The Florida Child Injury Guide was created by Victory Law Firm to help injured residents obtain maximum compensation. Call our lawyers for a consultation.
If your child has been hurt, you are probably wondering what you can do during this very scary and frustrating time. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to have their child come home from school with an injury and know that it happened because of someone else’s actions. When your child is not kept safe, you wonder what justice can be done. This is something that we don’t want you to have to go through alone and we want to stand by your side fighting for everything you deserve. We are here to take your call to set up a free consultation with our Florida child injury lawyers today.
Understanding Your Case
Far too many accidents happen at school on the playground. Kids are supposed to have fun and enjoy this time of play and exercise but unfortunately, there are a lot of hazards that are present at any given playground. There could be issues with the setup of the jungle gym that they play on or they might have been poorly supervised during this time. There might have been tripping hazards or edges that were sharp and dangerous for a child to be near. The injuries can be tragic and sometimes fatal.
When these types of accidents happen, we look to the liable party to see why. We want to know why this child ended up with this injury. Once we know why we can see what could’ve prevented it. If reasonable measures should’ve been taken to protect your child’s safety, we want to show that liable party that they are responsible for all of the harm and damage that your child had to suffer through.
Our Florida child injury lawyers want to step in and provide you with justice by holding the liable party accountable and providing you with the compensation award you and your child are entitled to.
What to Do Next
Once you find out that your child has been hurt, you need to make sure that the first thing you do afterwards is get them to a doctor. Whether you go to the emergency room with them or you take them to an urgent care center or get into an urgent appointment with a primary care physician, you need to make sure that you are acting with urgency in the aftermath of your child’s injury. Time is so precious after they’ve been hurt and you should never delay getting them in front of a doctor to get their injuries addressed.
You want to do this because it is in the best interest of your child. That is a natural instinct for every parent. Taking care of them is going to be a natural, first step after you see they have been hurt. We understand if after you know that they are being taken care of you immediately want to fight against the liable party. You have a right to feel anger and frustration against this liable party and you want them to know that they have done something wrong. That is where we would like to extend our support to you. Our Florida child injury lawyers understand the emotions you must be feeling right now and we are here to help you. You and your child deserve to have justice served.
We will look into what happened to them and we will look into all of the injuries that your child has had to suffer through. We care deeply about providing them with justice and we know that you do, too. When you want dependable representation for such an important case, please give us a call and set up a free consultation to get to know our lawyers and the process of filing a case against a liable party for your child’s injuries.
The Value of a Case
We would understand if you wanted to lock the liable person away in a jail cell forever because they are the reason your child is hurting. When you file a claim, however, we are going to be pursuing justice in the form of money damages. We know this doesn’t reverse the damage your child has had to suffer and it might not feel as cathartic as watching someone get taken away in handcuffs. This is, however, the way these cases work and we will fight hard to ensure that you get the fullest, possible justice there is.
When a case’s value is being determined, we are going to be looking at all the damages that have been inflicted upon your child and your family. Generally speaking, if a child’s injuries are catastrophic, then the case value is going to go up. Children are supposed to be able to look forward to growing up but if they have a permanent injury such as traumatic brain injury that’s going to affect them for the rest of their life, then this is a huge damage that needs to be reflected in what we receive in our settlement award. Even if your child’s life is negatively impacted for a shorter amount of time, that is still time that they don’t get to enjoy being a kid simply because someone else’s negligence caused them to be put in a situation where they were hurt and unable to enjoy life like they did before their injury. Even a broken bone can set a child away from the life that they enjoyed. Sports can become impossible and playing with their friends becomes harder to do. This all matters immensely.
Essentially, we are going to break down the compensation into two categories for damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.
You and your family have likely had to absorb a lot of medical costs related to the injuries. If you lost out on wages because you missed work to be there for your child, that is considered an economic damage related to this accident. Financial losses that you and your family have had to suffer because of this accident are going to be considered economic damages included in your compensation. In the worst of cases, if your child is left with a permanent disability and will likely not be in the workforce later in life, this should also be reflected in the compensation that you see with your settlement.
As previously discussed, we also need to consider all of the non-economic damages that your child has had to suffer through. Non-economic damages are less tangible than financial loss. They include all of the pain and suffering endured by your child after having been involved in an accident. They are all the ways your child and your life has been changed because of the injuries that they’ve suffered. Children can have psychological damages after head injury and if your child is suffering like that, we want to see this reflected in the settlement award. An example of a non-economic damage would be if your child after having been seriously hurt in a playground accident is scared to go back and play with their friends and misses out on recreational time at school.
Our Florida child injury lawyers will fight tirelessly to ensure that the end results reflect everything that you and your family and your child have had to go through and that the negligent party is held responsible for your child’s injuries and your family’s loss collectively.
We hope that you reach out quite soon after your child was involved in this accident as the statute of limitations in Florida allows four years from the date of an accident to file a civil claim. If you were to try to file this claim after this deadline, you would not receive compensation. Act urgently.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company
Don’t talk to the insurance company that represents the liable party. If they ask to speak to your child about the accident, do not let them have a conversation with your child. You don’t want to give them any leverage against you when all they want to do is reduce your settlement. Let us handle communication with them. We will protect your family’s rights and ensure that they cannot use their tactics against you to short you from what you deserve and prevent you from getting justice. They are greedy and care only about making a profit. We care about giving you justice.
If they were to get a recorded statement from you or your child, keep in mind they have been trained to perform these interviews in a way that would result in you receiving less than what you deserve. That would be a tragic loss.
Frequently Asked Child Injury Questions
How do I choose an attorney to represent my injured child?
Choosing an attorney to represent a minor for injuries that they sustained in any type of environment in Orlando, Florida, is difficult. There’s a lot of attorneys that are around town, and a lot of them make a lot of different promises. It’s important that you are able to talk to your attorney and select the attorney that you actually want. Also, you need to understand who is going to handle your case.
Many times, when you meet with an attorney at their office, you don’t even get to meet with the attorney, you meet with a paralegal. Many times, the paralegal is the one that handles the case from inception all the way through resolution of the case. In those circumstances, the person is not going to make the same type of recovery that an actual licensed attorney that understands the intricacies of the law would be able to get for you. It’s important that you meet with your attorney and find out exactly who is going to be handling your case, particularly when it comes to your minor child because of the intricacies of having to deal with injuries for a minor child that’s suffered injuries.
The other thing is you want someone with experience that’s handled these types of cases before so they can be sure that you’re going to get the absolute best recovery for your child or children. There’s also a court component. Sometimes, depending on the value of the claim and how much is recovered, you may have to go to court to get approval to settle the minor settlement. You need someone that understands that as well and can explain all that to you, that can take that case from inception to completion.
For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
Is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims different for child injury cases?
Many times, people are confused about the statute of limitations for accidents in Orlando, Florida, when it pertains to minors. That’s a complicated and difficult subject. It’s possible that the statute of limitations can go until four years after the child turns 18, but it depends. It’s a very fact-specific inquiry that has to be made as to if the parents did anything, if the child did anything. It’s a very complex inquiry that has to be made as to when the child can make a claim or how long after the injury the child can make a claim.
That is not really as important as making the claim quickly. The reason is, let’s say the child is six or seven, if you wait until the child is an adult, evidence is going to be lost, witnesses may no longer be here. The longer it takes, the more difficult it is to prove a case. It’s important that people act now and that they act quickly, and that you as a parent take ownership of your child’s injury and retain an attorney so the attorney can make the claim on your child’s behalf. It’s important that you act as quickly as possible and not rely on how long you have or wait until the child is an adult. If the child is 17, waiting until they’re an adult may be preferable, or 16, but for the most part the quicker you act, the better off the case will be.
For answers to these or any other type of questions, feel free to give us a call.
Should I speak to the insurance company about my child’s injury?
Clients always ask me what they should talk about with the insurance company or who they should talk about when their child is injured. Typically, you’re going to want to report the injury to the place where the injury happened. If you’re at a store, you want to tell the store that your child sustained a fall. If your child is injured in school, you’re going to want to tell the school, “Hey, my child sustained an injury,” so that that can be documented, because they’re going to want to write a report and let the insurance company know.
Besides that, it’s always best to talk to an attorney. If you haven’t reported it when it happened at the scene and they don’t know about it, you’re better off just talking to an attorney. Have the attorney contact either the location or the insurance company first. However, if you’re there and the incident happened, it’s important to let them know that it happened so that they have it documented.
As for the insurance company, at some point they’re going to call you wanting to know what happened. We always recommend that our clients discuss the case with the attorney first, let the attorney contact the insurance company. The reason is that there’s many questions that they ask that really aren’t going to benefit your child’s case. There are many things they’re going to want to know that aren’t going to benefit your child’s case. Particularly for slip and falls and accidents at school in Florida, it’s very important that you have an attorney that can actually assist you when you give a statement to an insurance company so they don’t ask you things or frame questions in a way that is going to be detrimental to your child’s case.
For these or any other questions, or if an insurance company is contacting you and you want someone to assist you with that, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
Should we accept the insurance company’s settlement offer for my child’s injury?
We’ve had clients do incredibly smart things. We had a client the other day who came in for a consultation because their child had been injured at daycare, and the insurance company came back and offered her a check to resolve the case immediately. She felt that was a little bit strange, came to us, and, sure enough, she was right. When insurance companies do that, they are trying to resolve the claim for the least amount of money possible. They recognize that they’re at fault or that they may have some exposure, and rather than waiting until your child is done with the treatment, waiting until we know exactly what your child’s injuries are, they want to close out the case.
When you do this, you’re shortchanging your child. Initially it’s because your child, usually at that stage, has not finished all their treatment, which means we don’t know what the damages or what the injuries actually are. If you accept an amount now, that amount may be completely inappropriate for the type of injuries that your child sustained. It’s very important that you consult with an attorney and that you allow the process to go forward, as tempting as it can be to take that offer. An attorney can evaluate the case appropriately and tell you based on these injuries, based on how long they’ve treated, based on what they have pending in the future, what they think the case is worth.
Sure enough, our client – we were already well above the initial offer that the insurance company made – was going to recover a lot more than if she would have just taken the insurance company’s initial offer. If you have any questions or an insurance company has made an offer to you, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. We’d be happy to discuss the case with you, even if it’s just to tell you whether or not that offer is fair. It’s a completely free consultation, so feel free to give us a call.
What damages are recoverable in a child injury claim?
Many parents that have children that have sustained injuries in Florida ask what damages are recoverable and what they can recover for. With children cases it’s a little bit different. There is no lost wage component to it, but there is a loss that could potentially be a loss of time in school. If the child has to be out of school for a specific period of time, it’s possible that that may retard their ability to graduate on time or their ability to continue their studies. That is something that can be compensable, as well as the medical expenses that they’ve sustained, the loss of enjoyment of their life, their loss of their enjoyment of their childhood activities that they may or may not be able to do. If the child was involved in sports and they can no longer do sports, that’s also part of the damages component that we can include.
Damages for children are a little bit different and they’re a little bit specialized, so it’s important that you talk to an attorney that’s experienced and understands everything that your child is entitled to recover as a result of an injury. For these questions or any other questions, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.
What legal options are available if my child was injured at school?
Some time ago, a client came in for a consultation with us. Her child had been injured at the playground at school, and she was wondering what her rights and options were. Obviously if your child is injured in school by the negligence of either the staff or another child, you can pursue a case against either the school board, or, if it’s a private school, the school themselves. It’s important that you act quickly.
Children’s injuries can be difficult to establish, so it’s important that you get an attorney that understands the differences between the treatment of an adult and the treatment of a child. It’s also important to get an attorney that understands the specifics regarding school. For example, with the school board in Orlando, Florida, you’re required to give notice, and there’s a shorter time period to give that notice than what it normally takes for other cases. Since it’s a government entity, it’s treated differently. It’s important that you have an attorney that’s experienced and that understands the differences between government entities and private entities.
You want an attorney that can understand the treatment that a child may or may not go through. Children grow and don’t express pain the same way that an adult expresses pain. They can still function and work, even though they’re in pain, without complaining too much or without expressing themselves appropriately. It’s important that your attorney understands that, and it’s important that they can build up the case properly, so your child gets the best recovery possible.
For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call.
What should I do if my child has died due to the fault of another?
One of the saddest things that we see are accident cases or injuries where a child passes away from an accident here in Orlando, Florida. Those are some of the saddest situations we see, where parents are grieving and they don’t understand why and what happened, especially when it’s the fault of another. It’s important that you retain a qualified attorney because that falls under something called the wrongful death statute. In Florida, for minor children, the parents can recover damages; damages are compensation for injuries such as pain and suffering and the loss of a child. It depends on the child’s age. Adult children are usually treated different than minor children. When the child is a minor, the parents will usually retain the claim. If the parents are divorced, then you have two plaintiffs, which can make it a difficult situation.
It’s important that you get a consultation with someone that’s experienced in wrongful death cases so they can navigate those intricacies for you and let you understand exactly what you can get compensation for. These cases are sad. These cases are some of the worst that we see. You really need an attorney that’s going to be a partner with you during this process because for many people this is one of their worst nightmares that they could ever have, even more so than injuries to themselves.
If you have questions about this or any other subject, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to walk through this with you and assist you in any way that we can.
Who is liable if my child was injured on a playground?
In Orlando, Florida, accidents on a playground where children are injured are common. People sometimes think kids will be kids and it’s nothing, but a lot of these injuries can be very serious. It’s important to note that there’s many rules and ordinances and regulations in Florida that require, in a playground setting, as far as a school setting, there be a certain amount of teachers per students so the teachers can watch students’ behavior and watch what they’re doing to prevent injuries from taking place.
In the event that it’s a public playground, for example at a public park, that would be a very fact-specific inquiry as to whether the equipment was properly maintained, whether the equipment was in good shape, whether the equipment was far enough away from other children so kids don’t run into other kids or whether there was sufficient padding or material on the floor to prevent a child from being injured when they fall, because obviously children fall when they’re at the playground. That is a much more difficult and in-depth evaluation that we have to make. Typically, in cases like that, myself or one of the other attorneys will actually go to the scene to take pictures and to see the environment. We’ll usually come with the client so they can explain to us where the fall occurred, how it occurred, and we can get a good idea as to who may be liable for those injuries.
Either way, whether the child fell at a playground at a school during school hours or after school hours or at a playground in a public park, it’s always prudent to talk to an attorney, particularly if the injuries tend to be more severe, because we’ll be able to really evaluate and make sure that the playground was safe for its intended purposes and that nobody was at fault for the injuries that your child sustained. For this or any other type of question, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.
Will my child’s injury lawsuit settle before trial?
Many of our new clients, when they bring in injuries that their child has sustained here in Florida, will ask me if it’s possible that the case will be resolved before going to trial. Fortunately, most cases are settled before you actually get to trial. By trial, we mean in front of a jury where the jury decides if there was liability and how much the damages are. Most cases are resolved well before that, while some cases are resolved in litigation – which means once we file a lawsuit but before trial.
It’s very rare that you go to trial, but you need to have an attorney that’s been to trial and is not scared of going to trial. The reason is because insurance companies know which lawyers settle cases without filing a lawsuit, which lawyers settle cases before trial, and which lawyers are willing to take the case all the way through trial if need be. You need an attorney that’s not scared to go to trial if they feel that that’s the only way to get just compensation for your child’s injuries. You need an attorney that’s experienced and that has been to trial before. It’s very important to have an experienced lawyer because the insurance companies know and they know that once they say, “This is our top offer,” that that attorney is going to take the offer because they’re not the type that’s willing to go to trial.
For this or any other questions, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss that with you at a free consultation.
Call Our Florida Child Injury Lawyers Today
After your child has suffered a serious injury because of someone else’s negligence, we want to hear from you right away to see how we can protect your rights and give you the results that you are entitled to. We will fight tirelessly to hold the liable people accountable for what they’ve done and what they’ve caused you and your family to have to suffer through. Reach out to us right away to set up a free consultation today with our Florida child injury lawyers.