Injuries to children are perhaps the most heartbreaking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control: “About 20 children die every day from a preventable injury – more than die from all diseases combined.”
Auto accidents are the leading cause of injury to children over the age of one. Sometimes a child is hurt while inside a car or van. Sometimes a child is hit while walking or riding a bike.
Children also may be hurt from a number of other causes, including animal and insect bites, drowning, poisoning, and falls.
Parents of children who are seriously injured can recover for medical bills, physical therapy, and other medical expenses. Did you know that parents can also be awarded money designated for medical expense that will be incurred in the future? Georgia law permits compensation for “future medicals” if the claim is proven with reasonable certainty.
How can a claim be proven, though? Krause Golomb & Witcher attorneys meet with the medical professionals to make sure that they are able to testify about the need for treatment in the future. The law requires sufficient evidence that a reasonable person can understand future medical expenses.
When considering the future, another aspect is what career choices are available to the child. For instance, if a child’s vision is impaired, he may not be able to work as an architect. A child who suffers a permanent limp may have to forego her dream of being an Olympic skater. Any child who has been permanently injured due to someone else’s negligence should receive money damages related to that child’s future earning capacity.
Also, parents of an injured child can make a separate claim for loss of services. This is because parents have a right to the services of their child up to age 18. The legal term “loss of services” refers to not merely what a child can do around the house, but also to loss of affection and companionship.
Once a child has been injured, an invisible clock starts. A lawsuit must be filed within two years. That’s the “statute of limitations” law applied to personal injury.
Sometimes children are hurt because of the medical treatment they’ve received. The legal term for that type of lawsuit is “medical malpractice.”
For children whose injuries may be due to medical malpractice, there are challenging questions related to the statute of limitations. While the general rule is that the statute of limitation for a medical malpractice action is two years, a child’s parents may bring an action up to two years after the child’s fifth year. Children may also have suffered injuries during the pregnancy or birth process.
Krause Golomb & Witcher attorneys are skilled at determining the correct date for filing suit.
Injuries to children are important cases, and they are close to the hearts of Krause Golomb & Witcher’s attorneys. Roger Krause and Jeff Golomb both have young children. Bob Witcher just became a first-time grandfather. The joy and blessing of children cannot be overstated, and when a tragic injury occurs, it is important that everything possible is done to fix the situation.
If your child has been injured, please contact Krause Golomb & Witcher for an initial consultation.