Injuries to Children
Children are our most important resource because they are our future. As parents, we invest every ounce of our emotional being into raising our children. No event can have a more negative impact than one that severely injures a child.
Even with the rates going down over the last several decades, severe or fatal child injuries remain a major problem. According to Childstats.gov, " unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death for children ages 1–4 and ages 5–14." In 2019 alone, that included 4,000 deaths and 4 million non-fatal injuries that required emergency medical care.
Federal government statistics tell us that the major of these accidents in kids 1-14 are the results of calls or being struck by an object, but these accidents can occur in various settings and for various reasons. A lot of those may be the result of someone's negligence.
One way that children -- especially smaller ones -- may encounter danger is something the law calls an "attractive nuisance." People familiar with that phrase often associate it with private swimming pools, but a wide array of things -- from an old refrigerator to an abandoned vehicle to a well to a trampoline (and more) -- can constitute attractive nuisances. The law says that anything on a property that a reasonable person would recognize as appealing to a child is potentially an attractive nuisance.
Another relatively common source of injuries to children is defective products. These products can range from toys to trampolines to car seats, and more. Defects can arise in multiple ways. A product may be defectively designed, such as a toddler toy that was too small and therefore represented a choking hazard, A product may be defectively manufactured, such as a child car seat with hinges or connectors made from inferior plastic that broke too easily in crashes. Besides design defects and manufacturing defects, other recognized bases for a product liability lawsuit here in Oregon are negligent testing or inspection, failure to warn regarding an item, or failure to properly instruct users on the proper use of the item.
Even when a car seat performs as it should, auto accidents represent a major danger to kids. According to research by Oregon's Public Health Authority, motor vehicle crashes represented the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths in children. Of those instances the state's child fatality review teams reviewed, nearly 40% involved a driver who was drowsy or sleeping, distracted by their cell phone, driving too fast, or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
One place we assume our children are safe is in the care of medical providers, but medical malpractice can -- and does -- negatively impact the lives of children. Studies show that the most common forms of medical malpractice affecting children are providers' diagnosis errors, such as a failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or wrong diagnosis.
Injuries to children can have both physical and psychological components. Serious injuries to children can present life-altering challenges not just to the injured child, but to the entire family. If a child suffers a traumatic brain injury or is paralyzed, not only will the family have to pay an exorbitant amount of medical bills, but may also have to change the child's education and renovate their house to accommodate the child's special needs.
Every day, young children in Oregon and Washington are injured or killed because of the actions and choices of adults or corporations. Whether the trauma is caused by a dangerous child product, a careless physician, or an unsafe driver, anyone who injures a child because of carelessness or decisions that put profits over safety should be held accountable for their actions. The knowledgeable Oregon child injury attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC have the skills and experience to help clients do exactly that, and get them the relief they need. Call us at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online today.
Listed below are some of the types of children's injury cases that our office can help bring some accountability to those that are responsible.
- Children's brain injury
- Children's spinal injury
- Child scarring and disfigurement
- Automobile accident injury
- Premise liability
- Wrongful death cases
- Child molestation & sex abuse
- Defective product cases
- Birth trauma injuries
- Dog bites
Good resource links for children and families.