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How Can a Children’s Injury Lawyer Help You?
One of the most vulnerable groups in our population is children. When children are injured by the negligence of others, the entire family is affected and often devastated.
If a child is injured by the negligence of others and the injury is permanent and catastrophic, parents worry about how to take care of their child in the future.
At Vaage Law, we understand the special needs of injured children and their families and how to account for the too-often overlooked emotional and financial costs to the family. For example, in a case where an infant was injured by the negligence of multiple Kaiser healthcare providers, we obtained a $25.3 million post-arbitration award for the now 9-year-old. The case required multiple pediatric experts and involved the creation of a Special Needs Trust and an annuity, and negotiating reduction of a Medi-Cal lien.
Reach out to us by calling our San Diego offices at (619) 338-0505, or by filling out our online contact form. We will work tirelessly on behalf of you and your child.
Cases 4 Causes Podcast: Listen to Bob Vaage on the Cases 4 Causes Podcast as he talks about School Bullying.
So another interesting case that the Vaage Law Firm is working on is, I understand you're taking on school bullying and in particular there was the Toronto case against San Diego Unified School District. Can you share with us a little bit about that? I'm sure any parent would want to know more particularly about how a plaintiff's law firm is doing its part to stop school bullying.
As I mentioned in response to another question, you know, we screen a lot of cases every year and, and I personally look at each one, everyone crosses my deaths to make a determination whether or not we wanna look at it further or not. And I've gotten to the point of my career where I, I'm looking for cases that I think not only are interesting, but also that I think are important and cases that I think a lot of other firms that do what I do will either A) not be interested in the case, or B) won't have the time or resources necessary to properly work the case up. Every once in a while we get a call about a school bullying case. Unfortunately, it's becoming more common. We could have a longer conversation about why I think that is, but some girl in the middle school who was being harassed by a bigger, stronger, slightly older girl for a number of months, family reported it to the school, said they were concerned, they were afraid for their daughter's safety.
This was all in writing. And the school basically kind of looked the other way, said, you know, we'll take care of it. They never did. She wound up being assaulted in a girl's bathroom at lunch, you know, like I said, three or four months later, physically assaulted by this other girl in the presence of about 10 other girls in the bathroom. One girl actually video recorded the assault. The young girl was just devastated physically and emotionally. She had post traumatic stress disorder, they had to take her out of the school, she had to get counseling. She wound up going to two or three other schools over the course of several years, didn't want to go to school. And so we took that case on. And of course, you know, we found out that the people who were involved in this, in the school district at the teachers and the administrators <laugh> had violated written school and school district policy in terms of the level of supervision. (28:55): There were supposed to be a teacher in close proximity to that bathroom during the lunch hour, but the teachers who were responsible for that weren't there, among other things. And unfortunately, as we got involved in the case, the response from the school was to blame the victim to essentially say that the young girl that I represented had brought this on herself. The fact that I exposed that defense is probably why that case settled without going to trial because their lawyers realized that that was probably, that defense was probably gonna pour gasoline on, on a preexisting fire.
I think there's plenty of adults today that can look back, remember being a kid and would and would be thankful that they hopefully did not have, have to go through something like that, especially with the advent of camcorders right there in our cell phones and can only imagine how traumatic that must have been for her.
Well, you know, the good news and bad news about these devices obviously is this kind of thing immediately gets put up on social media, which really exacerbates the damage to the child. You know, think about it when you're a 12 or 13-year-old girl, you know, your image and how other people view you is so important. And to have that posted immediately on social media, which it was, can be devastating. Of course, the good news is like other civil rights cases, you've got the video to prove what happened so that it, you know, that it can't be denied.
Is It Worth It to Sue for a Child’s Injury?
In many instances, yes, filing a lawsuit for your child’s injury is worthwhile. This is true if you need financial support to ensure your child has the best care possible, and also to help improve safety standards and protocols for other children.
A child injury lawsuit could provide:
- Coverage of past and future medical bills for emergency and ongoing care by specialists
- Replacement of lost wages should your child not be able to work in the future
- Pain and suffering compensation for the anguish, panic, discomfort, and other harms and losses your child had to endure, as well as the psychological stress experienced by all involved
- Punitive damages, aka “punishment” damages in cases where your child’s injury was caused by malice, oppression, or fraud by the defendant
- Wrongful death damages if a child’s injury causes or contributes to their death. The loss of a child is the loss of all their love, potential, and the joy they should have experienced in life, and deserves full accountability under the law. With the passing of new legislation effective January 1, 2022, Californians are now able to claim the emotional distress damages of the decedent.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of your child can also lead to potentially life-saving reforms in safety standards and emergency procedures. This is especially true if your child was injured at school, in daycare, or while playing a sport. By pursuing a lawsuit for your child, you may help save other children from experiencing the same injury.
Standing up for your child’s rights can lead to potentially life-saving reforms in safety standards and emergency procedures.
What Are Common Injuries for Kids?
Children spend many of their formative years falling down, having accidents, and getting injured. Not all of these injuries will qualify for a lawsuit as they’re considered accidents without negligence. For example, if your child is hurt falling off a bike because they lost their balance while learning, that could be considered a “normal” accidental injury.
Natural accidents are different from injuries caused by potential negligence like:
- Dog bites
- School bus accidents
- Carnival ride injuries
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
Normal accidents happen with kids, but if a teacher or caregiver leaves children unattended, any resulting injury could have and should have been prevented. It’s why there are child safety caps on medications, covers for stove controls, and locks on the shop class tool room door. This is where the law can help your child and hold any negligent parties accountable for such serious mistakes.
Contact a child injury lawyer at Vaage Law today by calling (619) 338-0505 —we are ready to discuss your options and help improve your child’s future.
Can I Sue My Child’s School for an Injury?
This depends on the state and the injury type.
In California, where Vaage Law is headquartered, schools can be held liable for some injuries that occur on school premises, or during school-sponsored activities off-grounds. There are many liability shields in place, however, and the necessary component of suing a school for injury is a breach of care or duty.
How negligence is proven depends on the individual circumstances that harmed your child. Whether it was a teacher’s failure, the administration’s failure, or a policy failure must be established with evidence. Your attorney will research and document the evidence on your behalf.
Empower a school injury lawyer from Vaage Law to seek justice on behalf of your child by reaching out to us today.
Is a School Liable for Injuries?
Once again, school liability regulations vary state-to-state, and sometimes between districts and counties. There are robust liability shields for schools which mean, essentially, that when you elect to send your child to school, you waive certain rights to sue for injury.
A good example for why there is limited liability is because of physical education or P.E. classes. There is a normal, reasonable expectation that a child might get hurt during sports and healthy play. Knowing this, most schools have a nurse’s office, and train their teachers in basic first aid protocols for scrapes or cuts, broken bones, or allergic reactions to nature (like poison ivy or bee stings).
Daycares and schools do have a legal obligation to act with reasonable care when it comes to the children they are supervising. When an injury results due to a failure to act with reasonable care, individuals and schools can indeed be held liable. For example, if a student was injured because they were able to access toxic or flammable materials that are normally locked up in an art or science classroom, your lawyer could make a strong argument for negligence directly leading to harm.
Do not assume that you can’t sue over your child’s injury without first consulting an attorney. Call Vaage Law at (619) 338-0505 to discuss your circumstances—we are well-versed in the subtleties and requirements of the law, and can provide a clear picture of your options for legal action.
Contact an Experienced Children’s Injury Lawyer
Injuries to children are particularly horrifying. Children rely on the wisdom and responsibility of the adults around them and the society at large for years before they’re developed enough to take full responsibility for themselves. When those adults fail—especially those entrusted with childcare as their profession—they must be held accountable.
At Vaage Law, we have devoted our practice to personal injury cases. Our case results show that our dedication brings tangible results to children and families who are most in need of support. Monetary awards can improve your healthcare options, help ensure your household’s financial stability, and acknowledge in a real way that what happened to your child was wrong. A lawsuit can create an incentive for wrongdoers to make sure such dangerous situations never happen again.
Speak with Vaage Law right away by calling (619) 338-0505, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at your earliest convenience. One phone call today could mean a far brighter future for you, your child, your family, and the community.
Children’s Injury FAQs
Is illness considered a child injury?
Sometimes, yes. While children often exchange germs and parasites (like common colds or hair lice), schools and daycare centers must still act appropriately to keep all children safe. For example, if one child spikes a fever, they are isolated in a nursing office or sent home, and lice checks are performed after an outbreak to contain the spread.
However, if your child gets food poisoning from undercooked cafeteria food, that illness could be considered an injury. This is because there was a failure in the duty of care, and a wholly preventable harm was caused because of that failure.
Is spanking considered a child injury?
As far as public schools are concerned, California does not allow corporal punishment. Teachers who strike or spank a child in California could be charged with child abuse or assault and battery, and you would likely have a valid child injury case to pursue.
What are federal child injury laws?
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was passed in 1974 and provides extensive regulations regarding child abuse. Those rules and definitions include an ethical component regarding the treatment of all children, and the intended goal of protecting them from injuries and harassments of a mental, physical, or sexual nature.
How long do I have to file a children’s injury case?
The simple answer is “it depends.” A personal injury claim may have one set of deadlines while a medical malpractice claim has yet a different set. Public entities may require a claim to be filed before filing a lawsuit. These deadlines are known as “statutes of limitations” and they vary depending on the type of injury. When Vaage Law looks at a potential case, the first thing we do is try to establish who the potential defendants/wrongdoers are and the nature of the claims.
If you have questions about your specific circumstances, contact an experienced attorney who practices in your area right away for individual advice.
Vaage Law has over 150 years of combined legal experience and has recovered more than $175 million for our clients. We are headquartered in San Diego, and can be reached online or by phone at (619) 338-0505 to answer your questions.
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Attorney Vaage has been most recently recognized as Outstanding Trial Attorney and Outstanding Trial Advocate by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.