Pittsburgh Child Injury Attorneys
Is Your Child Suffering After a Pittsburgh Injury Accident?
If your child was injured in an accident, you may be wondering if you should hire a Pittsburgh child injury lawyer.
Unintentional injuries, including falls, drownings, burns, and traffic accidents, are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On average, about 12,175 children 0 to 19 years old die each year in the U.S. from an unintentional injury.
While motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children overall, there are also a substantial number of children killed in pedestrian and bicycling accidents. Children less than one year of age are most at risk for suffocation-related injuries, while those 1-4 years of age are more vulnerable to drowning-related deaths.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health found that in 2016 and 2017, 23 percent of childhood deaths (ages 0-21) occurring in Pennsylvania were due to accident—the second-highest percentage behind “natural” deaths (those attributed to disease or illness, such as premature birth). The most frequent causes of death in the accident group were weapons-related (38.2 percent among mostly teens), motor vehicle accident (21.3 percent), and poison (20.7 percent).
These types of injuries in Pittsburgh are understandably devastating for families. The fallout is even worse if the child’s death occurred because of someone’s negligence. There may be significant medical bills, follow-up care, or even a need for lifelong medical care.
Parents who are struggling to manage all the expenses, as well as the emotional trauma, may be able to obtain compensation via a Pittsburgh child injury lawsuit. Such compensation can help with the financial losses while families work to put their lives back together.
The Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana are there for parents who are struggling with a child’s injury or wrongful death, with child injury attorneys who can help answer questions and offer potential solutions.
What is a Child Injury Accident?
A child injury accident occurs anytime a child is injured accidentally. Something happens unexpectedly or unintentionally, resulting in the child’s injury or death.
Common Causes of Child Injuries in Pittsburgh
Some common causes of child injuries include the following:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: The most frequent cause of injury for kids of all ages, falls may occur on playgrounds, in the home, or at child care facilities. Children are most likely to fall off slides and monkey bars, as well as down stairs, from beds without railings, off elevated landings, in slippery bathtubs, and out windows. The CDC states that roughly 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every day.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Road accidents are also a common cause of childhood injury and death, particularly for teen drivers and passengers. The child can be involved in a pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or even a passenger in a auto accident. The CDC states that nearly 150 children ages 0 to 19 are treated every hour in U.S. emergency rooms for crash-related injuries.
- Struck-by and impact accidents: According to the CDC and the NEISS All Injury Program, emergency department visits for being struck by or against an object are second only to falls in child injury accidents. Some examples of these types of accidents include walking into something (door, wall, furniture), being hit by an object (flying ball, falling box), getting hit by something or someone while playing sports, and being pinned under a piece of furniture (particularly for younger children).
- Suffocation: Accidental suffocation or strangulation is a leading cause of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). Suffocation-related injuries have also been linked to improper use of inclined sitting and sleeping products.
- Drowning: About one-half of children treated for drowning in emergency departments must undergo further care in the hospital, according to the CDC.
- Poisoning: Every day, over 300 children in the U.S. are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned. Common sources of poisoning include household cleaners and medicines.
- Burns: The CDC states that younger children are more likely to be burned from hot liquids or steam, while older children are more likely to suffer burn injuries caused by direct contact with fire. If you think you have a child injury claim after suffering from a burn speak with our experienced Pittsburgh burn injury lawyers today.
- Cuts and puncture wounds: Serious cuts and puncture wounds are most often related to a bad fall, being hit by something, or coming into contact with yard tools, cutlery, and kitchen appliances.
Should I Hire a Pittsburgh Child Injury Attorney?
The main thing to consider when thinking about getting a Pittsburgh child injury lawyer is one question: Who is at fault?
Overall, children are often more at risk for accidental injuries because they are more impulsive and less experienced than adults. Sometimes accidents just happen, and there is no way that anyone could have foreseen it or prevented it.
There are several situations, however, when a child’s injury can be blamed on someone’s negligence. Some examples of these types of situations are listed below:
- Caregivers: If the child was injured while under someone else’s care, that individual or the organization for which they work could be liable for the damages. Caregivers may include teachers, bus drivers, daycare providers, sports coaches, and other parents.
- Medical Malpractice: If the child was injured because of a medical mistake, the healthcare providers and the medical center they worked for may be at least partially, if not fully, responsible. Examples include birth injuries, labor and delivery errors, and misdiagnoses.
- Property Owners: If the child was injured while on someone else’s property—perhaps he drowned in the neighbor’s pool—that property owner may be liable for damages through a premises liability accident claim.
- Pet Owners: Dog bites are a frequent cause of child injury. Many times, the dog owner is found liable for failing to control the dog when the child was nearby. For more information speak to our Pittsburgh dog bite injury lawyers to discuss your case.
- Playground Equipment Manufacturers: If the child was injured on the playground because the equipment was defectively manufactured or designed, the company that created the equipment may share in any liability.
- Motorists: If the child was injured in an auto accident, any motorist who caused the accident can be held liable. Depending on your type of Pittsburgh auto accident finding a specific firm that specializes in your accident.
- Toy or Furniture Manufacturers: Should the child be injured by a toy or piece of furniture, the parents may be able to sue the manufacturers of those items.
If you have evidence that your child was injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a Pittsburgh child injury lawsuit.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Child’s Accident?
When considering whether it’s worth it to get a Pittsburgh child injury attorney, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the injury serious? Since a child injury lawsuit can take time and resources, it’s important to be sure the injury is serious enough to warrant the effort.
- Are you facing a lot of expenses? More serious injuries typically result in a higher financial burden for families. While your insurance may cover much of the major medical care, it’s not likely to cover all of it, and you may have additional expenses related to the injury that you have to pay out of pocket.
- Is the child facing future challenges? If, because of the injury, you and your child now face future challenges, it’s probably worth it to file a child injury lawsuit. Maybe your child has become disabled and will need ongoing care, or has suffered injuries that require him or her to receive extra help in school.
- Do you have proof of negligence? To prove negligence, you will need evidence. Your Pittsburgh child injury attorney can help you put this together, but when you’re considering filing, it helps to ask yourself whether this evidence is likely to be available. Do you have paperwork, an accident report, medical records, video evidence, witness statements, or other potential support for your claim?
- Can you afford it? In most cases, your attorney will work on a contingent fee basis, which means you will not be charged upfront. Your lawyer will be paid only if you win your case. At that point, the lawyer will get a certain percentage of the damages you recover.
Speak To Our Pittsburgh Child Injury Lawyers Today
You have nothing to lose by CONTACTING a Pittsburgh child injury attorney and going to an initial consultation, most of which are FREE. In fact, you may have a lot to gain—in a study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), results showed that insurance payouts are, on average, 3.5 times higher for clients who have hired an attorney than for those without one.
What To Do If a Child Has an Accident at School
No parent wants to get that call—the one where they find out that their child has been injured at school. If this happens to you, take these steps:
- Take a deep breath: Such a call is always frightening. Take a deep breath and do your best to remain calm.
- Assess the damage: When you see your child, examine his/her injuries carefully. In most cases, it’s best to take the child to the doctor even if the injury seems mild. Medical records are critical evidence in any child injury case.
- Determine if someone is at fault: If it’s clear that your child has been seriously injured, your main concern will be to get medical attention. Still, keep your eyes open and ask questions. As soon as you can, talk to your child, her teachers and other caregivers at the school, and any other adults who may have witnessed the accident.
- Document the evidence: If you suspect that your child may have been injured because of someone’s negligence, start documenting the evidence as soon as possible. Take pictures of where the accident occurred. Get names and phone numbers of teachers, caregivers, and witnesses. Check on your state’s laws about recording conversations, and consider recording those you have with other adults about the incident.
- Talk to a Pittsburgh child injury lawyer: If you feel that your child was injured due to someone’s negligence—whether that be the school and the teachers and caregivers there, the bus driver, other individuals at the school, or the playground equipment manufacturers—make an appointment to talk to your child injury attorney.
What To Do If a Child is Injured at Daycare
When you drop your child off at daycare, you assume he will be well taken care of by properly-trained caregivers. If your child is injured because of a caregiver’s negligence, you may be able to hold the facility and/or the caregiver liable for those injuries.
An injury that occurs at a daycare center is similar to one that occurs at a school. Follow the same steps of checking the injuries, getting medical care, and keeping your eyes and ears open for any information that may indicate negligence.
Some parents may be confused about their rights, particularly if they signed a “no liability” clause in their daycare contract or agreement. Such an agreement, though, doesn’t mean that you have no legal recourse. Most courts will not allow a daycare facility to wriggle out of its responsibilities with such a clause.
Document your child’s injury, gather all the evidence you can and talk to your experienced daycare injury attorney to determine whether or not you may have a case. Common causes of daycare injuries that may involve negligence include:
- Playtime injuries due to unsafe or poorly maintained playground equipment or play areas.
- Impact injuries caused by falling objects. Negligence may be involved if the child was not being supervised at the time of the injury, or if the daycare failed to take the proper precautions in keeping heavy objects properly anchored and/or out of reach.
- Interaction injuries caused by other children, often due to lack of supervision.
- Poisoning due to the failure of the facility to keep dangerous products out of reach.
- Transportation injuries, possibly due to the negligence of the facility driver.
- Choking, often because the daycare failed to serve age-appropriate foods and snacks.
- Drowning, perhaps because the child was left unsupervised near a bathtub, bucket, or swimming pool.
- Burns, possibly because of lack of supervision or a lack of appropriate smoke detectors.
Pain and Suffering Compensation After A Child Injury
There are a variety of different types of legal damages your child may be entitled to after a serious accident. These may include the following:
- Medical bills: These are clear-cut, easy-to-prove expenses you had to pay because of the accident. They may include money not only for hospital care, but home-care and physical therapy, prescription medications, and any required medical equipment (wheelchair, crutches, etc.).
- Household and vehicle modifications: If you have to change your home or vehicle to accommodate a child’s disability, all of the expenses incurred could be part of your damages.
- Permanent disfigurement: If the child was scarred, lost a leg or arm, or was otherwise permanently disfigured because of the accident (such as in burn injuries), you have a right to be compensated for that.
- Special schools or educational programs: Should the child have suffered from brain trauma affecting his cognition, any special mentors, educational programs, or special school expenses may be recovered in court.
- Pain and suffering: A child suffering a serious injury is likely to suffer significant pain and mental and emotional trauma. Though it’s more difficult to assign a monetary value to such suffering, it is often the most difficult part of an injury and deserves compensation.
Though you can easily prove monetary damages with medical records, receipts, insurance statements, and more, “pain and suffering” is a more difficult type of damage to prove. This is where a Pittsburgh child injury attorney can help.
He or she will include pain and suffering arguments when negotiating with an insurance company or when preparing a case for court. These will include facts about how the injury has disrupted the child’s way of life, left her with debilitating physical impairments, caused her emotional and mental distress, and perhaps completely altered her options for future development and achievement. Your attorney will gather all the evidence of pain and suffering and determine a specific dollar amount for them, then use that amount when negotiating a settlement.
Get Help from Pittsburgh Child Injury Lawyers
If you’re struggling to manage the consequences associated with your child’s injury, don’t hesitate to call us at Chaffin Luhana. Our Pittsburgh child injury lawyers are now investigating these cases and invite you to call today at 888-480-1123.
Chaffin Luhana is a Nationally Recognized Pittsburgh Injury Law Firm.
Chaffin Luhana is a plaintiffs-only national trial practice with over $1 Billion in recoveries for our clients. The Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana have well in excess of 100 years of combined experience handling a wide variety of serious injury cases. In fact, our Pittsburgh child injury attorneys have personally handled thousands of claims against practically every conceivable insurance company. Our Pittsburgh Injury Attorneys have handled personal injury and catastrophic damages claims, defective product litigation, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and mass tort matters in both State and Federal Courts throughout the United States.
A large percentage of our clients come referred to us by fellow injury lawyers who trust Chaffin Luhana with their biggest and oftentimes most complicated cases.
Child Injury Accident Law Firm in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Chaffin & Luhana LLP
615 Iron City Dr,
Pittsburgh, PA 15205