ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN LANCASTER, PA & YORK, PA
Accidents and injuries to children can cause emotional trauma and physical disabilities.
Your child may need years of counseling or physical therapy to live a normal life. In some cases, they may never return to life as they knew it before the accident.
This is hard on the child and your family. Family members may have to put their lives on hold to care for the child.
As the parent or legal guardian of an injured child, it’s your responsibility to seek financial compensation from the negligent party that caused the accident.
If your child was injured in an accident, you should contact Hagelgans & Veronis to speak with a child injury lawyer immediately to seek financial compensation.
Types of Accidents Involving Children
Our attorneys have represented children and their families who have suffered the effects of accidents or injuries such as:
- Car Accidents
- Amusement Park Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Birth Injuries
- Bicycle Accidents
- Drowning Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Playground Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Defective Product Injuries (car seats, cribs, toys, etc.)
- Neck and Back Injuries
- School Bus Accidents
- Daycare Accidents/Abuse
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Negligent Supervision Accidents
- Attractive Nuisance Accidents (something that is dangerous attracts the child)
Elements of a Child Injury Lawsuit
For a child injury lawsuit to be successful, here’s what your child injury attorney has to prove:
- The at-fault party had a duty to exercise reasonable care as any normal person would in the same situation.
- The at-fault party breached their duty, either by doing something they shouldn’t have or failing to do something they should have.
- This breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the child’s injuries.
- Your child suffered an injury deserving of compensation as a result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty.
Compensation for Your Child’s Injuries
If the above elements are true, you and your child may receive compensation for things like:
- Medical bills
- Future loss of income for the child (if disabled)
- Mental anguish
- Emotional Distress
- Wrongful death
Child Injury Cases vs. Adult Personal Injury Cases
Children are not responsible in the same way an adult would be. Courts take this into account by ignoring the reasonable person standard that applies to adults and implementing a presumption of non-negligence for children. The younger the child, the stronger the presumption.
In Pennsylvania, children under 7 are incapable of negligence. This cannot be disputed, regardless of circumstances.
Children between 7 and 14 years old are also presumed incapable of negligence, but this can be disputed based on the circumstances of the accident and how close the child is to 14.
Regardless of what the defendant claims, a 14-year-old is not held accountable in the same way an adult would.
How Settlements Work in a Child Injury Case
Things are handled differently when a minor is awarded a settlement. These differences protect the best interests of the child and prevent their parent or guardian from using the money for their own purposes.
One difference is settlements are approved by the court. This requires the lawyer to file a petition stating the terms of the settlement and why it is in line with the best interest of the child. The court may or may not require a hearing to question the parties involved in approving the petition.
Parents or an attorney set up a trust when the petition is approved. This account earns interest and is not touched until the minor turns 18.
If they need the money before their 18th birthday, the attorney can petition the court, asking for early access.
Another big difference in child injury cases, when compared to adult cases, is the cap on attorney’s fees. This ensures the child gets the maximum settlement.
Contact a Child Injury Attorney
The child injury lawyers at Hagelgans & Veronis have experience handling all aspects of cases involving personal injuries to children.
There is never a charge to talk to one of our child injury attorneys. We work for your family on a contingent-fee basis, meaning we don’t charge a dime unless we win your claim. Call to schedule your free consultation at (717) 295-7009.