Child Injured in an Accident in Indianapolis

As a parent, your child’s safety comes above all else. Finding out that your son or daughter has suffered a serious injury is a nightmare, especially when the injury was preventable. Sadly, many child injuries are preventable and only happen due to some form of negligence. 

While dealing with a child injury can be incredibly stressful, families in this difficult situation have legal rights. In cases involving negligence, the parents of an injured child may be able to recover financial compensation for medical bills and other damages on behalf of their child by filing a claim against the negligent party.

If your child has recently been injured in an accident that you believe was preventable, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by contacting the Indiana personal injury lawyers of the Fountain Law Firm.

When Can Parents Sue For a Child’s Injury?

Personal injury lawsuits for adults and children in Indiana share the same three basic requirements:

  • A third party was negligent. For example, if your child was injured in an auto accident caused by another driver who ran a red light, that other driver would legally be considered negligent.
  • The negligence directly caused the injuries suffered. In keeping with the previous example, if your child suffered broken bones in the crash, the negligence of the driver running the light would be considered a cause of the injuries.
  • The injury resulted in damages, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.

A personal injury lawsuit can be brought against all negligent parties who were at fault for causing your child’s injuries.

What Are the Most Common Child Injuries?

Here is an overview of the most common serious childhood injuries.

Falls

Falls are the number one cause of injury for children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 8,000 children visit U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries each day. 

A fall can happen virtually anywhere, but there are a few more common fall hazards that can lead to serious injuries for children:

  • Playground equipment, such as monkey bars and slides
  • Slips and falls on wet or slick surfaces, such as an icy sidewalk
  • Elevated landings
  • Windows
  • Beds without railings
  • Sidewalks or other pathways with obstructions and debris

Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of child injuries and are the leading cause of child deaths in the United States. After falls, motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries for teenagers. Teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident compared to all other age groups.

Parents can reduce their child’s risk of getting seriously injured in a car accident by using seatbelts, child safety seats, and booster seats. However, injuries can still happen even when parents do everything in their power to prevent them if another negligent motorist causes an accident.

Drowning

CDC statistics show that drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds and may be silent, so children should always be closely supervised when swimming or in the bathtub. 

Cuts and Lacerations

Cuts, puncture wounds, and lacerations often occur alongside other types of child injuries, such as falls. Children often cut themselves when playing with friends or when accidentally touching or poking themselves with something sharp. While most cuts can heal on their own after being cleaned and bandaged, more serious cuts may require a trip to the emergency room.

The following types of cut injuries require immediate medical attention:

  • Heavy bleeding or bleeding that persists after 5-10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Numbness in the fingers, toes, arms, legs, or joints
  • Deep cuts or cuts longer than half an inch
  • Cuts on the child’s head or face
  • Wounds caused by dirty or rusty objects
  • Cuts caused by animal or human bites
  • Extremely painful wounds
  • Wounds with signs of infection (such as redness, swelling, warmth, drainage, or a foul smell) 

Animal Bites

Data from the CDC shows that animal bites and stings are the third most common reason for emergency room visits for children ages 9 and. While the overwhelming majority of bites and stings are relatively minor and can be treated at home, more serious bites require immediate medical attention. 

Burns

Children are susceptible to a wide range of burn injuries, which can vary in severity. Some of the most common types of burn injuries that require emergency medical care include:

  • Thermal burns caused by contact with flames, hot metals, steam, or liquids
  • Chemical burns caused by acids and solvent cleaners (such as bleach and ammonia)
  • Electrical burns
  • Severe sunburns
  • Friction burns (i.e. road rash and carpet burns)
  • Cold burns (a.k.a. frostbite)

Child Injuries Caused by Negligence

In some cases, child injuries are caused by the negligence of an individual or other third-party entity that owed the child and their parents a duty of care. 

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a form of negligence common in personal injury lawsuits. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their properties are free of hazards that could cause injuries to people who visit their property.

For example, a business owner has a legal duty to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk outside of their business promptly. If the owner fails to do so and someone gets injured after slipping and falling on the sidewalk, the owner could be deemed negligent and held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Product Liability

Product manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure that their products are safe before they are released to the market. But sometimes, product defects can lead to serious injuries. For example, if a child was injured in an accident involving a defective car seat or stroller, the manufacturer of that product could be sued based on product liability.

Negligent Supervision

When parents leave their child in the care of someone else – such as a daycare or school – that other party has a legal duty to supervise the child and ensure that they are safe from preventable dangers. If a daycare employee, teacher, or other third party fails to meet this legal duty and a child suffers a preventable injury, the parents could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence.

For example, if a child suffered serious injuries in a fall because they were unsupervised at a daycare, the daycare could be sued for damages related to the child’s injuries. The parents and their attorney must prove that the injury was foreseeable and preventable. 

Car Accidents

All drivers are legally and morally obligated to drive as safely as possible to avoid causing accidents. If your child was injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, your family could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. 

Common examples of negligence in a car accident include:

  • Failure to follow the rules of the road, such as running a red light
  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Drowsy driving
  • Aggressive driving

Child Injury FAQ

What Should Parents Do When Their Child is Injured?

Seeking medical attention should always be the first step after a child’s injury. Parents need to ensure that their child is able to recover fully from their injuries. In cases where negligence may have been involved, parents should also consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer about their family’s legal options.

What Damages Are Available in Indiana Child Injury Lawsuits?

Families can recover financial compensation for all economic and noneconomic damages related to their child’s injuries, including:

  • All current and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of future earning capacity for severe injuries
  • Emotional distress

Learn More From Our Indiana Child Injury Lawyers

If your child has recently been injured in an incident involving negligence, your family has legal rights. A personal injury lawsuit could help you recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages due to missing work to care for your child, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and all other economic and noneconomic damages related to your child’s injuries. 

At the Fountain Law Firm, our Indiana child injury lawyers help families recover the financial compensation they deserve for injuries caused by negligence. Contact us today to learn more about your family’s legal options.