Children are very active and mobile, but are far less aware and careful than adults. The combination produces a lot of accidents, which, in turn, produce a lot of injuries and deaths. In addition to engaging in many inherently dangerous youthful activities like climbing and cycling, they are exposed to most of the same dangers as adults, like motor vehicle accidents and defective products.
Injuries to children present unique problems in any legal case asking for compensation. Since they are still developing in every way, some injuries may not even be fully visible until the child victim reaches a later stage of development. For example, how does a burn injury to a three year old affect that child’s adjustment to school and social situations, environments that the child has yet to encounter? The younger the child, the bigger the problem. The aid of an attorney with specific experience in these cases is invaluable in obtaining adequate compensation
Frequency and Type of Injuries
How common are accidental injuries to children? Very. The CDC reports that the annual cost of unintentional injuries in the US is nearly $11.5 billion, with injury treatment the leading cause of medical spending on children.
In the US, over 9 million children visit an emergency room each year for an unintentional injury and 12,175 children die from unintentional injuries. Some 2.8 million emergency department visits resulted from falls, alone, making falls the most common cause of nonfatal injuries among children.
The other most common causes of nonfatal injuries to children include:
- Motor vehicle-related injuries (especially for older children)
- Being struck by an object
- Animal bites/stings
The frequency of these injuries varies by the age of the children.
Transportation and travel accidents are the leading cause of fatal injuries to children, though again this varies by age group. These accidents most often involve riding in motor vehicles, but pedestrian-vehicle accidents and bicycling accidents also cause a substantial number of children’s deaths. In Texas during the years 2000 through 2005, 6753 children aged 19 and younger died from unintentional injuries. Over 2,800 of these deaths involved children riding in a motor vehicle. Just under 600 other deaths involved child pedestrians struck by vehicles.
Children’s Injuries Are Often More Damaging
There are several reasons that injuries to children can be more harmful than similar injuries to adults:
- A child’s skeleton is still developing; further physical development may be hampered by injuries to a growth plate in a bone, scar contractures, or any serious skeletal injuries that restrict motion or limb length.
- The child brain is still developing; if the brain is significantly injured, a child victim faces acquiring basic mental and intellectual skills for the first time with diminished capacity, while an adult victim has the advantage
- The child’s personality and psyche are still developing; any injury that produces a deformity, visible scarring, or the like may fundamentally alter the victim’s ability to function in a social, educational or vocational environment
- The child will endure the lasting effects of the injury for a longer time simply because the child has a longer remaining life span, unless…
- The injury is of a type that decreases life span, in which case the child has more years of life to lose
Get Help for Your Injured Child
If your child has been injured or you have lost a child to death from accidental injuries, time is very valuable. Not only do you have a limited time to sue for compensation, but every passing day makes it more likely that necessary evidence is being lost. The sooner you obtain experienced legal help, the better.
Dallas attorney Aaron Herbert is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Specialist with a long history of success in obtaining compensation for victims of other people’s negligence. Call today before time limits expire. The sooner you get us involved, the sooner we can begin the crucial process of holding the people responsible for your child’s injuries responsible.