Who Do You Hold Liable When Your Child is Injured?
As a parent, you try to do everything to keep your child from pain, but you cannot watch after them 24/7. You must entrust their safety to others who you expect to keep a close eye on them. However, that’s not always the case, as an estimated 2.2 million children under the age of 14 are injured on school grounds each year.
Even more worryingly, 1 in 14 children suffers an injury that requires medical attention while at school. Parents of those injured children should hire a lawyer for child injuries at school to seek out compensation for the medical bills that are soon to follow. Early years are essential for a child’s development, and enduring a painful injury can affect them into adulthood.
So in the event that your child is seriously injured at the negligence of someone else, you want to get justice for their suffering. But how do you pursue a personal injury case with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer when you’re not the one who’s injured?
In these cases, you would hire a lawyer for claims involving minors who will be well-versed in how personal injury cases cover child injuries. United States personal injury law operates under the assumption that children have not yet developed the judgment skills an adult has, so a case involving a child’s injury comes with specific rules for compensation and liability.
In all personal injury cases, fault is at the center of the argument, and your lawyer must prove that the other party caused an injury to your child due to their ignorance, carelessness, or negligence.
When you send your child to school or daycare, the organization takes on the responsibility that normally falls on the parent. When the organization fails to take reasonable care to protect your child from harm, civil lawsuits and personal injury claims can be filed against on the basis of “negligent supervision.”
Claims involving minors can argue negligent supervision in two scenarios:
- When a child is harmed due to improper care from the parent or caregiver
- When the child intentionally harms another without the intervention of the adult responsible for them
Negligent supervision can be applied to whichever party is responsible for your child at the time, including:
- School Officials
- Nannies or Babysitters
- Daycare Employees
- Youth Group Leaders
- Camp Counselors
In the event that a child is the one who caused the injuries getting compensation is a little different as you are dealing with another minor. If both of your children were under the supervision of an adult, you can claim negligent supervision. If the person assigned to watch the injured party and/or the other child was not paying attention, or if they recognized a potential injury, you can argue that they were negligent in the supervision of minors.
Before deciding to pursue a negligent supervision claim, you can ask yourself these four questions:
- Did a duty of care exist?
- Can it be proven that the duty of care was breached?
- Did that breach cause an injury?
- Did that injury lead to monetary loss?
Sovereign Immunity Defense
Now that you know you can prove that the school, daycare, or other organization is liable for your child’s injuries, you and your Los Angeles juvenile injury attorney can start building your case.
A crucial detail in your case is whether or not the organization was a public or private institution. A private institution can be sued directly, but public institutions like public schools can defend themselves under sovereign immunity. Because of this, you will have to pursue your claim against the school district, which makes your claim a government case. It’s important to know that the statute of limitations for government cases like these is 60 to 90 days. That’s why you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
If you signed a waiver, then that’s another defense that the school or organization can take. Especially when playing sports, students and their parents sign waivers acknowledging the risks of playing. While these aren’t moderated by a lawyer, they can still provide a solid defense. Present the waiver to your attorney to see if there are any weak spots in the document that you may be able to get around.
If your child was injured while under another person’s care, you can take legal action. Contact an attorney with knowledgeable experience handling child injury cases to see what claims you can pursue in order to get justice for your child’s suffering.