Despite their best efforts, parents can’t always protect their children from harm. Children of all ages suffer injuries every day in Florida due to defective products or the wrongful acts of others. In many cases, these are the same people that the parents trusted to look after their child’s safety at school or in a day care center.
Frank M. Eidson, P.A., Orlando child injury lawyer, is dedicated to protecting the rights of child injury victims and their families in Orlando, Winter Park and across Florida. We know how to thoroughly investigate these cases to determine who should be held responsible and how to navigate the many unique issues that arise in child injury cases. Above all, we understand the importance of handling the legal details of your case while you focus on your child’s recovery.
To learn more about how we can help you, call or submit our online form today. We can provide a free and confidential consultation.
Types of Child Injury Cases
Under Florida law, a child injured by the negligent or reckless acts of others has as much of a right to recover for his or her losses as an adult would. The cases in which child injuries often arise include:
Motor vehicle accidents – Children may be injured as passengers in a car that is hit by another driver or that crashes due to an automotive defect. In some instances, a child’s injuries may be severe because a safety device such as a child seat failed to operate properly.
ATV / Recreational vehicle accidents – Many of these three-wheel or four-wheel recreation vehicles are prone to rollovers. Adults charged with training children how to ride these vehicles and with supervising child riders may also neglect their duties.
Bicycle accidents– Motorists may fail to keep a proper lookout and strike a child cyclist or fail to respect the child’s legal right to share the road.
Pedestrian accidents– Children may be severely injured by car drivers who do not slow down in neighborhoods or near schools or disregard their duty to stop for school buses.
Amusement park accidents– A child may be harmed due to a defectively designed or negligently maintained ride. In some cases, a child may be allowed to board a ride despite weight or height restrictions.
Dog bites – Children account for a large percentage of U.S. dog bite victims who require emergency treatment. Dog owners should be held liable for allowing a dangerous dog to harm a child or for failing to keep a dog leashed or restrained as the law requires.
Swimming pool accidents– The failure to supervise children at a public or private pool may lead to drownings or near-drownings when accidents result. Pools may also be dangerous due to defective drains or harmful chemicals or bacteria in the water.
Playground accidents – Some playgrounds simply are not safe because of negligently maintained equipment, and children can suffer serious harm as the result.
School / daycare accidents – Teachers, administrators and daycare providers may fail to live up to their duty to supervise a child under their care and protect the child from harm, including injuries inflicted by other children.
Sports / Recreation accidents – Improper equipment or lax supervision often leads to children suffering injuries in organized sports and recreational activities. Concussions, for instance, are a growing concern among young athletes playing football and soccer.
Defective cribs – Due to a flaw in design or manufacturing, cribs may be unsafe for infants and toddlers, exposing them to risks such as falls or choking.
Defective toys – Many toys contain parts that can break off or fall out and be ingested such as “button batteries.” Some toys are dangerous even when used as intended.
Child Injury Legal Issues
It is important to know the ways in which a child injury case in Florida is different than an adult personal injury claim. The differences include:
Comparative fault – A child’s age is taken into consideration when determining whether the child’s own negligence somehow contributed to an accident and injury. If a child is under age 6, the child cannot be considered negligent under Florida law.
Trespassing – Florida law severely limits the situations in which adult trespassers can recover damages if they are hurt on another’s property. If a child trespasses and is injured, however, the child may still have a right to recovery if it can be shown that the owner knew of a dangerous condition on the property and of the risk that children may trespass, and did nothing to address the risk. The best example is a swimming pool that is not closed off by a fence.
Right to sue – A child has a right to bring a personal injury claim. However, the claim must be brought by a guardian or “next friend.” Parents have the right to bring a separate legal claim.
Types of damages – Typically, a parent’s claim seeks to recover for past medical expenses and future medical expenses (until the child turns age 18). The parent may also seek to recover for a loss of consortium and a loss of the child’s services. A child’s claim typically seeks medical expenses (after age 18), loss of wages and/or earning capacity and pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of quality of life.
Guardian ad litem – Under Florida law, a court may appoint a guardian ad litem to look after a child’s interests if a child’s recovery in a settlement is $15,000 or more. The court must appoint a guardian ad litem if the recovery is $50,000 or more.
Any recovery obtained for a child must ensure that his or her needs and obligations will be met in the future, which may mean placing the child’s recovery in a guardianship account or trust fund or setting up a structured settlement annuity
Contact an Orlando / Winter Park Child Injury Attorney Today
As an attorney who has dedicated his entire career to standing up for those hurt by others, including child injury victims and their families, Frank M. Eidson understands how to navigate the complex issues that arise in these cases. He will aggressively seek full and fair compensation on behalf of your child and your family.
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Contact Our Orlando Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, turn to Frank M. Eidson P.A. Whether your case is a simple collision or a complicated auto wrongful death case, contact personal injury lawyer Frank Eidson today to schedule your free consultation.