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Negligence and the Fight for Fair Compensation
Children are natural explorers, attracted to playgrounds, animals, and other tantalizing things—which, in some cases, may cause them serious injuries. Their innocence and trusting personalities demand that the environments they frequent are safe from harm. When a child suffers a serious injury in Charleston due to the negligent actions of another person, company, organization, or a combination of these actors, legal action is possible. Contact the Charleston child injury lawyers at Hughey Law Firm today.
Hughey Law Firm—Charleston Child Injury Lawyers
If you have lost a child or your child has suffered severe injuries in Charleston due to another’s negligence, Hughey Law Firm can help you pursue a civil claim and lawsuit on behalf of your child.
Just look at some of our recent results:
- $1.375 million for a family whose autistic boy was killed by a drunk driver;
- $975,000 for a family whose infant child was fatally injured during delivery.
While every case is different, and the compensation you can recover will depend on the unique facts of your case, Hughey Law Firm has demonstrated that it has the skill and experience to help families after tragic child injury events.
Big Injuries in Young Children
Everyone must exercise care around others, and especially around children. When another person acts recklessly and it results in an injury to a child, they generally may be held liable for the damages that result.
Children may experience many kinds of injury due to an adult’s negligence, including:
Traumatic brain injury: A traumatic brain injury in a child can result from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. This type of injury disrupts normal brain function and can greatly impact a child’s development.
A brain injury can also occur due to a near-drowning experience. An anoxic brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain can result in permanent brain damage.
Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury is possible during a serious fall or another type of accident. The paralysis that results can limit—and possibly take away—a child’s ability to experience movement and sensation.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to a lifetime of medical costs, as a child’s growth requires new power chairs and other accommodations. A child may also experience psychological and emotional effects from their injury.
Cuts, wounds, or bites: Unsafe playground equipment or an encounter with a neighbor’s pet can result in serious harm. A cut, wound, or bite can develop infection and possibly worsen without proper care.
A dog bite can infect a child with rabies or another dangerous disease. Due to a child’s size, their face is generally in proximity to a dog’s mouth. A dog bite can lead to extensive plastic surgery for the child.
While not a complete list of the types of injuries a child may experience due to negligence, these are some of the more common kinds you may encounter in Charleston. If your child was injured, consult with a Charleston child injury lawyer to see if you might have a claim
Common Causes of Child Injuries
Child injury claims can arise in any number of situations, and lead to any number of injuries. Some of the more common scenarios include dog bites and swimming pools.
Children are typically curious about and attracted to animals. A dog’s behavior is subject to change in an instant
When this happens, one or more of the following is generally happening:
- The dog is sick;
- The dog is stressed; or
- The dog is startled.
There is no way to predict a dog’s behavior. Their quick reactions can result in devastating bite wounds to an unsuspecting child.
In addition to the physical harm of such an injury, a child may suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the event. Nightmares, fear or avoidance of dogs, and other changed behaviors may indicate that your child needs emotional and psychological help for PTSD from a dog attack.
Pet owners have a responsibility to maintain control of their dogs. If they fail to, and it results in injury to your child, you may bring a claim to hold them accountable for the damages your child suffers. If your child suffered serious harm due to an uncontrolled dog, contact a Charleston child injury lawyer for a free case evaluation.
Swimming Pool Accidents
What child is not entranced by a swimming pool? Unfortunately, children sometimes stumble upon swimming pools while unattended, and may fall in. A child who falls into a pool with no adult supervision is at risk for brain injury or possibly death.
According to the American Red Cross, drowning is a leading cause of death for children in the United States. Public laws, including those applicable to Charleston, recognize this with strict regulations around public swimming pools.
Regulations and other laws regarding public and private pools aim to prevent unsupervised pool access of children and other circumstances that may make pools hazardous for children. If a child can access a pool without supervision, due to a negligent owner, the pool owner may be liable for your child’s damages.
Even if children are on a property without permission, they aren’t treated under the law as normal trespassers, given their naivety and inexperience. If your child suffered a near-drowning or drowned due to a poorly protected pool, even if your child was not technically allowed to be there, you may have a claim.
Both dog bites and pool accidents are a form of premises liability. Your lawyer can investigate to determine if the property owner or lessee is responsible for your child’s injuries or death.
Some other common child injury scenarios that may arise in Charleston include:
- A playground incident involving faulty equipment;
- Sports, due to unsupervised playing or unsafe equipment; or
- A car accident involving a car striking your child as they rode their bicycle
No child should suffer serious harm or lose their life due to the reckless actions of adults. A Charleston personal injury or wrongful death attorney can determine all parties responsible for your child’s damages and help you pursue the compensation your child deserves.
The Unimaginable Loss of a Child Due to Negligence
No one expects to lose a child due to faulty playground equipment, or to a drunk driver. But these incidents nonetheless happen. The loss of a child is a pain no parent should endure. But if your child is taken from you due to someone’s negligence, you can take legal action for the harms you’ve experienced as a result.
Many expenses can proceed from a child’s death. Planning a funeral service for your child is an expense most people don’t plan for. The initial accident and hospitalization of a child often result in a parent missing time from work and other expenses.
A Charleston wrongful death lawyer can help you recover compensation for these expenses. They can determine the value of your damages and negotiate with a defending party’s insurer for a fair settlement. A Charleston child injury case is unlikely to proceed to trial; however, if it does, your lawyer can represent you in court and fight for an award of damages.
Hiring an attorney can allow you to put away the details of recovering compensation for your child’s tragic accident and focus on grieving with your family. A good lawyer will keep you informed about your case compassionately and professionally.
The Aggressive Approach of Insurance Companies
Your opponent in a Charleston child injury case is likely to be not just an individual whose negligence led to your child’s injury, but their insurer as well. Insurance companies tend to contact accident victims very soon after a tragedy—before you’ve even had a chance to think about pursuing compensation. If you find yourself in this situation, you can, and should, tell them you do not wish to speak with them until you have consulted with a lawyer.
An insurance company that jumps to contact you after a child injury often wants to reach you before you can talk to a lawyer. If they can pressure you into accepting their settlement offer, they protect their best interests, as their first settlement offer is typically woefully inadequate to cover your damages. The money they offer you may seem substantial. However, once you sign an agreement, there is no going back for additional funds, even if you later find out the amount they offered isn’t enough to cover all your expenses.
For example, if your child survived a near-drowning incident, and you accept a settlement because you see it will cover your child’s emergency medical expenses, your claim will be considered closed. Even if your child develops complications that require expensive treatments moving forward, you generally cannot pursue legal action to recover more from the insurance company.
The one chance you have to pursue compensation is critical for your child’s future. An experienced Charleston child injury attorney will know how to make the most of that chance. After a child injury, most parents aren’t emotionally able to deal with an aggressive insurance company. But if your child is injured or killed due to another’s negligence, you should have someone in your corner fighting for the compensation you need to address the financial fallout.
Delaying Calling an Attorney About Your Charleston Child Injury Case Can Cost You
Reach out to an attorney as soon as possible after your child is injured. Charleston child injury claims are bound by the South Carolina statute of limitations, which requires that your lawsuit be filed within three years, whether for injury or wrongful death. The clock starts at the moment of injury or death. If you miss the deadline, you generally cannot pursue legal action. While three years may seem like a lot of time, it passes quickly.
Failing to get an attorney also places you at a disadvantage with insurance companies that may feel empowered to go against accident victims with no legal guidance. Often, the mere fact that you have retained an attorney will get an insurer to take your claim more seriously and bump up their settlement offer.
You shouldn’t avoid looking into hiring an attorney based on concerns about the cost. Most Charleston child injury attorneys do not charge legal fees unless and until they secure compensation for you. In addition, you have nothing to lose by contacting an attorney for a free case evaluation.
The Claim and Lawsuit Process in a Charleston Child Injury Case
While it’s understandable that you want to be done with your claim and on your way with compensation, patience is a reality you’ll have to accept. The processes in bringing a child injury take time, from the accident investigation and medical appointments to determine the extent of your child’s injuries, to negotiations with insurance companies. As your lawyer prepares your claim and lawsuit, they must carefully examine all evidence relating to your child’s accident.
Your lawyer needs to delve deep into the events that led to your child’s injuries or death so that they can build a strong case for you. They do this by gathering evidence that the defending party caused the accident and that their negligence harmed your child.
While your attorney is likely to try to settle a case before filing a lawsuit, they may eventually reach a standstill with the insurance company, and advise you to file a lawsuit. They may think that filing a lawsuit will pressure the insurance company toward more fair settlement terms. Or, they may think presenting your child’s case before a judge and jury is necessary to secure the best outcome possible.
In the end, a Charleston child injury claim will generally take time to resolve. While a highly emotional time, focus on how making it through the process will serve your child’s best interests.
Contact Our Charleston Child Injury Lawyers Today
The overwhelming emotions you experience upon learning about your child’s Charleston injury accident are understandable, especially to attorneys experienced in handling such cases. Many personal injury and wrongful death attorneys are parents themselves or represented parents in similar situations.
No one child injury or accident is alike. Identifying those liable for your child’s injury or untimely death is often a complex matter. That can lead to full and fair compensation. Our Charleston child injury attorneys can do this and many other important things to carry your claim forward—fully investigating the accident, piecing together important details, and taking the stress of the legal process off your shoulders while you focus on adjusting to the new circumstances of your life. Call us today at (843) 881-8644 or write to us online for your free case evaluation.
“Thank you Hughey Law Firm! It was a pleasure to work with you on my case! From the beginning, every contact I had with your firm was professional, kind, helpful, and painless! I always felt kept in the loop, and important to you as a client. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney with integrity, I would highly recommend Hughey Law Firm!”
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