If a child sustains a serious injury, the parents may feel saddled with stress about whether their child will recover, and secondarily, who could be held responsible for the carelessness that injured the child. There is no excuse for poorly maintained premises, defective products, or other things that cause accidents that harm children.
Fortunately, parents or guardians can look to legal assistance to seek financial recovery for a child’s personal injury. An Alpharetta child injury lawyer could help you and your family move forward from an incident. Though nothing can turn back the clock, a skilled personal injury lawyer could help you seek financial compensation for the harm done, possibly through a personal injury lawsuit.
Children may be more susceptible to injury because of their small stature, fragility, and lack of familiarity with the workings of the world. People or companies responsible for facilities and products intended for children’s use should ensure their safety accordingly. Regrettably, this does not always happen. Some dangerous products that cause child injuries in Alpharetta include:
Another category of injuries is roadway accidents. These occur when children are on-foot, on bicycles, or in a car or bus. These are unfortunately common and result in both life-altering injuries and death.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the purpose of damages is to compensate the injured child for the harms suffered. The judge or jury must weigh the evidence presented and use it to reach a damages award based on what the plaintiff has asked for.
A plaintiff can seek compensation for medical bills by presenting proof of the reasonable value of emergency, hospital, nursing and other medical services required to treat their injuries.
The injured claimant can also recoup the cost of future medical bills, supported by evidence that that the treatments will be reasonably necessary. The award is expressed as the current cash value of these services, which could include future surgeries, long-term care, or rehabilitative services.
Georgia allows plaintiffs, as part of pain and suffering award, to seek hedonic damages. These are intended to compensate for loss of enjoyment of life’s activities, which can be tricky to prove. An Alpharetta child injury lawyer could assist by creating a compelling case for a these and help seek compensation for a child’s mental anguish and physical pain resulting from the accident.
When considering what pain and suffering may be awarded, a judge or jury will look at the nature of the child’s injury, their age, health, and interests and pursuits. If necessary, an attorney could oversee the hiring and testimony of an expert witness, or someone familiar with the nature of the child’s injuries to describe the extent and severity of the pain and suffering experienced.
According to Georgia Code § 9-3-33, plaintiffs have two years from the date of their injuries to file legal claims. Injury statute of limitations for minors gets “tolled,” or extended, until the child’s 18th birthday with the exception of medical malpractice. If malpractice occurred before the child’s 5th birthday, their parents and attorney must file a legal claim by the 7th birthday. For malpractice after the 5th birthday, the statute of limitations is two years.
Georgia uses a “tender years” doctrine to determine liability in child injury cases. Children under age 4 are considered incapable of negligence since they do not understand the consequences of assorted actions, dangerous or otherwise. However, children between age 5 and 13 can be charged with negligence in certain cases, such as when they engage in “adult activities.” Common adult activities that can result in negligence charges include operating a motor vehicle or flying an airplane. Children are usually held to adult standard of care in such cases, and generally benefit from legal professional help. Adolescents aged 14 or older are also subject to adult care standards.
Attractive nuisances refer to areas of residential or commercial property that can attract young children. Kids do not understand the dangers because they are still developing cognitively, which their attorneys typically emphasize. Common attractive nuisances include swimming pools, construction dirt piles, man-made ponds and fountains, farming equipment, large holes, and high-voltage towers.
The Supreme Court of Georgia holds property owners liable in attractive nuisance cases if five factors apply. These factors include the child not realizing the risk involved due to their youth and inexperience, such as playing around an unfenced swimming pool. Other factors include the property owner reasonably knowing children would likely trespass, and that bodily harm or death could result. The property owner should have also taken steps to remove the attractive nuisance, but failed to do so and put the child’s life in danger.
Learning the news about your child’s injury can be the worst moment in a parent’s life. It is undeniably stressful and anxiety inducing. Consulting a lawyer could be helpful to swiftly resolving the legal issues and helping you and your family move forward.
An attorney could empathize with your family’s difficult situation and help you seek compensation that can be vital to getting your life back on track. Call an Alpharetta child injury lawyer today to explore your legal options.