Injuries to Children

Automobile Accidents

Children injured in automobile accidents require special attention because of the inherent deficit of a child’s ability to understand their body and articulate their symptoms to their parents and doctors. While some injuries are objectively clear to an observer, such as a broken arm or leg, as well as clear to the child in terms of the pain levels experienced, other injuries tend to fly a bit more below the radar.

Children might suffer from physical or mental injuries that are not necessarily immediately observable by either the child, nor even the child’s parents or doctors. Soft tissue injuries are physical injuries that both do not always have symptoms when they are incurred. Your child, or you, might feel fine at the scene of an automobile collision, but might become more symptomatic, with muscle soreness, over the days following the collision or other injury causing event. Harder to detect still are mental injuries relating to the fear / anxiety or worse, injuries caused by the same type of physical forces that can cause soft tissue injuries can also cause traumatic brain injuries. There is no requirement that a loss of consciousness occur in order for a person to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

This website has extensive discussions throughout regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries. For more information on what to look for if you have a concern about your child, please click here. When attempting to discuss these symptoms with your child or other loved one, it is important to remember that the injured person is often not fully aware of their symptoms. Because the main symptoms can be things like word finding difficulty, short term memory loss and emotional liability, these types of symptoms are often first notice by someone outside of the injured person – the objective person – while not always sorted out by the affected person, the subjective experience clouding what the prior norm was for the brain inured party. Prompt care should always be sought for a suspected traumatic brain injury (or any other suspected injury), both for the patient’s medical well-being, but also to help with any resulting legal claim. An insurance company will likely use any delay in obtaining care as an argument that the injury was either not caused by the accident at issue or doesn’t exist at all due to failure to properly diagnose at a stage close in time to the injury causing event.

Wiener and Lambka makes children’s cases a special priority and we do so at a discounted attorney fee to make sure that innocent children injured due to someone else’s negligence are completely compensated for their injuries and disruption of their lives.

Loss of Consortium

When a child is injured due to another’s negligence, the child and the child’s parents have independent claims for their losses. A parent may have a “loss of consortium” claim that is reasonable to bring if the child’s injuries are serious enough to warrant it. Children whose parents have suffered injuries may have a claim for loss of consortium if their parent’s injuries adversely affect their relationship with their parent in a material way. Any instance where an immediate family member incurs a serious injury may also have corresponding loss of consortium of the other family members associated with it.

School Injuries

Wiener & Lambka PS has experience in a wide range of school injury cases. We have represented children who have been injured in school bus accidents, through teacher / sport coach negligence, and through failure to properly supervise teachers and students. School bus accidents can occur not only due to the fault of the school bus driver, but also in circumstances where the school has improperly placed a bus stop or unreasonably failed to plan and supervise a pick up and drop off circle. Injuries can occur through negligence involved with high school sports and also physical education classes. Playground equipment can also result in injuries and legal claims where the equipment was not properly installed, not properly designed, not installed properly or where children using otherwise properly installed equipment where not properly supervised by the school staff. What is reasonable in many of these cases is something that has to be considered based upon the unique facts of each case. At Wiener & Lambka, PS, we take time and care to investigate and consider all possible theories in a case and then provide the personal and professional representation that an injured child needs.

Negligent Supervision / Caretaking

Cases involving Caretaking of children include daycares and other general caretaker negligence. The wrongful acts can be as simple as an unreasonable decision that leaves a child open to an injury or even a conscious decision to intentionally harm a child. Failure to supervise employees in a caretaker setting – a daycare, a hospital, a school, all can give rise to harm to children and a resulting legal claim. Wiener and Lambka PS offers free consultations where you can discuss your legal concerns in an open and free manner, without any obligation to hire us as attorneys. We are happy to discuss your legal concerns about your child.

Dog Bites

Children are more likely to get bitten by a dog than adults due to their naivety, curiosity, size, and inordinate fascination with dogs. In Washington there is not a “free bite” philosophy regarding a dog owner’s responsibility for when a dog bites someone. The owner and/or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for the damages caused when their dog bites another person. The only exception to this rule is when the dog is provoked into biting, a situation that does not have extensive explanation in Washington law, but which in the course of business in these cases, effectively means that unless one was mistreating the dog in an open and obvious manner, then the dog owner is responsible for the dog’s biting someone else.
While Washington statutory law makes it clear that the owner or keeper is responsible for a dog’s biting another, the owner or keeper can also be liable for the dog’s actions when they have been put on notice that the dog has a propensity toward biting or harming others. Under these circumstances, not only would the dog’s bite be their responsibility but also any other action by the dog that causes injury such as knocking someone to the ground.

Wiener and Lambka PS has handled many dog bite cases for both adults and children. We are well-versed in the laws and cases in Washington regarding these types of incidents. While the owner or keeper may be strictly liable for the injuries a bite causes there are still many thorny legal issues that can be involved in these types of cases. What actually constitutes and owner and what constitutes a keeper of a dog? What constitutes provocation such that the owner or keeper might not be liable? Were the injuries caused by the dog’s bite or some other aspect of the dog/human interaction (getting knocked down)? What injuries were caused by the bite? Was the treatment reasonable and necessary for the injuries incurred? Is there a scar? Does the child have emotional difficulties relating to dogs following the event?

Wiener and Lambka PS offers a free consultation to anyone who has been bitten by a dog and wants a better understand their legal rights. There is no obligation to hire us as attorneys when you have asked for a free consultation. Please give us a call or make an email inquiry about your particular claim and we’ll be happy to talk with you.

Wrongful Death

There are no more difficult cases or circumstances in the world than those involving the wrongful death of a child. Wiener and Lambka PS has extensive experience in cases involving the death of children. There is no type of matter that we take more pride in providing personal, professional and proven representation for than these cases.
The right to bring a claim when a child dies due to another’s negligence rests with the parents of the child. In Washington, the right to a wrongful death claim is one that is provided via a written statute. The particular statute in Washington has a limitation on the parents’ ability to bring a legal claim that provides no relief for the wrongful death of a child if over the age of 18 years. While the child’s estate may still have a claim based upon the economic issues involved in taking the life of another, the claim for the effects of the loss of their child to its parents does not exist once the child reaches the age of 18, that of majority. Interestingly, the claim of a child for the loss of his or her parents and the effect that has had on their life is not eclipsed by either person being over the age of 18.

All claims in Washington for the wrongful death of a child must be brought through the estate of the child, which often must be set up solely for the purpose of bringing the substantive legal claim.

Children and Brain Injuries

Read here for detailed information about Traumatic Brain Injury in children.

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