Chicago Child Injury Lawyer
No parent wants to step into an emergency room with an injured child. So many accidents involving children are preventable, and yet millions of families each year do make that trip to the ER with a child who has been hurt in some kind of accident.
If your child was injured because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior, you’re probably feeling angry that someone else caused your child harm. You may be feeling frustrated that your child continues to be in pain from his or her injuries. The injuries may be keeping your child from a beloved hobby such as ballet or Little League, or may be affecting your child’s ability to keep up with schoolwork. Your child may be feeling sad or showing signs of being emotionally traumatized by the accident. Those are all things that may cause a parent to lose sleep with worry and wonder if your child will get back to normal and be a happy, healthy kid again.
You also may be feeling frustrated that you’re getting stacks of hospital and doctor bills for your child’s treatment — bills that you never should have had to incur if not for someone else’s actions, and that you shouldn’t be responsible to pay.
Common Causes of Injuries to Children
- Car Accidents — According to public health data, traffic collisions are by far the leading cause of injury and death for children of most ages. Children’s fragile and developing bodies are especially vulnerable to the trauma of an automobile impact, especially if they’re not in a properly secured car seat or using a seat belt.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents — Many children are injured each year simply playing outdoors. They run into the street to catch a ball, or ride their bicycles or scooters in the street, and drivers come along who are driving too fast or who just don’t see them because children are lower to the ground and may be in a driver’s blind spot. (Learn more about bicycle safety for children here.)
- Fall Injuries — Falls are a significant cause of injury or death for younger children.
- Drowning Accidents — It only takes a few seconds for a child to get into trouble in water, whether it’s a lake or a swimming pool.
- Burn-Related Injuries — Burns are another significant cause of injury and death among children each year. Fireworks often are associated with burns to children.
Children and Brain Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States. Brain injuries can be especially serious for children because their brains are still developing. Injury or damage from an accident can affect development and cause long-term problems with cognitive or motor functions. Sometimes it may take time for those problems to surface following an accident.
Brain injuries can cause a number of problems in children, including:
- Speech impairments
- Vision or hearing impairments
- Seizure disorders
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Trouble communicating
- Mood swings
Children and Broken Bones
Children’s bones are still growing and developing well into their teenage years. Their bones are softer than those of an adult, and they’re more susceptible to certain kinds of fractures when involved in an accident. Broken bones can be serious for children because their physical development is incomplete. Sometimes when a child is in an accident, there can be damage to the growth plates at the end of the bone. When that happens, if the growth plate doesn’t properly heal it can cause the bone to grow abnormally or more slowly than others, resulting in the need for surgery or a potential lifelong disability. When a growth plate is damaged, the consequences may not be seen for some time until the child has grown enough that the damage becomes evident.
Types of bone fractures seen in children may include:
- Greenstick Fractures — When a bone partly bends and partly breaks
- Torus Fractures — When a bone twists or buckles but does not completely break
- Bend Fractures — When a bone bends but does not break
- Complete Fractures — When the bone breaks all the way through
How a Lawyer Can Help
You may have a claim for compensation under Illinois law if your child’s injuries happened through someone else’s fault — whether it was a driver who caused a crash that injured your child, or a neighbor setting off illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July that led to your child being burned. An experienced Chicago car injury attorney can discuss with you the circumstances of your child’s injury and help identify the legally responsible party. An attorney can help you with making a claim for compensation of your child’s medical costs and other damages, negotiate an insurance settlement, or file a lawsuit and try the case if necessary.