In Morgantown, we all hold the health and welfare of our children sacred. As litigators, we find an injury to a child, through negligence or reckless conduct, unacceptable. We are proud advocates for injured children in Morgantown and the surrounding areas.
We are not just local lawyers, we are members of these communities too; we are parents, pet lovers, sports enthusiasts, and we are here to help. We place a high value on a strong work ethic, family values, and the concept of neighbors helping neighbors.
If your child is dealing with injuries suffered because of someone else’s fault we are here to listen and guide you through the legal processes involved in seeking the restitution you and your child deserve. Injuries to children present significant challenges, complex issues, and possible repercussions that can follow a child into adulthood.
Auto Accidents and Children’s Injury
Recent statistical data released by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reports 19,000 children under 12 years old were injured across America in automobile accidents in a single calendar year, an additional 608, sadly, lost their lives. When you break down the numbers, 53 family units, every day, are looking for answers to some very important questions.
The most common injuries children suffer in car accidents
Regardless of whether the accident was due to reckless driving, impaired driving, driver distractions, or violating the rules of the road, the harm caused to a young child is real, painful, and financially and emotionally devastating for entire families.
Some common injuries young people suffer in motor vehicle accidents are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back Injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue damage and internal injuries
Brain injuries can result in lifelong disability, trauma to the back can cause paralysis, leaving a once healthy youngster confined to a wheelchair, crush injuries usually damage internal organs and fracture young bones. Flying glass and burns may leave a young face with permanent disfigurement.
Car seats, booster seats, and seatbelts are important safety measures, and while they may prevent a child from being ejected from a vehicle, they do not prevent all injuries. Car crashes can be extremely traumatic for a child, even if their injuries were minor. Emotional changes, like fear of riding in a car, or extreme anxiety can occur weeks after the incident and last indefinitely.
Child Injuries Can Happen at a Daycare Center
Childcare is a booming business. In the United States, it is a $53 billion industry, with a growth projection of 3.9 percent over the next five-year period. Almost two-thirds of the children under the age of five in this country are in some form of childcare. Despite compliance with regulated industry standards, accidents happen.
A recent report from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources showed 281 serious daycare injuries in 12 months. Owners and directors of daycare centers are responsible for the safety of those children left in their charge. Daycares should sufficiently train the staff and routinely inspect the facility for choking hazards, dangerous ingestible substances, broken equipment (especially playground equipment.)
Some inexcusable ways a daycare center may put a child at risk are:
- Negligent hiring practices
- Violating state minimum standards
- Failure to ensure adequate supervision
- Not providing employee training
- Allowing aggression between children
- Failing to provide adequate security for the facility
- A lack of attention to a child’s medical needs
The most common injuries to children at daycare centers are falls, playground accidents, ingestion of dangerous or toxic substances, choking and allergic reactions. The Morgantown personal injury lawyers at Wagoner Desai represent families whose children have suffered injury through no fault of their own. Parents have a legal right to seek compensation for an accident caused by broken equipment or lack of supervision. Contact us to see if we can help.
Time Limits In Personal Injury Cases
West Virginia has specific and non-negotiable statutes of limitations for personal injury cases, especially when it comes to injury to minor children. We understand the state-specific regulations and legal ramifications. If your family is dealing with the possibility of pursuing legal action against the person or persons responsible for a child’s injury, act sooner than later. Don’t forfeit your legal rights,
- Medical expenses (including emergency room expenses, hospitalizations, necessary surgery, physician’s fees, medications, medical devices, and medically necessary travel expenses)
- Parent’s lost wages
- Necessary home modifications
- Actual costs of property damage
- Home modifications to accommodate your child’s disability
- The child’s physical pain and suffering
- Emotional implications of psychological trauma
We strive to help an injured child receive full compensation for his or her injuries throughout their lifetime.
Additionally, we take into account the possible implications a serious injury has on the child’s future, such as:
- Projected medical costs
- The possibility of a continued need for physical rehabilitation
- Lost future social opportunities due to lasting cognitive or physical impairments
- A loss of enjoyment of life
- Time missed from school
- Living with permanent scars
- Loss of potential future wages, or earning capacity
Seeing a child in pain is most certainly every parent’s worst nightmare. No child should have to suffer from a preventable injury. If your family is dealing with the aftermath of a child’s injury you need an energetic and experienced law firm working for you.
Morgantown Child Injury FAQ
We understand parents of injured children have many questions when it comes to the complexities of the law regarding personal injury cases. These are just a few examples.
Besides Auto Accidents and Daycare Accidents, What Child Injury Cases Do Personal Injury Law Firms Handle?
Children are naturally curious, they love adventure, and often they know no fear. The world is full of dangers, and childhood accidents and injuries can happen at any time and almost anywhere. When children suffer injuries because of negligence those persons responsible can, and should, be held accountable.
At Wagoner Desai, PLLC, we understand what it takes to build a full compensation package for child injuries in cases stemming from:
- Slips, falls, or trips on someone else’s property
- Defective toys, clothing
- Defective infant or child car seats
- Dangerous products
- Aggressive dogs
- Broken or defective playground equipment
- Medical errors
- Dangerous drugs
- Pharmacy errors
- Spoiled or contaminated food
- School bus accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
When childhood accidents result from negligence, poorly maintained property, or a proven lack of proper adult supervision, our knowledgeable lawyers are ready to take appropriate and aggressive legal action.
A personal injury claim will not change the past, but it may help provide for any long-term financial implications that can impact the child’s future. Some injuries, although not debilitating, are in fact, disfiguring. Facial scars and burns, for example, may affect a child for a lifetime by impairing his or her ability to enjoy certain things in life. Additionally, it could inhibit their ability to pursue certain careers or interests as adults.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Law Firm to Help Me File a Child Injury Claim?
Yes. Having a legal team working on your behalf can make a significant difference in terms of financial recovery.
While you focus on helping your child recover, a personal injury lawyer with experience in children’s injuries can:
- Develop a comprehensive compensation claim that takes into account, not only current medical costs but those that impact the child’s future
- Utilize all possible resources in the investigation process
- Handle all the required legal paperwork
- Obtain medical reports, police reports, and interview potential witnesses
- Deal with insurance company lawyers and claims investigators
- Help to prove negligence
What Is Involved in Proving Negligence in a Child-Injury Lawsuit?
Proving negligence is a complicated issue. Basically, a lawyer must definitively prove the proposed defendant had a responsibility to keep the child safe, and exactly what they did or did not do in that regard. They must also show that the failure caused the injury and document the exact extent of the injury.
What About Insurance?
If your child was injured in a private home, the chances are good that the homeowner has insurance coverage designed for just such instances. Businesses have liability coverage as well, but in either case, do not expect the insurance carrier will have the best interests of your child in mind. As a general rule, the priority of insurance companies is to settle obvious claims as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. A personal injury lawyer will always have the client’s interest as a top priority.
My Child’s Physical Wounds Healed Successfully After a Car Accident, but He May Require Extensive Therapy for Emotional Issues. Is This a Legitimate Medical Expense?
Certainly, mental health issues are medical problems. Involvement in any catastrophic accident is traumatic for a child. It is not unusual for children to experience behavior changes, fear, and anxiety following an accident. Children, especially teens and pre-teens, have been known to have symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder after being injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Does the Age of My Child Matter in a Personal Injury Case?
Yes, it does. Although children have the same rights to recovery as adults do, special circumstances and time limits for filing come into play for children under the age of 18. Speak with a child injury lawyer for clarification.
How Are Settlement Payouts Handled in a West Virginia Child Injury Case?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Settlement amounts in childhood injuries are subject to state-specific guidelines, court approval, the particular circumstances of each case, and the amount of total financial compensation awarded.
As a general rule, a court may appoint someone to act on the child’s behalf, and most, or all of the final financial awards may be held in trust until the child plaintiff reaches the age of legal maturity. The child’s legal guardian (usually a parent) may petition the court to release funds to pay medical bills or provide necessary treatment.
Will We Have to Go to Court, or Will the Case Settle Without a Trial?
Most cases do eventually settle out of court. We do, however, take each case under the presumption of litigation. We do this to leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting the maximum possible financial compensation for our clients and their family.
What Happens if My Child Dies in an Accident?
We sincerely hope we never have to help another family deal with a child’s wrongful death claim. This is a tragic situation that no family expects to go through. No amount of money will ever be enough to compensate for such a loss.
In West Virginia, while parents can recover wrongful death compensation, only the personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. Because a child typically has no will, a family member may apply to represent the estate and file the claim. We can help grieving families do this and recover from the damages that someone’s carelessness made them endure.
Call Our Morgantown Child Injury Lawyers Today
Our motto is clients first, so we are ready to hear from you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact Wagoner Desai, PLLC, to speak with our Morgantown child injury lawyers, or call at (304) 470-2056. We’re ready to offer your free consultation right now.
Wagoner Desai, PLLC
265 High Street, 3rd Floor
Citizens Bank Building
Morgantown, WV 26505