Philadelphia Child Injury Lawyer
A child has several disadvantages compared to an adult when it comes to avoiding injury accidents. Children are physically smaller and weaker, making them more vulnerable in car crashes and other accidents.
Also, children often don’t have the experience and reasoning skills needed to recognize and avoid certain dangers. That’s why we expect product manufacturers and adults in general to take the utmost care to protect children from harm. Sadly, this is not always the case, as adult negligence commonly translates into child injuries which can affect the rest of the victim’s life.
Any childhood injury can be difficult for a family, but an accident that results in a child’s catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death is a devastating tragedy. At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., our attorneys offer aggressive, uncompromising representation to parents and families struggling with the aftermath of accidents involving children.
A child injury lawyer from our firm can assist you in pursuing maximum compensation for injuries inflicted upon your child. We know how these situations affect families and the challenges that a catastrophic child injury can create. That is why we work tirelessly to recover the compensation necessary to secure your child’s future health and wellbeing, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Why Are Child Injury Cases Different from Other Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Accidents that result in injuries to children are among the most tragic, especially if a catastrophic injury or wrongful death results. However, these claims are also often the most complex due to the many different laws that may apply.
Some unique aspects of a child injury case include the following:
- Children cannot file their own personal injury claims. By law, those under the age of 18 (who are not emancipated) are minors, and therefore cannot legally file a lawsuit for themselves. Instead, a parent or legal guardian must file suit on the child’s behalf.
- Parents typically must file a separate claim for medical bills. Generally, a child’s parent or guardian is responsible for his or her care, including medical expenses. This means that the child usually cannot collect compensation for medical treatment. Instead, the parent or guardian must file a separate personal injury claim for these damages.
- Children may collect compensation even if they are at fault for their own injuries. Young children are not expected to recognize dangers in the same way an adult would. Therefore, adults typically have a duty to provide more protection for children. For example, an adult should know not to wander onto someone else’s property and swim in an unattended pool. However, a child may not. For this reason, pool owners must have fencing to prevent accidental child drownings and other pool-related injuries. If the owner fails this duty and a child injury results, the child can likely collect compensation.
What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?
The law recognizes that children do not have the same mental faculties and ability to perceive danger that adults do.
The attractive nuisance doctrine requires property owners to exercise “reasonable care” to children who trespass on their land as children are curious and explorative by nature. What exactly constitutes reasonable care in these circumstances varies a bit from state to state.
Here in Pennsylvania, landowners can be held liable for injuries sustained by trespassing children under the attractive nuisance doctrine requires if each of the following elements are satisfied:
- The owner should have known that the attractive nuisance was dangerous.
- The owner should have known that children would likely be attracted to it.
- The cost of securing the area, or making safer, is insignificant when compared to the risk posed by the dangerous or hazardous condition.
- A child would likely not realize the danger posed by the condition.
Damages in a Child Injury Claim
The damages available in a child injury claim are largely the same as those that are available in a personal injury claim involving an adult.
The court can award general or non-economic damages as compensation for the child’s pain and suffering (and other losses that do not have a precise dollar amount attached to them) and special damages to compensate their parent or guardian for economic losses incurred because of the accident (for example medical bills, travel costs, etc.).
However, calculating general damages can be particularly tricky in a child injury claim, especially when it comes to awarding damages for lost future earnings. It is critical to work with an experienced Philadelphia child injury law firm that has the resources to consult with economic experts to properly calculate the full extent of a child’s losses.