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Child Injury Lawsuit: What Types of Damages Are Available?

As San Diego child injury attorneys, we understand how distressing it can be for parents whose children have been injured because of negligence. Although cases involving children are some of the most difficult, these innocent victims are often the most deserving of our advocacy.

Whether it is negligence related to a medical mistake or a serious car accident, it is important to understand that both the parents and the child are entitled to monetary compensation. Below is a brief summary of the damages available in a child injury lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses: Child injuries can often result in costly medical expenses, with the most serious injuries requiring life-long care. As caretakers of the child, parents are entitled to reimbursement for all hospital bills and other medical expenses.
  • Pain and suffering: Children are entitled to compensation for any pain and suffering caused by the injury. The parents, as personal representatives of the child, are entitled to bring these claims on his or her behalf.
  • Lost wages: Teens that hold part-time or even full-time jobs are entitled to compensation for any lost wages tied to the injury. In cases where the child is permanently injured, he or she may also be able recover payment for lost future wages.
  • Wrongful death: In cases where the child does not survive the injuries, parents are entitled to pursue pre-death pain and suffering damages on behalf of the child as well as their own claims for the loss of the child’s love, affection, and companionship.

For cases involving medical errors, it is also important to note that California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 imposes a mandatory cap of $250,000 on all non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In many cases, children, who have few economic damages other than medical bills, fair the worst under the statute.