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Injuries to Children Are Different, and That's Important in Court

Anyone whose child has been seriously injured knows that the consequences are much more serious and long-lasting than they would be for an adult. Beyond the initial pain, some physical damage can affect their physical growth and development. In some cases, the injuries are disfiguring, leaving children to be stared at, teased, isolated and bullied for years.

Many injured children experience emotional harm that can follow them into adulthood, too. It’s common for children to have nightmares, acquire phobias, and even develop anxiety or trust issues after childhood injuries.

Those may not be the end of their troubles, either. In some cases, the injury is serious enough that it can negatively impact the child’s lifetime earning capacity.

Unfortunately, children are seriously injured far too often. Worse, their injuries are sometimes the result of negligence or wrongdoing by adults. Among many causes, children can be hurt by dangerous products such as trampolines, at daycare or school, in car and school bus accidents, by aggressive dogs, and at after-school jobs.

In cases involving younger kids, the only witnesses to the accident may be other children. That can pose a number of problems, as the other kids’ memories may fade quickly, or they may be reluctant to report the facts to authority figures. They may not be believed, or have trouble -- or be barred from -- testifying in court.

Sometimes, unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the fact that the victim is a young child. For example, when a child is bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner or insurance company may try to claim the child was at fault. They may claim the child provoked the dog, was trespassing, or should have known better than to approach a strange dog. The truth is, California courts have long held that children under the age of 5 cannot legally be at fault in dog bite cases.

If your child has been seriously injured, do not make any statement to an insurance company representative or sign any legal papers without talking to a lawyer first.

If your child has been injured, collect as much information as you can about the incident. Talk with school officials, supervisors and witnesses, and then make a list of their names and a summary of what they said.

Childhood injuries are serious. Please be sure to get the best help, and take care.

Source: Injuries To Children

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