultation.
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