A child suffering a injury in an avoidable incident is not a circumstance any parent wishes to imagine. However, sometimes children suffer life-threatening, permanent injuries caused by a defective toy or children’s product, household or other consumer product, or someone else’s negligence.

It’s important to understand your rights if your child is ever injured due to the negligence of another person or entity. Depending on various factors, they may be eligible for financial compensation. As their parent or guardian, you could pursue compensation on their behalf.

Child Injuries: Situations in Which a Child Might Be Injured

There are many ways a small child can get hurt. Sometimes, children are injured in accidents for which no one is to blame.

There are exceptions, though. Consider the following examples of ways in which another party’s actions or carelessness might cause a child’s injuries:

  • A child gets hurt in a playground or school incident because those tasked with monitoring them and ensuring their safety failed to do so.
  • A child gets hurt using a product because of a defect or design flaw.
  • A child is injured in a slip-and-fall or similar incident because a property owner failed to address a hazardous condition.
  • A child is harmed in a motor vehicle wreck someone else causes.
  • A child is hurt or doesn’t get the treatment they need because a doctor or other medical professional is negligent.

Again, while you will hopefully never have to worry about your child being hurt in such ways, understanding your potential legal options in these and other similar scenarios is critical.

Can You File a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit on Your Child’s Behalf?

Generally, yes. That said, you must understand how the complexities of various laws can determine whether filing a claim or lawsuit is an option in the first place.

For example, maybe your child was hurt in a slip-and-fall or other such incident. You may have grounds to file a personal injury claim under the legal principle of premises liability in such a situation. By filing a claim with a property owner’s insurance, you could seek compensation for your child’s medical bills and related losses. You may file a lawsuit if the insurance company’s settlement offers are too low.

Consider another example. Perhaps your child is hurt during recess because those responsible for monitoring the students were careless. If this occurred at a private school, you might have grounds to file a traditional personal injury claim or lawsuit.

However, if the incident occurred at a public school, the process may be somewhat different. For example, in Massachusetts, when seeking compensation from a public entity, you may have to file a claim under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act. In addition, a school might not be liable for harm caused by another party.

In a state like Massachusetts, car wreck claims are also unique when compared to claims in other states. In Massachusetts, a driver must purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance is responsible for compensating them for their medical bills and related losses after a crash. Even if someone else technically caused the wreck, the PIP insurance of each injured party is responsible for compensating them.

Thus, if your child was hurt in a motor vehicle collision, you might file a PIP insurance claim first. You could potentially file a third-party claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the wreck if your child’s injuries are severe enough to meet a specific threshold under Massachusetts law.

By filing a claim with a property owner’s insurance, you could seek compensation for your child’s medical bills and related losses.

What to Do When Your Child is Injured

Ensuring your child receives proper medical care should be your first priority when your child is hurt. Keep copies of all medical bills and records, as you may need to submit these with your claim to show why you’re asking for a particular amount of compensation.

Depending on how your child got hurt, you might have to notify someone to file an official report. For example, you may need to notify the school if your child was hurt on school grounds.

Strongly consider reviewing the case with an attorney next. A lawyer can help you sort through your legal options to determine the proper method of seeking compensation. They can also assist you with various other tasks the claims process may involve, such as gathering evidence and calculating approximately how much compensation your child might recover to address past and future medical costs, as well as pain and suffering. Your attorney can advise regarding other types of recoverable damages as well, depending on the specific circumstances, and the laws to be applied.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we understand that you may be struggling with a range of emotions if your child was hurt because someone else was careless. Our Boston personal injury lawyers are on hand to inform you of your rights and help you aggressively pursue compensation on your child’s behalf. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 for your free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
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Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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