Healing from an injury can be a long and difficult process. Nothing is more heartbreaking when the injury involves a child. Whether the result of a car crash, dysfunctional toy, accident at a daycare, or other issue an injury to a child requires careful care.
Unfortunately, serious injuries to children are not uncommon. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 600,000 children visit emergency departments every year for treatment of traumatic brain injuries alone. That number is just for one type of injury. Imagine how large that number is if we were to expand it to include spine or other serious injuries that require surgical intervention?
Why is an injury to a child different than one to an adult?
Children are still developing. This means an injury could lead to major setbacks without proper intervention.
What should I know if my child is injured?
If the injury is severe and requires hospitalization, rehabilitation, or special care it is important to estimate the potential expense. The following can help guide this discussion:
- What was the initial cost of treatment? Look to any bills for the emergency response team, if used, as well as initial medical visits, procedures, and any needed medical equipment or medications. Also take into account any missed work to care for the child.
- What about extended care? The National Institute of Health published an article that encourages parents to include cost analyses for rehabilitation, long-term care, and clinical evaluation for at least one year after the injury. Depending on the details of the injury, this could include a lifetime of care.
If the injury is the result of another’s negligent or reckless actions, the parent or legal guardian can hold that individual or business accountable for the financial expenses that come with healing from the injury. This will require the parent or guardian file a civil lawsuit. If successful, the case can lead to funds to help cover these expenses.
California state law, like all states in the country, has a statute of limitations that can result in a deadline for filing these claims. When a personal injury claim involves a child under the age of 18, this time limit generally does not start until the child turns 18. However, it is important to discuss a potential case with legal counsel to make sure you do not lose the ability to make your claim.