While occasional bumps and bruises are a natural part of childhood, serious injuries caused by negligent adults have the potential to permanently alter the course of a child’s life. If your child recently got involved in an accident caused by someone else’s reckless or careless behavior, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed by the situation and by the prospect of pursuing civil litigation against the person responsible.
Fortunately, help is available from a compassionate Federal Way child injury lawyer. Once retained, a personal injury attorney could explain your legal options, help collect evidence of fault for your child’s accident, and demand appropriate compensation for every form of harm they have suffered and will suffer as a result.
What Should I Do If My Child Was Hurt Due to Someone Else’s Negligence?
For the most part, personal injury lawsuits in the State of Washington work the same whether the injured party is an adult or a minor. In order to hold someone else at fault for a personal injury, a plaintiff—or in the case of a child injury, the party filing suit on their behalf—must prove legal negligence by the defendant(s) named in their claim, which entails proving all the following elements:
- An implicit or explicit responsibility to act safely and reasonably around other people
- A breach of that responsibility through reckless, careless, or intentional action or inaction
- A causal relationship between the breach and the accident the lawsuit is based on
- A causal relationship between the accident and the child’s compensable losses
In certain situations, though, an adult may be considered liable for injuries to a child when they would not be liable for injuries suffered by an adult under the same circumstances. Perhaps the most common example of this is the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, which allows property owners to bear liability for injuries to trespassing children who were drawn onto their land by an unsecured “attractive nuisance” like a swimming pool. A Federal Way child injury attorney could offer further clarification about potential grounds for a lawsuit following an accident involving a minor.
Recovering for Short-Term and Long-Term Losses
Because they are still growing and developing, minor children are especially susceptible to catastrophic harm in accidents like car wrecks, slips and falls, and bicycle crashes, as well as incidents stemming from medical negligence. Accordingly, comprehensive recovery in a child injury lawsuit generally involves both short-term losses that have already occurred and long-term losses that will come to pass in the future.
For example, if negligent conduct causes a child to become paralyzed, the negligent party could be held financially liable not only for emergency medical expenses and lost wages suffered by the child’s parent(s), but also future loss of earning capacity, enjoyment of life, and ability to participate in hobbies that the child will suffer as a result of that injury. Once again, working with an experienced child injury lawyer in Federal Way is often crucial to making the most of this type of claim and maximizing available compensation.
Speak with a Federal Way Child Injury Attorney Today
If an accident left your child severely injured recently, the next steps you take to pursue legal action on their behalf could have an immense impact on their future prospects. Depending on the severity of their injuries, civil recovery may be essential both to preserving your short-term financial security and your child’s long-term physical and personal wellbeing.
Before trying to navigate the complex civil litigation process on your own, you should strongly consider seeking help from a Federal Way child injury lawyer. Call today to get started on your case.