Illinois Child Injury Lawyer
The Unites States has some of the highest rates of child injuries and deaths in the world. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 9,000 children under the age of 18 die each year. More than 225,000 children are hospitalized and almost 9 million children are treated for injuries in hospital emergency rooms each year.
If your child has been injured or killed by the negligence of another, your child is entitled to be fully compensated for their harms and losses. As a parent, you should accept nothing less than full reimbursement, as child injuries can present a lifetime of medical treatment and expenses. To speak to a qualified Illinois child injury attorney, call 312-600-8054, or toll-free 855-402-7274. All consultations are FREE.
Common Causes of Child Injuries
Common injuries to children include:
- Car crashes
- Sports and Recreation
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability (i.e. swimming pools and trampolines)
- Medical malpractice
- Products liability
- Inadequate supervision
The majority of child fatalities are the result of car accidents, drowning, and suffocation. Children aged 5 – 19 who are passengers in cars account for the most child injury deaths. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children aged 1 – 4. Two-thirds of child injury deaths to children under the age of 1 are the result of suffocation.
Child injury death rates are higher for males. In fact, male death rates are almost twice that of females. Males aged 15 – 19 have the highest emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Nearly all of the common causes of child injuries and deaths are preventable.
Preventing Child Injuries
There are many things you can do to prevent serious child injuries and deaths such as:
- Car accidents: Children riding in automobiles should always be properly fastened into the vehicle. Whether your child uses a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, make sure you are familiar with its proper use.
- Drowning: Children should never be left alone around water. It does not matter if it is a bucket, bathtub or pool. Never take your eyes off a child when they are around water. Swimming pool owners should make sure to have at least a 4-foot tall self-closing and latching fence and proper pool cover.
- Fire/Burns: Make sure your home has proper and working smoke detectors on each level. Perform monthly testing to make sure they are working. Also make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Falls: Never leave a child unattended when they are near a staircase. Changing tables and beds are also common places where parents incorrectly think they will have enough time to quickly run into another room. It is amazing how fast a child can rollover.
- Suffocation/Choking: Always keep small objects away from your children, including buttons, batteries, nuts, grapes, etc. Make sure you child’s crib does not contain a pillow or stuffed animals until the appropriate age. Always watch your child when they are eating to make sure they do not choke.
- Poisoning: Ensure cabinets containing household chemicals are secured at all times.
Although there are many ways to prevent childhood injuries and deaths, not all injuries can be prevented. Children will occasionally get cuts, bumps, and bruises; it’s part of being a kid. However, when someone’s negligence causes an injury or death of a child, obtaining the services of an attorney will ensure your rights are preserved.
Child Injury Lawsuits
When a minor child is injured from an accident, his or her parents’ or guardians’ can file a claim or lawsuit on their behalf. When a minor child is a party to a lawsuit in Illinois, the court has an obligation to protect the child’s interests. The court must approve any settlement that comes about as the result of a personal injury lawsuit involving minors. Parents do not have any legal right to settle their child’s personal injury case on their own.
As part of the court’s duty, it will approve of what happens with the money paid out for the child’s damages. Once again, Illinois law does not view a minor’s personal injury case as the parents’ case and a judge takes full control over any monetary disbursements on behalf of the child. Settlement awards are typically held in ‘trusts’ and will be used for the child’s health, education, and welfare, including past, present, and future medical costs. Sometimes, structured settlements can be arranged that allow the child to receive payments through an annuity for years into the future.
If a child is killed through the negligence of another, the parents may have rights under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. A parent or other family member may be appointed to serve on behalf of the deceased child and to seek damages against the negligent person or persons.
Hiring a Child Injury Attorney
It is important to hire a lawyer immediately after your child’s accident or death. Dealing with legal issues following a tragedy is certainly the last thing you want to think about. However, an experienced injury lawyer needs to immediately conduct an investigation and gather all available evidence before it is lost or destroyed. The insurance company is immediately going to work gathering evidence that will help them pay as little as possible for your child’s claim. It is crucial you have someone fighting for you and your child.
Child injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement. This means there are no out of pocket expenses for you, and we do not receive a fee unless we win. There is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Illinois, which means you could miss the opportunity to recover damages if a claim isn’t filed on time. Call today for a FREE child injury case evaluation by our experienced legal team. (314) 409-7060, or 855-402-7274 (toll free).
Chris is recognized as Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association and is a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.