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Few things are as devastating as a serious injury to a child. Yet such experiences are all too common. According to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than 2,000 children are involved in accidents and endure unintentional injuries every day. Millions of children suffer permanent, debilitating injuries that will diminish their quality of life and strain the physical, emotional and financial resources of their caregivers. Sadly, childhood injury is the single greatest cause of death for those under 14.
If your child has suffered an injury in an accident, it’s critically important that you take immediate steps to protect his or her health and future well-being.
What to do in the event of a childhood injury
The first and obviously most essential step to take in any injury situation is to seek immediate medical evaluation. This is particularly important with regard to children, as they may not be able to precisely articulate their medical complaints or problems which they are having. In the case of a serious auto collision or fall, professional medical help should be sought even if injuries aren’t immediately readily apparent, as children may often manifest symptoms after the incident.
While childhood injuries are often traumatic and frightening, you should try to document as much of incident as possible. Take photos or videos of the scene to show any factors that may have contributed to the injury. You should also speak to any witnesses, and carefully record their names and contact information, if possible. Take notes and write down what the witnesses said they saw, and record your own impressions of the scene and the incident. This should all be done to memorialize the information so that it is available to you in the event of litigation.
In anticipation of potential litigation, it is important to document everything that happens in the days following the event. This includes medical treatment, lost time from school for the child as well as any loss of time from work for parents as well as any additional expenses incurred by reason of the incident. Medical expenses associated with the care of an injured child can grow exponentially, so it’s important to track these costs accurately including travel and any related costs.
Finding the right childhood injury attorney
Along with ensuring an injured child receives the best possible medical care, it’s also imperative to protect the child’s future. Serious injuries sustained in childhood may lead to lifelong medical issues and even disabilities. It is vitally important that every child’s legal interests are protected.
First, you should be aware that differing states have varying statutes of limitations for filing a legal claim. In order to protect your ability to seek relief from the courts, you’ll need to ensure your claim is filed within the allowable time period. If you’re seeking to file a claim against a governmental agency, you should also be aware that there may be Notice of Claim requirements that may be short. The statute of limitations for governmental bodies may differ from the statute that governs suits against private entities in your state. The issue of the applicable statute of limitations should be determined by your lawyer promptly.
It’s also important to consider the complexity of many childhood injury cases. The legal issues associated with childhood injury cases are often quite complicated, requiring the work of an experienced legal representative. For this reason, it’s advisable to seek an attorney or law firm with experience in handling cases involving childhood injuries. By doing so, you’ll be in position to vigorously protect your child’s legal rights.
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