Accidents that cause serious or catastrophic injuries to minors can devastate a family emotionally as well as financially. In Indiana, when an infant, toddler, child, or teenager is hurt in an accident caused by another person's negligent actions, they—and/or their parents or guardians—have a right to pursue compensation for their injuries and other losses.
If you're a parent or guardian who's considering taking legal action on behalf of an injured minor, here's what you need to know.
Common Child Accidents
Due to innocence and inexperience, minors are often at greater risk for accidents and injuries than adults. Children can be injured or killed in any number of accidents caused by negligence.
Some of the most common negligence-related accidents involving children and teenagers include:
- Car and truck accidents. Even when parents take all the proper safety precautions, their children are still at risk of injury in car and truck accidents. It's important to secure young children in car or booster seats; keep kids younger than 12 in the back seat; and make older kids and teenagers wear their seat belts. But if the accident was caused by a defective car or booster seat, a defective vehicle component, or another driver's negligent actions, the family may be entitled to compensation.
- Defective product accidents. Manufacturers have a duty to ensure the products they sell are safe for consumers—and this is especially true for those that design and manufacture products. Unfortunately, each year thousands of minors are injured or even killed as a result of accidents involving defective cribs, car seats, toys, clothes, and other products.
- Premises liability accidents. Property owners are required to take reasonable precautions to prevent people on their property from injury. These precautions are particularly important when children are involved, as they often lack the experience necessary to recognize the serious nature of the hazards they encounter.
- Animal attacks. Pet owners have a duty to prevent their animals from attacking and injuring others. Children, who are often unable to sufficiently protect themselves, are particularly in need of protection from such attacks. If pet owner negligence was responsible for the attack and subsequent injuries, parents may be able to seek compensation through the pet owner's home insurance policy.
- Daycare incidents. Daycare and nursery providers are responsible for keeping the children in their care safe from harm. When childcare providers fail to hire competent employees, they can unnecessarily subject children to danger.
- Playground or amusement park accidents. Playground property owners and amusement park operators have a duty to ensure that playground equipment and rides are in proper working order. When they fail to do so, children can be seriously hurt or even killed.
- Inadequate supervision accidents. Circumstances often require parents to entrust their children to another person's supervision. When these people fail to provide adequate supervision, accidents and injuries can occur.
Injuries Associated With Child Accidents
- Broken bones
- Head traumas, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
Damages Available for Child Accident Victims
When a minor is killed or injured in an accident, they—or their parents or guardians—can seek compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Economic damages, such as past and future accident-related medical expenses, and permanent disability if the injuries prevent the child from ever holding a job.
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages awarded by a judge or jury to punish a defendant for particularly egregious conduct.
- Wrongful death damages, such as medical expenses prior to death, funeral fees, burial or cremation costs, loss of love and companionship, and more.
A Child Injury Lawyer You Can Trust
As a karate sensei, former decorated police captain, and a seasoned personal injury lawyer, Randy Sevenish knows the importance of protecting innocent children from harm. If your child was injured or killed in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, Sevenish Law can help you fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact Sevenish Law today to schedule a free initial case consultation.