Any parent’s worst nightmare is the thought of their children being injured, however serious it may be. Child injury cases often fall under the purview of personal injury, except children cannot take legal action on their own behalf, so that task falls to their parents or guardians. There are several situations that may necessitate legal action if your child has been injured. It’s vital for parents to know their rights and how to seek compensation for an injured child.
Potential Causes of Child Injuries
Most parents work and entrust the safety and supervision of their children to schools, daycare centers, or nurseries. The staff responsible for the care of children must ensure that their facilities are clean and free from any potential hazards, the children receive adequate nourishment and hydration, and they are well supervised at all times. Failing in these requirements may cause the offending party to be liable for injuries suffered by children under their care.
Negligent Supervision describes any situation where a caregiver failed to pay attention to the children in their care, and a preventable injury resulted. A preventable injury is any injury that would not have happened if the caregiver had been paying adequate attention to the child. There are several factors that used to determine the adequate level of supervision a child requires:
- The age of the child – Obviously younger children require much more vigilant supervision. For example, kindergarteners will require more careful supervision than 8- or 9 year-olds on playground equipment.
- The experience level of the child – Children engaging in activities for the first time require much more careful supervision than those who have more experience. For example, a child who has shown skill as a seasoned swimmer will require less supervision than a child entering the pool for the first time.
- The type of activities being conducted – The amount of vigilance required from caregivers varies depending on the type of activities the children are performing. Story time will require less supervision than outside recess on playground equipment.
- Random variables – There will sometimes be circumstances outside a childcare provider’s control. Anyone responsible for the care and safety of children must take every measure to remove any risk of injury or harm to the children under their care, even in shifting circumstances.
Property Liability may be a factor if a child is injured due to an unsafe environment, and at no fault of their caregiver. Unsafe playground equipment may injure children in several ways. Metal components may become rusted or deteriorate, wooden structures wear and splinter, and ropes and chains on playgrounds may wear out with use over time. The property owner is responsible for ensuring that playground equipment or other facilities on their premises pose no threat to the children who use them.
In almost every child injury case, the parents will be fighting on behalf of their injured child and will be awarded compensation as the result of a successful case. In order for a child injury case to be successful, the victim’s representatives must prove the defendant was negligent in their duty to provide a safe and hazard-free environment for children, and their failure to fulfill that duty directly resulted in the child’s injuries.
Contact a Springfield Child Injury Attorney
At Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, we believe that if your child has suffered any injury in Springfield, Mo., or the surrounding areas as the result of another person or entity’s negligence, you should not have to bear the costs alone. You should be able to collect damages to cover your child’s medical expenses, the costs of any necessary ongoing treatments, any potentially damaged property, and their pain and suffering. Knowing their child has been injured is stressful and difficult enough for the parents and guardians, so reach out to our team of legal experts to start reviewing your child’s injury case now.