Colorado Springs Child Injury Lawyers
Has your child recently been injured in an accident that wasn't their fault? Was the injury severe enough to warrant medical attention? Are you now contending with a mountain of medical bills and a loved one who is suffering potentially life-altering damages? If so, it may be time to seek legal representation with The Bussey Law Firm, P.C.
Throughout the state of Colorado, we have assisted many families who have been devastated by injuries to their children. We have seen just how difficult these kinds of accidents can be, both for the child and for the family. That is why we are ready to offer our assistance to parents in need. Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., at (719) 475-2555 to explore your rights and options in a confidential case consultation.
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Children are smaller and more fragile than adults. Younger children’s bones may not have even finished fusing yet. This means that it takes far less force to leave a child with a catastrophic injury. There are any number of accidents that could lead to your child suffering serious injuries, and even lifelong disabilities. In our experience, some of the most common accidents that lead to child injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Animal attacks
- Defective children's products
- Swimming pool falls and near drownings
Of course, there are countless other ways for your child to be hurt, but if your child suffered those injuries as a direct result of someone else’s negligence, then you are well within your legal rights to hold the at-fault party liable for their actions.
The key component of any successful personal injury case is establishing a breach of duty. Certain parties owe you and your child a duty of care. For example, all drivers owe a duty of care toward those on the road with them, meaning it is their responsibility to drive as safely as possible. When that duty of care is breached and people are hurt, that driver is legally responsible. To have a successful claim, you need to know who is at fault, how it was done, and be able to provide clear evidence to this point. While there are limitless scenarios in which this can happen, there are a few "repeat offenders" that we often see in child injury claims:
It stands to reason that one of the most frequent places children get hurt not of their own volition would be the place in which they spend the most time. While schools are usually considered a bastion of safety, there are always several outstanding incidents that prove otherwise. Reasons for this can stem from slippery floors, defective playground equipment, broken stairwells, and careless staff or students. Colorado has recently expanded its protection of students through the passage of the Claire Davis Bill. The bill, which was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper in June 2015, holds schools liable for serious injuries or deaths resulting from violence that occurs on the property of a school or during school-sponsored activities.
Like adults, a large majority of personal injury cases involving children stem from injuries sustained in automobile collisions. Because children are often transported in buses or vans from school to home and anywhere else, there is a reasonable chance they could be involved in a traffic accident as well. In Colorado, drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers as well as pedestrians to avoid causing serious harm to each other. See Ringsby Truck Lines, Inc. v. Bradfield, 563 P.2d 939 (1977). As a parent, can pursue a claim for your child when he or she is injured by a negligent driver. See Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 17(c).
Sometimes the most dangerous place for your child can be in is your very own home. Defective kid's products, made with substandard or poisonous parts, have been making their way onto shelves for years. Despite the increased number of consumer watchdog groups and government regulations, countless children are injured each year due to faulty goods.
Product liability cases in Colorado follow the "risk-benefit test." Pursuant to this test, if an injured party proves causation of the injury and offers evidence of a risk of harm posed by the product's claimed defect, the particular manufacturer must establish that the product's benefits outweigh its inherent risks. The Colorado Supreme Court has identified various factors to consider in analyzing the risk-benefit test in the case of Armentrout v. FMC Corporation, 842 P.2d 175 (Colo. 1992). To read more about this case click here.
Parents & Bullies
This may come as a surprise, but the parents of the bully, so long as the bully is a legal minor, can be held responsible for their child's actions. According to Colorado law Rev. Stat. Section 13-21-107, a parent can be held legally responsible if their child caused injury or property damage to another person. The child must be living in the parent's home, however, so if the child is estranged for any reason and not in their parents' custody, then the parents are not considered liable.
If the bully is under 18 and living with their parents, however, then the parents can be held responsible for the full cost of the property damage, or up to $3,500. When it comes to injuries inflicted on another person, the same holds true. The parents are responsible for the cost of the medical bill, or up to $3,500. It is a parent's responsibility to raise their child to respect and care for others. If they fail in this, and their child acts in a cruel or negligent way, then it is the parents' responsibility to pay for the damages caused.
To assess these claims or any others, you will need seasoned and skilled litigators to review your claim, analyze the relevant case law, and fight for what is not only right, but what is fair.
Of course, it is only natural to wonder - What good is a lawsuit or claim now? The damage has already been done.
This is a perfectly understandable question and one that we field quite often. The simple fact remains that a personal injury claim or lawsuit can only do so much. We cannot undo the past or turn back the clock on what has been done to your child. We understand that you are likely already dealing with the devastating impact of your child's injury. However, with a successful case, your family may be able to overcome the immediate financial hurdles presented and effectively plan for any long-term needs your child may have. Every situation is different, and there are no guarantees, but depending on the severity of the accident you could be eligible for one or all of the following damages:
- Emergency medical transportation expenses
- Therapeutic costs, both physical and mental
- Doctor and specialist bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Keep in mind that the liable party and their insurance provider will not want to pay for the damages they caused. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother with a claim. Afte rall, you are well within your rights to demand compensation for the damages your child suffered. But there are a few key differences between a typical personal injury claim and one for a child that you should be aware of.
First, a child is not allowed to file a claim on their own. Children need proper guidance and protection and cannot be expected to make informed decisions on their own. As such, there will be one party responsible for the claim. This party is usually one of the parents, however, other relatives or guardians can be appointed to the position. This person has the negotiating power in the claim and can decide what to pursue and what settlement to accept.
Second, the statute of limitations for a child injury case is longer. Usually, a statute of limitations, or how long you have to file your claim, is just two years from the day of the accident. However, this time limit is placed on hold for child injury cases. Instead, you have until the child turns 18 and is legally considered an adult. After that point the child, now an adult, will typically have two years to file a claim on their own behalf. If your child was injured at the age of 10, you have 8 years to file a claim, and after those 8 years are up, your child will have another two years to file the claim.
However, we never recommend waiting that long to file a claim. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your key evidence, such as photos of the accident, witness testimonies, and security footage, will be lost or forgotten. For the best possible chance to recover damages, you should file a claim as soon as possible and work with a skilled Colorado Springs child injury attorney who can offer you guidance.
There is no worse feeling than seeing your child hurt. It's a parent's job to protect, provide for, and love their child, so when they do get harmed it can feel like the world is ending. That is why we at The Bussey Law Firm P.C. are so dedicated to helping parents in need. Don't let your chance at justice pass by. Contact the Colorado Springs injury attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., by calling (719) 475-2555 today and let us begin building your case before it is too late.
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