When Your Child Has Been Injured In Florida
Your child being seriously injured is every good parent’s worst nightmare, and if it happens in your family, it can be very easy to panic. However, if your child has been harmed due to another person’s negligence, it is important that they be held accountable, both for your own peace of mind and also since you may be entitled to compensation to help pay any medical bills. Understanding what you can do as a parent is critical in a time when your child needs you.
Know Your Options
As most parents are well aware, children can and do get injured on a regular basis. Cuts, bruises, scrapes and sprains are a natural part of life for most kids, especially very active kids. However, when the injury is serious, obviously, that changes the situation fundamentally. Data from the Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 9.2 million kids visit an emergency room each year to receive treatment for nonfatal injuries, with the highest percentage in several age groups coming from falls. Causes are varied, and tend to depend on age group, with suffocation, overexertion, being struck by a vehicle, and animal or insect attacks ranking highly.
There are multiple different ways that your child’s injury could have come about, and most will require a specific plan of attack if you intend to seek compensation. Some of the most common accidents that our children can experience in this day and age include:
- Playground accidents
- Defective toys or other products aimed specifically at children
- Inadequate supervision
- “Attractive nuisance” accidents, in which a child is drawn to an “attractive nuisance” that is dangerous enough to cause harm
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
How To Bring A Lawsuit?
If you and your family decide that it is a good idea to bring suit against the person you believe caused your child’s injury, you are generally able to do so, though you as a parent must officially bring suit as “next friend” on behalf of your child. Minors are not permitted to sue on their own behalf in Florida, so a parent or guardian generally serves as “next friend,” which simply means standing in for them in court. It is not the same as being a guardian; once the lawsuit concludes, the office of “next friend” loses all value.
Most types of personal injury cases are brought under a theory of general negligence, but some are better brought in product liability or premises liability, which are different legal theories that require you prove different things in order to prevail. That said, these types of cases all are bound by the same statute of limitations – four years. A statute of limitations is a law holding that a certain type of case can only be brought within a certain period of time after the accident, otherwise evidence is too difficult to find or rely on.
Can A Tampa Child Injury Lawyer Help You?
When our children are injured, we want justice, plain and simple. If your child has been harmed due to another person’s negligence, enlisting an experienced attorney to guide you through the process can ensure you are able to focus on their recovery. The Tampa child injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and assist you. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.