Peoria Child Injury Lawyer
Injuries to a child are any parents’ worst nightmare. Despite a parent’s best efforts, there are times when the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of other people cause serious injuries to a child. When this happens, parents should be able to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. At Kanoski Bresney, you can count on our qualified and experienced team to be by your side. These injuries can have a lasting impact. We will investigate what happened as we work to secure the compensation you and your child deserve.
If your child or the child of a loved one has suffered a Peoria personal injury of any kind, contact our office today. Our attorney team can answer questions your legal questions over a free consultation and guide you towards your best legal options.
Child Injury Definition
A child injury is any injury “unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen” (National Committee of Injury Prevention and Control).
Some of the most common examples of causes of these injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
A child injury can be considered an accident, but these incidents are very often predictable, preventable, and controllable.
Peoria Child Injury Statistics
Looking at statistics from the National Institutes of Health, we can see that the most common causes of pediatric injuries are:
- Motor vehicle crashes. This is the most common cause of death in children aged 5 – 18.
- Infants are more likely to suffocate when they are sleeping, and toddlers are at risk of suffocation by choking on food or small objects.
- Drownings are the most common cause of death in children aged 1 – 4.
- Over 300 children are transported to the hospital each day due to poisonings. Common causes of poisoning in children include household cleaners, chemicals, and medications.
- More than 300 children are transported to the hospital each day due to burn injuries, which are often caused by hot liquids or steam.
- Around 8,000 children are transported to the hospital each day due to falls.
When we turn to the Illinois Department of Public Health, we can see the following:
- Injury is the leading cause of death of children up to five years old in the state.
- During a recent reporting year, over 111,000 child injuries were treated in hospitals and ERs.
Types of child injuries in Illinois
The Illinois DPH show statistics on the most common child injuries that lead to hospitalization in the state. This includes:
- Falls off of or from:
- Slips, trips, and stumbles
- Playground equipment
- One level to another
- Poisoning/internal injuries from ingestion
- Dog bites/animal bites
- Struck by an object
These injuries can lead to:
- Severe lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Burns wounds
Who can be held liable for a child’s injury in Illinois?
There are various people in a child’s life, other than their parents, that have a duty to keep the child safe. This can include the following people:
- School administrators
- Recreation directors
- Daycare staff
- School bus drivers
- Other parents
- Sports coaches
- Doctors and nurses
- Other healthcare professionals
Each of these people have a duty to ensure that the children under their care are safe. When they fail to properly supervise children, or act with gross negligence, a child can become seriously injured or ill.
Product liability and child safety
Defecting products are in every industry, including those related to young children. This includes toys, bedding, car seats, clothing, food and beverages, and more. If you look at the website that tracks all current recalls in the US, you will see that hundreds of products are currently under recall across the country. Companies and manufacturers of defective products can be held accountable when their products cause injuries.
Clothing, jewelry, and accessories can pose significant dangers for children. They can strangle children, suffocate them, and cause other serious injuries if they get caught around a child’s neck. It is important to note that clothing with cords and drawstrings are particularly dangerous for young children. Other items that pose a danger include:
- Hats with cords
- Other jewelry (bracelets, anklets, and earrings)
- Bags or purses with straps
- Soothers with chains or ribbons
Children’s clothing should also be made of low-risk fire material. This is especially important for pageant and holiday clothing.
How to promote child safety
As a parent or guardian, you have the main role in promoting child safety. According to Health Service Executive, there are several steps parents and guardians can take to keep their kids safe:
- First aid kit for babies and children. Children are prone to accidents at home and when out in public. You should have a first aid kid in place to deal with minor cuts and scrapes, as well as a way to deal with insect bites and stings. For more major injuries, always take your child to the doctor or hospital.
- Burn and scald prevention. You should understand how to treat burns and scalds for your baby or child. Understand the common areas that a child can sustain these injuries (stoves, lightbulbs, fireplaces, grills, etc.).
- Clothes safety for babies and children. Do not dress your child in anything with cords or drawstrings that can strangle or suffocate them.
- Child safety on public transportation. When out in public, always hold your small child’s hand. Teach your child about dangers to look out for on public transport, including moving vehicles, closing doors, etc.
- CPR classes focused on children. Consider taking a class on CPR dedicated to how to handle these situations for infants and small children, as the steps and techniques are different than CPR for adults.
- Child safety in a car. Learn how to handle what happens if your child gets out of their car seat and how often you should take breaks on long journeys. Never leave your child alone in a vehicle.
- Childproofing your home. Always identify and remedy risks to your children around your home. Essentially, you want to baby-proof or child-proof your home.
- Keep medications and cleaners out of reach. Keep all safety tops on medications and out of sight of children. Keep any cleaners well out of the reach or view of your child.
There are several other ways to keep your children safe. Every family should have a child-safety plan in place and work to ensure that the people who care for their children also have safety protocols in place.
What is the statute of limitations for these cases?
Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. This means that a personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed within two years from the date of the incident. However, if the injury involves a minor, the statute of limitations is different.
When the injury victim is a minor, the statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or paused. In these cases, the statute of limitations will not begin until the victim turns 18.
Another exception for minors has to do with medical malpractice cases. When a minor is injured due to medical negligence, a claim must be commenced within the later of the following:
- Three years from the date of the negligent act, or
- If the minor is under six years of age at the time of the injury, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the child’s eighth birthday.
Compensation for an Illinois child injury
When it comes to child injuries that are caused by another person’s negligence, those children, through their parents, are often able to obtain compensatory damages. This means that they will receive money for their losses, both monetary damages and pain and suffering damages.
These damages can be both economic as well as non-economic, and include:
- Medical treatment. This includes past, current, and expected future costs of ongoing medical treatment. This compensation can usually be calculated by obtaining medical records and bills of the injured person. Future medical costs can be calculated with the help of medical and economic experts. In the case of an injury to a child, the cost of future care can be considerable.
- Pain and suffering. These damages are not as easily calculable as those from medical treatment, but they are just as real. Victims of child injuries often suffer from both physical and emotional pain and suffering. In the aftermath of severe child injuries, victims often suffer from:
- Long-term physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Properly calculating pain and suffering damages often involved working with medical and economic experts, and this is not an exact science.
- Punitive damages. In cases when the at-fault party was grossly negligent or if the actions were intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their behavior and discourage the same actions in the future.
Who can file a lawsuit for a child’s injury?
The parents of children or the guardians of children can file lawsuits to recover compensation for injuries that the minor sustains. Generally, the parents or guardians sue on behalf of their children. Because the child is a minor and cannot legally file a lawsuit on their own, their parents are allowed to do so.
However, if the parents fail to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the child, it is important to remember that the statute of limitations is “tolled” for injured minors. Once a child turns 18, the two-year statute of limitations begins, and they will have until their twentieth birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
What you can do moving forward
If your child has sustained an injury due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. You can count on the attorneys at Kanoski Bresney to be by your side. We have the knowledge and experience you need to investigate what happened and secure the compensation you are entitled to. You can contact the Peoria child injury lawyers at Kanoski Bresney for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (217) 523-7742.