Parents try to protect their children from injuries by making their homes as safe as possible. Many new parents go through a process of “baby-proofing” or “kid-proofing” their household in an effort to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, parents don’t have the same kind of control when their children visit other people’s property.
Property hazards pose an even greater risk to children than adults in many instances. One of the reasons is that children lack the experience to fully appreciate the dangers they face while on someone else’s property. This makes them especially vulnerable to accidents involving swimming pools, playground equipment, improperly secured firearms, and other potential sources of injury.
Property owners have a duty to keep their facilities reasonably safe for children—especially when they contain potential hazards that are particularly alluring to kids. When property owners fail to meet this duty, and an accident results that leaves a child with serious injuries or worse, the property owner may be held responsible for what happened.
At Sevenish Law Firm in Indianapolis, we're very passionate about protecting children from unnecessary dangers—and standing up for them when they get hurt due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness.
Firm founder Randall “Randy” Sevenish is a father and grandfather. He empathizes with parents’ concern for their children and the trauma they experience when a child suffers an injury due to a hazard on someone else’s property. As a karate sensei and an experienced personal injury attorney, Randy Sevenish has a distinguished record of protecting children.
“Kids are vastly the most important asset not only to their families but to our state and nation as our future and the American and Christian ‘way of life.’ As such, they are innocent, helpless in many cases, and must be protected. That is only the right thing to do,” he says.
Are you ready to get help for your child? Let’s talk about your situation now. Contact the child injury attorneys at Sevenish Law Firm. Your consultation is free, confidential and comes with no strings attached. Our child injury attorneys will aggressively pursue the compensation your child deserves, and we will act with honesty, fairness, and integrity when seeking a result that is in your child’s best interests.
Hazards on Properties That Often Pose Risks to Children
Children are vulnerable to many of the same property risks that may harm adults. These include problems such as slippery floors, poorly lit walkways, uneven sidewalks, failure to remove ice and snow, inadequate security, and electrical hazards, for example.
However, there are some issues on properties that are especially dangerous to children due to their smaller stature, their inexperience, and their natural curiosity. A few examples include:
- Swimming pools and hot tubs
- Swing sets, slides, and other playground equipment
- Amusement park and carnival rides
- Elevators and escalators
- Dogs and other domestic animals (both pets and livestock)
- Sports facilities
- Access to ATVs (four-wheelers) and other vehicles
- Access to firearms and other weapons
These are just a few of the many dangerous conditions on someone else’s property that could result in a child getting hurt.
It's also important to remember that a property owner may be held liable when a dangerous condition injures a child, even when the child did not have permission to be on the property. This is what the law calls an “attractive nuisance.” An example would be a swimming pool that may lure neighborhood children into trespassing. The homeowner may have a duty to properly fence and secure the pool to keep children out.
Our Lawyers Help Children Hurt on Others' Property
This page discusses just a few of the many potential types of premises liability cases that may involve a child.
If your child has been seriously injured while on someone else’s property, discuss your situation with an experienced children’s injury attorney, like those at Sevenish Law Firm.
As trusted advocates for the rights of injured children, the attorneys at Sevenish Law Firm are prepared to review your child’s situation and determine who may have been negligent in causing the accident and who may be held liable for your child’s injuries.
Talk to us before you discuss the accident with the insurance company. Our child injury attorneys will give you their honest professional opinion about your situation and discuss what your options are.
In many ways, a claim involving a child who suffered an injury on someone else’s property is no different from any other premises liability lawsuit in Indiana. However, there are some special considerations when a case involves a child. These include:
- Forecasting damages. If the accident caused a permanent disability, it may be necessary to consult with experts to calculate the effect on the child’s future. For example, will the child need a lifetime of around-the-clock care? Will the child’s earning capacity be significantly reduced?
- Filing legal claims. A minor (a child under age 18) cannot file a lawsuit in Indiana. This means that the child’s parents will need to file a legal claim on behalf of the minor. In some cases, a guardian ad-litem may be appointed to look after the child’s best interests—not the best interests of the parents—while a claim is being litigated. However, most of the time a parent or parents can file the lawsuit “as next friend” of their child and be appointed “Guardians of the Estate of …” the child.
- Getting court approval. A court must approve any settlement offer that is made to a child that exceeds $10,000, although a guardianship set-up may be required by the court even if less than $10,000. The settlement funds will belong to the child and must be placed into a restricted bank account. A carefully structured settlement can protect those funds so that they are available well after the child reaches the age of 18.
These and many other issues make children’s premises liability cases unique, requiring assistance from a lawyer who has experience with these complex matters. At the Sevenish Law Firm, our child injury attorneys will give you their honest professional opinion about your situation and discuss your options.
In Indiana, most personal injury claims must be filed within two years after the accident. This is what is known as a statute of limitations. However, if a child was the victim of the accident, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until he or she turns 18. It is best to take action as soon as possible while evidence is still available and witnesses’ memories are fresh.
Contact Our Child Injury Attorneys Today
Are you ready to get help for your child? Let’s talk about your situation now. Contact the child injury attorneys at Sevenish Law Firm. Our consultation is free, confidential and comes with no strings attached. Our child injury attorneys will aggressively pursue the compensation your child deserves, and we will act with honesty, fairness and integrity when seeking a result that is in your child’s best interests.