If you are a parent, you know that as children grow and learn, they get hurt. Cuts and bruises are inevitable; stitches and broken bones are common. It is difficult to see a child hurt, but it is a part of parenthood.

However, sometimes, another party’s careless or reckless conduct leads to a preventable injury. In such cases, you can hold a negligent party responsible for your child’s suffering.

Bringing a negligence claim for a child’s injury can be complicated, so choosing a seasoned personal injury attorney is essential. At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we are a firm of 3 brothers helping others. With decades of experience in the local area, a Tampa child injury lawyer has the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain appropriate damages for your family.

Types of Child Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a child receives emergency medical treatment for a serious injury every four seconds across the United States, and an average of one child per hour passes away as a direct result of such an injury. Accidental falls are the most common cause of childhood injuries both nationwide and in the state of Florida, commonly resulting in:

  • Lacerations requiring stitches
  • Fractures to bones in the hands or arms
  • Soft-tissue injuries like muscle tears and ligament sprains
  • Concussions or other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Young children are also uniquely likely to suffer high-degree burns compared to adults since they may not be fully aware of how dangerous extremely hot objects and materials can be. Inside the home, contact with boiling water or steam, a hot stovetop, or a live electrical current can result in widespread damage to multiple layers of skin and sometimes underlying muscle and fat layers as well. Outside the home, fires—particularly those stemming from high-speed auto accidents or unsafe property conditions—can result in life-altering harm.

Other injuries that children commonly suffer in accidents include:

  • Accidental poisoning
  • Choking on foreign objects
  • Impact injuries from falling or fast-moving objects
  • Crushing injuries from being caught between two heavy objects
  • Drowning, especially in unattended or unsecured swimming pools

A compassionate Tampa child injury attorney could go over legal options following any type of accident impacting a child during a private initial consultation.

Negligence Often Causes Injuries to Children

It can be difficult to tell whether a childhood accident could have been prevented if someone had taken more care. It is wise for a parent to consult an experienced Tampa child accident lawyer if they are unsure. A qualified legal professional knows where to look to find indicators of negligence and might identify a negligent party a parent had not considered.

A negligence claim could be warranted under various circumstances. Some common causes of accident or injury that could be rooted in negligence include:

  • Building fires
  • Sports injuries
  • Fireworks accidents
  • Playground accidents
  • Drowning and near-drowning
  • Medical errors, including birth injuries
  • Dog bites and other domestic animal attacks
  • School bus crashes and other vehicle accidents
  • Abuse by childcare workers, clergy members, teachers, or coaches

A property owner might be liable if their property contains a dangerous feature that could attract trespassing children and they did not take sufficient measures to keep children out.

When a child is seriously hurt in a vehicle accident, the other driver might be liable. Other potentially responsible parties include the:

  • Vehicle’s owner
  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Driver’s employer, in some cases
  • Unit of government responsible for maintaining the road

An establishment that served alcohol to someone underage who later caused an accident that injured a child might also be liable in some cases.

How Long Do I Have to File a Child Injury Lawsuit in Florida?

Claims seeking compensation for injuries to children are more complicated than when the victim is an adult; thus, retaining a child accident attorney in Tampa with experience handling these cases is crucial. A child cannot bring a lawsuit until they are 18, but a parent or guardian can bring a claim on behalf of a child.

Florida Statute § 95.11(4) gives anyone alleging negligence or medical malpractice two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages. In the case of a birth injury or medical malpractice on a young child, the parents have until the child reaches eight years old to bring a lawsuit.

The law contains exceptions that might apply in specific circumstances, and if the injury happened before March 24, 2023, a longer statute of limitations might apply. A parent should consult a well-practiced legal professional about whether a specific claim might be viable.

Damages in a Child Injury Case

A child injury case is often two claims: the child’s claim for their suffering and the injury’s impact on their future, and the parents’ claim for losses related to their child’s injury. The parents can claim their outlays for medical treatment, supportive care, educational enrichment, and other expenses. They also could claim their lost income if they had to miss work to care for their injured child.

The child’s damages include the physical pain and emotional suffering the incident caused. If the injury is permanent, requires ongoing medical supervision, and could impact the child’s ability to be self-supporting, the child’s damages should reflect these future losses. A skilled child injury lawyer could help a Tampa family calculate the full extent of their injury-related losses.

Many claims regarding injuries to children settle before a parent files a lawsuit, and almost all settle before trial. The court must approve any settlement worth more than $15,000 and appoint a Guardian ad Litem to protect the child’s interests. In many cases, a child’s settlement money is placed in an annuity or trust that the child may access when they turn 18.

What Is My Tampa Child Injury Case Worth?

It is important to emphasize that the exact means by which an adult injures a child has no direct bearing on the financial value of a child injury lawsuit. While courts in Florida do have the authority to impose “punitive damages” against people who cause injuries to others through extremely egregious negligence or intentionally malicious actions, it is fairly rare for courts to do this, even in situations involving injured children. Not to mention, there is a fairly high standard of proof for anyone who wants to convince a court to award them this type of compensation.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the age at which a child suffers a serious injury can dramatically impact the value of a child injury claim, and the nature of that impact can itself change from case to case, depending on the circumstances. For example, a child who becomes permanently disabled at the age of six may need expensive medical care for a longer period compared to a child who suffered the same disability at the age of 15.

Fortunately, though, Florida is different from several other states in that it does not impose artificial “caps” on how much money any injured person—including someone filing suit on an injured child’s behalf—can recover for economic or non-economic losses they suffer due to another person’s misconduct.

Enlist a Tampa Attorney to Handle Your Child’s Injury Case

Your child deserves justice if they suffered harm due to another party’s careless or reckless conduct. As the parent, you have the power to hold the negligent party accountable.

Work with a Tampa child injury lawyer who has the background and resources to present the most robust case possible on behalf of your child. Call Perenich Law Injury Attorneys now to speak with a dedicated legal professional.

Perenich Law injury Attorneys

Perenich Law injury Attorneys N/a
2511 West Columbus Dr.
FL 33607
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(813) 694-7940