Although injuries can affect anyone, it never seems worse than when the victim is a child. This is especially true when the harm they sustained was avoidable, unnecessary or malicious.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year:
- More than 9 million children are treated for injuries in hospital emergency departments.
- More than 225,000 children are hospitalized.
- More than 9,000 die. That’s equivalent to 150 school packed school buses.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale child injury lawyers are committed to helping children and their families begin to heal by fighting for just compensation for injuries and illnesses caused by negligence or criminal wrongdoing.
Unintentional injuries are the No. 1 cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 19. The leading causes of injuries resulting in death are:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Fire/ Burns
The leading causes of non-fatal injuries are:
- Struck by/ against an object
- Cut/ piercing
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Fires/ burns
- Bee/ Sting
Many of these injury cases occur when we entrust our children to the care of a day care center, school, sports league, summer camp or some other third party. These entities, by accepting responsibility for care of our children, owe a duty to ensure they are properly protected and supervised.
The experienced child injury attorneys at our Fort Lauderdale firm have successfully brought claims for:
- School Bus Accidents
- School Injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Back Over/Lock In Injuries
- Firearm Injuries
- Children’s Products/ Car Seats
- Pools/ Spas/ Pool Products
Not all injuries or illnesses involving children are cause for legal action.
However, when a child is injured at least in part due to not receiving adequate supervision, this can result in a cause of action known as “ Negligent Supervision.” This would be a situation in which there was a student-teacher or counselor-camper relationship that gave rise to a legal duty to supervise the child, as well as a negligent breach of that duty/ failure to act reasonably given the circumstances which caused the child’s injury.
There could also be a case made for Negligent Hiring/ Retention. This would be appropriate in situations where the employer of the negligent employee knew or should have known the employee posed a potential danger to the students for whom they were entrusted to care. Negligent hiring could mean failure to conduct a proper background check or ignoring certain red flags that would raise concern for a reasonable person. It could also mean there was a failure to ensure that worker was properly-trained and qualified for the job (i.e., a football coach without proper training in concussion recognition). Negligent retention would be problems arose during the negligent employee’s tenure, and the employer failed to take corrective action or initiate termination.
Both Negligent Supervision and Negligent Hiring/ Retention are assertions of direct liability against the school, day care, summer camp or sports league. However, there may also be grounds for asserting indirect liability based on a theory called Vicarious Liability. Via the legal principle of respondeat superior (Latin for “Let the Master Answer,”), employers can be held responsible for harm caused by an employee’s negligent or criminal actions, provided it can be shown those actions took place in the course of the worker’s employment. Also sometimes referred to as “imputed negligence,” it is not necessary to prove the employer actually did anything wrong; only that the employee was negligent and the employee was acting in the course of employment. Our Fort Lauderdale child injury attorneys can determine whether this theory may apply to your case.
Another theory of liability that often pertains to child injury is Negligent Security. Examples might be if administrators fail to make sure there was sufficient staff in a lunchroom to break up fights or didn’t have enough security to stop unauthorized people from entering the building or failed to take action when there are reports of bullying or assaults by fellow students. This may also sometimes be asserted in cases where security failures resulted in a sexual assault of a student by either another student, staff member or other adult on the property. In some situations, it could mean failure to notice or take timely, appropriate action when a child is suffering from a serious medical issue.
In cases where the injury to the child occurred as a result of some dangerous condition on the property, parents or guardians could assert negligent by way of Premises Liability. This is a legal concept that comes into play in personal injury cases wherein someone was hurt or became ill as a result of some unsafe or defective condition on a property. Typically, schools, day care centers and other entities responsible for providing child care have a high duty of care to ensure facilities are safe because children are known to be naturally curious and more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior.
Failure to Maintain Equipment is a form of negligence that may be asserted if the school or other entity failed to make sure all property – playground sets, chairs, desks, science lab equipment, recreational equipment – is faulty or improperly maintained. If a child is injured as a result of a product that is inherently unsafe or defectively designed or manufactured, one may assert Product Liability against any companies that made or sold the products.
All of these, of course, are in addition to the theory of general negligence that may be asserted against third parties, such as a negligent driver who causes a school bus accident. A child injury lawyer can help Fort Lauderdale residents identify the full range of defendants that may have caused their child's harm.
Children who are injured as a result of negligence may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, future wage losses and pain and suffering.
For information on legal action following a child injury in Fort Lauderdale, contact The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 or (954) 761-3641.