As a parent, your biggest priority is ensuring your kids are safe from harm. Unfortunately, sometimes your biggest fear will come to pass, often because of someone else’s negligent behavior. Children can suffer life-altering injuries due to poor caregiver supervision, defective products, irresponsible drivers, and other heartbreaking situations.
When children suffer a severe preventable injury, their families will often struggle with crippling medical bills, acute emotional stress, and a disruption to their everyday life. In the case of catastrophic injuries, the child may be left with a disability that requires ongoing care and limits their future independence.
If your child’s injuries were caused by negligence, reach out to our team of compassionate Wappingers Falls child injury lawyers to learn about your legal options. At Finkelstein & Partners, we have a track record of advocating for injured children and their families. We will work tirelessly to represent your child’s best interests and pursue fair compensation for your family’s damages.
Table of Contents
- A Team of Experienced Child Injury Attorneys in Wappingers Falls
- Why Injury Claims That Involve Children Are Unique
- Who Can I Hold Liable for My Child’s Injuries?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How Our Wappingers Falls Child Injury Lawyers Can Help You
A Team of Experienced Child Injury Attorneys in Wappingers Falls
After a child gets injured, no amount of money can make what happened to go away. However, financial compensation is the only recourse the legal system can provide to hold the responsible parties accountable. More importantly, recovering fair restitution gives families the necessary resources to ensure quality medical care for their injured child. Unfortunately, these cases can be tough to win, significantly if the child suffers long-term health challenges that a substantial payout can only cover.
A successful child injury claim will require skilled legal representation and solid evidence of the responsible party’s negligence. The child injury attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners have helped many families in Wappingers Falls navigate the legal system during challenging times.
While no guarantee of future success, some of our most significant past victories advocating for children include recoveries of:
- $8.3 million for a five-year-old pedestrian that suffered terrible injuries after being hit and dragged by a distracted driver
- $4 million for a seven-year-old that sustained catastrophic injuries due to a defective lawn mower
- $2 million to compensate a 7th grader that suffered a severe eye injury during a field trip due to poor supervision from school staff
- $1.6 million for a 12-year-old that was attacked by an aggressive dog and who sustained facial injuries
- $1.3 million for a 13-year old that was injured in a jet ski accident caused by negligence
- $1.1 million for the family of a six-year-old that sustained fatal injuries due to dangerous conditions in his rental home
Why Injury Claims That Involve Children Are Unique
Children are more physically vulnerable, less coordinated, and less capable of avoiding risks than adults. Childhood injuries are also more likely to have lifelong consequences, impacting their development, future job opportunities, and the child’s overall well-being. For this reason, children are entitled to special protection under New York State law. That means pursuing a child injury lawsuit has some crucial differences from the typical personal injury claim process, such as:
Adults have much higher liability when it comes to children
Businesses and individuals that harm children are held up to a much higher standard of responsibility than is typical under the law. Unlike adults, children are not considered responsible for their injuries due to engaging in risky behavior like trespassing. That means that, under certain circumstances, adults can be liable for harming a child that goes onto their property without permission.
These scenarios include having so-called attractive nuisance elements that might entice children, such as swimming pools or a dilapidated swing set that’s no longer safe. If the homeowner failed to have a secure fence preventing children from entering, they could be held liable.
The child’s legal guardians file the lawsuit on their behalf
As minors, children don’t have the legal standing to pursue any legal action. However, it usually doesn’t make sense to delay the pursuit of compensation until the child turns 18, especially while medical expenses pile up. Instead, children depend on their parents or legal guardian to take these essential steps on their behalf.
Compensation recovered for the child is administered by a judge
In New York State, child injury lawsuits are closely supervised by the court to ensure the child’s best interests are represented at every step. For example, if the liable party makes a settlement offer that the parents choose to accept, a judge has to review the terms to verify the agreement is fair. Any compensation your injured child receives will also be administered by the court to ensure it’s spent appropriately. The child can access their funds directly after turning 18.
Who Can I Hold Liable for My Child’s Injuries?
Kids can get hurt in several completely accidental ways, which means there isn’t necessarily anyone to blame. But children can also be harmed in many dangerous situations due to irresponsible behavior that could and should have been prevented. In New York State, the liability for injuring a child will depend on showing an element of negligence in the circumstances that caused the accident.
Negligence is legally defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care and has four different components.
- The responsible party had a duty of care to the victim: Teachers must safeguard children in their school, drivers must follow traffic rules, and manufacturers must sell products that have been rigorously tested for safety.
- The responsible party violated this duty: Negligence can include any action that causes predictable harm, such as leaving children unsupervised, driving at reckless speeds, or selling a defective product.
- The responsible party caused the child’s injuries: The act of negligence directly created the conditions for the child to get injured.
- The child suffered specific damages due to getting injured: The consequences of a serious injury can include a range of physical, emotional, and financial damages for the child and their family.
While parents do whatever they can to protect their children, injuries can happen because of factors that are impossible for them to control. If the child’s injuries could have been prevented with proper safety measures or more responsible behavior, the negligent business or individual is liable for the resulting damages. Some common examples of who can be held liable when a child gets injured include:
Manufacturers and retailers of defective products
Defective or unreasonably dangerous products are among the most common causes of devastating childhood injuries or fatalities. This list of harmful products will often include items parents trusted because they’re explicitly advertised as safe for children.
Some of the worst offenders include:
- Toys can endanger children due to poor design that makes pieces easily detachable, turning them into a choking hazard for young children or, if they have toxic substances, causing harm when ingested or inhaled.
- Car seats and booster seats are necessary forms of safety equipment that parents trust with their precious cargo. Still, they can pose risks due to manufacturing or design defects.
- Cribs and toddler beds can cause injuries due to faulty design, shoddy quality, or defects.
When parents send their children off to school, daycare, or summer camp, they expect their children to be surrounded by responsible adults who can keep them safe. Unfortunately, many childhood injuries happen in these settings, often because of negligent caregivers.
Children can get harmed by poor supervision, access to dangerous substances, understaffed facilities, and other factors that put children at risk. When licensed professionals fail to protect children from serious harm, they can be held liable, and so can their employers.
While reckless driving is dangerous to everyone on the road, children are particularly vulnerable to getting hurt during an accident. Because they’re much smaller, children can suffer traumatic injuries even if parents take every possible precaution, like using a car seat or booster seat.
When car accidents occur due to negligence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, violating traffic laws, speeding, or texting while driving, the at-fault driver can be held responsible for all the injuries they caused.
Homeowners are legally responsible for keeping their dogs secure and preventing them from harming others, especially children. Failure to do so is considered negligence. Kids are more susceptible to serious dog bites for many reasons.
They’re less risk averse and may not know how to avoid a dangerous dog. They’re also much weaker and slower than adults, which leaves them unable to defend themselves or escape in the face of an attack. Serious dog bites can be catastrophic for children, causing the risk of permanent facial scars, nerve damage, amputation, and bacterial infections that can potentially be life-threatening.
Children that experience the trauma of a dog attack also face psychological scars that can be life-long, leading to crippling anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
What damages can my child recover by suing the party responsible for their injuries?
New York State courts recognize two primary forms of compensatory damages for childhood injuries, which can break down as economic damages or non-economic damages. Childhood injuries will present families with an extensive list of financial losses that the liable party would be responsible for covering, such as all past and future medical expenses.
These costs may include ambulance transportation, hospital bills, physical therapy, and assistive medical devices. If the child sustains catastrophic injuries that will affect their ability to earn a living as an adult, the claim could also include compensation for reduced future earning capacity. If one of the parents had to take time off from work to take full-time care of the child or stop working, they could file for their lost income.
The non-economic damages in a child injury lawsuit would include all the emotional and psychological losses associated with being in this heartbreaking situation, which is considerable. These losses might include physical pain and suffering, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder, and decreased quality of life.
How much does it cost to hire a Wappingers Falls child injury attorney?
After a tragic accident, the families of injured children often wonder how they’ll afford the quality legal representation they need to pursue compensation.
Finkelstein & Partners offers a free initial consultation to review your situation. There are no upfront costs for hiring our firm to handle your case. We will work hard to recover fair restitution to cover your child’s damages, either by negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company or by being awarded a judgment in a court of law. If we can win for you, our legal fees get paid as a percentage of the awarded amount.
How Our Wappingers Falls Child Injury Lawyers Can Help You
When a child suffers serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, families’ emotional and financial burden is overwhelming. At Finkelstein & Partners, we know the idea of taking legal action and navigating the legal process can contribute to stress. We provide compassionate support every step.
When you reach out to our personal injury lawyers in Wappingers Falls, we review your case, discuss your best legal options, and gather a team to begin fighting on your behalf. We know from experience that the biggest priority with child injury cases is determining the full extent of the child’s injuries and projecting those consequences into the future.
We work with experts, including medical and vocational rehabilitation specialists, who help us properly evaluate how your child’s long-term development will be affected.
Our experienced Wappinger Falls child injury attorneys can place your family in the best position to hold the responsible parties accountable and fully compensate your child. Call us today at (845) 298-2870 or contact us through our website. You may not only help your child’s recovery, you may protect other children by reaching out to us. Don’t delay.