Illinois Child Injury Accident FAQ's
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents children with mild to severe injuries suffered in accidents such as motor vehicle collisions, school-related accidents, playground events and other types of professional negligence. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have collected a series of child injury accident FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of an accident involving children who have been injured through another's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Child Injury Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Children can be injured anywhere including at school, daycare, playgrounds, camp, foster homes, at play in the neighbor's yard or as a passenger in vehicles. Children can become the victim of medical malpractice, bicycle crashes, dog bites, unfenced pools, defective amusement park equipment, pedestrian injuries, backyard accidents, unsafe products, electrocution, car seat failure, birth injuries, broken toys, unlocked weapons, school bus injury, negligent caretakers, sexual assault and abusive adults.
The child injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have compiled a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions involving child personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits and posted the answers below. Many families use this information to determine how to take legal action for justice and to obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their child's injuries and damages. If you have questions about your specific situation, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your case with you in person. Call us any time at (888) 424-5757.
Child Injury Law FAQs
What are the Most Common Injuries Children Sustain in Illinois?
Some of the most common injuries that children sustain in Illinois accident include broken bones, scarring, spinal and head wounds. Our attorneys have represented many families and their children who sustained severe injuries caused by the negligent actions of others. Some of the harm that these incidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Shaken baby syndrome*
- Fractures and broken bones
- Scalding burns
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Psychological damage caused by trauma, mistreatment, negligence or abuse
- Congenital disabilities caused by medical malpractice
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic response after taking defective medications
- Symptoms associated with child abuse
* Shaken baby syndrome is a serious brain injury caused from vigorous shaking a child. It is also referred to as abusive head trauma. Doctors and law enforcement recognize that shaken baby syndrome is child abuse. The condition is caused by shaking a baby by the shoulders, legs or arms or throwing the child against an object. Typically, the syndrome causes significant, permanent brain damage. Also, it does not take long or strong force to cause these effects, because a baby's muscles are so fragile, weak, and undeveloped. Illinois child abuse agencies monitor this issue and can be a source of help if you suspect a child suffered shaken baby syndrome.
What Legal Options are Available if My Child was Injured at Daycare?
If your child was harmed at an Illinois daycare or by a caregiver, you can pursue legal relief in court on the child's behalf for the damage and costs that the event caused. Our daycare injury attorneys recommend that you take your child to urgent care or an emergency room to receive immediate medical attention. The doctor can perform a comprehensive physical examination and order the appropriate tests to correctly diagnose your child's injuries to provide the proper treatment for healing.
Next, it is imperative to report the event to the appropriate agency and the local police who will file an accident report and provide you with a copy. Be sure to take photographs of your child's injuries and obtain the name and contact information of every witness. Our daycare injury attorneys can provide you with legal assistance and advice on how to hold the facility and others responsible for your child's injuries financially accountable.
Further, if your child was inappropriately touched or treated by a caregiver in Illinois, the law allows you to seek protection and recovery from them in court as well. However, you need to act urgently to stem any other abuse from occurring and to ensure that you are able to obtain relief. Child sex abuse is a genuine problem and a concern for every parent.
To prevent the potential for abuse, never hire any caregiver or babysitter to provide care for your child without conducting a comprehensive background check. File a police report and inform the caregiver's employer of what you believe occurred. While this might seem like an extreme measure, protecting your child from the exposure of abusive adults is required. Your child is a precious gift and worthy of an investigation if you suspect abuse has occurred.
Can We Sue the Illinois School District if My Child was Injured in a School Bus Accident?
If your child was injured in an Illinois school bus accident, you can probably sue the school district. Many school bus accidents are the result of a negligent driver who was operating the bus while impaired, distracted, or when texting, talking on the phone, or drinking/eating. If your child was injured while getting on or off the bus, riding on the bus, or walking near the bus, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit against the driver, bus company, school district, and other entities legally at fault for your child's injuries. Our attorneys will determine the unique circumstances of your case and perform a comprehensive investigation to determine what happened. If you decide to bring suit against the district, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for the following damages from a successful award or settlement:
- Parents' lost wages.
- Hospital bills.
- Child's pain and disability.
- Wrongful death damages.
Are My Neighbor's Responsible for Children's Injuries at Their Pools?
Yes, if your child was injured while playing in a neighbor's pool in Illinois, the owners of the property or other adults watching the child (or supposed to be watching the child) may be at fault and legally responsible for the injuries that occurred. According to the CDC, at least one child is involved in a pool accident, such as drowning, every day, where the potential risk of injury increases during the hot sunny days of summer and in the winter when the temperature begins to freeze water.
Neighbors responsible for pool safety may be found financially and legally at fault if they failed to do the following:
- Install and maintain appropriate fencing that surrounds the pool area.
- Maintain appropriate drain safety pool equipment.
- Ensure that adults continuously supervised all children in and around the pool.
This responsibility is related to Illinois' laws on attractive nuisances such as pools. That doctrine establishes liability for property owners and supervisors who do not take effective or sufficient measures to protect children from the risks of dangerous items or situations. According to Illinois law, 740 ILCS 130/2, premises owners must use reasonable care when attempting to mitigate any danger or risk.
Can I Sue in Illinois if My Child was Injured While Playing With a Toy?
Yes, if you child was injured due to a defective toy, then you may be able to bring a products liability lawsuit in Illinois against the maker, designer, or seller. In order to succeed on an Illinois products liability claim, you must plead and prove that the item was defectively made, defectively designed, or had defective instructions/warnings. Then, you must show that these defects caused your child's injuries when your child was using the product as intended. See Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402A.; See also Haudrich v. Howmedia, Inc., 169 Ill. 2d 525, 540 (1996).
Hearing about a child's severe injury or death who was harmed by merely playing with their toy can be heartbreaking. Unfortunately, even with tightened federal regulations, toy manufacturer still design, market and sell dangerous toys to unsuspecting families. Typically, the design or manufacturing defect is not recognized until after the toy has caused significant health issues or the death of children.
The child injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC fight aggressively on behalf of families to hold negligent toy designers, manufacturers and product distributors legally responsible and financially accountable for killing or injuring children.
Can We File a Claim Against Those Responsible for My Child's Death?
Yes, you can bring legal action in Illinois for those responsible for your child's death. Illinois provides a legal remedy by filing a wrongful death lawsuit pursued by the decedent's parents or a court-appointed adult representative. The specific law that gives you the right to file this wrongful death cause of action is 740 ILCS 180/1:
"Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, then and in every such case the person who or company or corporation which would have been liable if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances as amount in law to felony."
The suit is based on recovering monetary damages involved with the child's death including emergency room expenses, hospitalization costs, medical bills, pain, suffering, grief, mental anguish, emotional distress, attorney's fees, and funeral and burial costs.
By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, your family receives compensation for the loss of your child and calls attention to the negligent or intentional acts of those responsible for their death. Your actions in successfully resolving a wrongful death lawsuit might prevent the death of many children in the months and years ahead. However, plaintiffs must act promptly because Illinois law only allows them one year from the date of the child's death to bring a case. 735 ILCS 5/13-209.
What can We do if Our Family Doctor Misdiagnosed my Child's Serious Medical Condition?
If your family doctor in Illinois misdiagnosed your child, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. Medical malpractice can produce catastrophic consequences, especially when the doctor's mistake harms or kills a child through a medical error or misdiagnosis. You have the right to file a claim for compensation or misdiagnosis lawsuit to hold those responsible for the progression of your child's condition that led to preventable harm or death. Illinois law defines medical malpractice actions in the following manner:
"Any action, whether in tort, contract or otherwise, in which the plaintiff seeks damages for injuries or death by reason of medical, hospital, or other healing art malpractice."
See 735 ILCS 5/2-1704. Our medical malpractice attorneys can handle your claim of misdiagnosis. Our legal team will investigate what happened to identify every party at fault. Potential defendants in a lawsuit or compensation claim could include the doctor, nurse, hospital, medical center, outpatient center, urgent care center, diagnostician, and those responsible for ordering the appropriate tests and exams for a proper diagnosis. Laboratory technicians, x-ray technicians, and others performing comprehensive tests might also be included in the lawsuit. However, it is important to consider that patients only have two years to bring an action for medical malpractice in Illinois courts. See 735 ILCS 5/13-212.
Can We File an Illinois Medical Malpractice Claim for Compensation if Our Child was Deprived of Oxygen During Birth?
Yes, you can sue in Illinois court for medical malpractice if your child was deprived of oxygen during the birthing process. That is normally a sign of actionable negligence under the law for which you could potentially receive compensation. Many children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other oxygen deprivation injuries at birth suffer a lifetime of challenges caused the medical team care during the baby's delivery. The Illinois civil court system provides legal remedies for families facing the substantial financial burden of raising a child with cerebral palsy, or other life-altering condition that could have been prevented had the medical team provided an established standard of care.
Why Should I Hire a Law Firm for My Illinois Child Injury Case?
A lawyer is not necessary for a Chicago child injury case, but they can help expedite and maximize recovery. If your child suffered injuries or died by the negligent actions of others, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer working on your behalf can determine the extent of your child's injuries, the length of time you must file a claim, and ensure that all the necessary documentation and paperwork is recorded in the appropriate county courthouse before the state statute of limitations expires.
Families should not wait to file a Chicago claim for child injury compensation, because conducting a prompt investigation can ensure that all the evidence available to prove the case is preserved. Illinois requires plaintiffs to file their case within two years of the incident, and one year if the victim died from the underlying events. See 735 ILCS 5/13-202; see also 735 ILCS 5/13-209. Our attorneys will investigate the scene of the accident, speak to eyewitnesses and review medical records to fully understand exactly what happened and who is at fault for your child's injuries. If you wait too long to file a claim or lawsuit, witnesses can forget what happened and evidence could be lost. Time is of the essence. Competent law firms can speed up this process.
Also, there are other ways to recover compensation in Illinois for a child's injuries or wrongful death besides bringing a case. In fact, most child injury cases that resulted in severe injuries and death are resolved through a negotiated out of court settlement. Typically, the only claims that progress to a filed lawsuit involve insurance companies that refused to pay the financial compensation that the injured child or surviving family members deserve. In either case, experienced lawyers can make sure you get the better of the deal in both scenarios.
Finally, families should avoid accepting a settlement check from a claims adjuster regarding an Illinois child injury accident. If the family accepts the first offer through the insurance company by settling too quickly, they are likely being underpaid for your long-term medical problems and financial burdens associated with your child's injury. Instead, consider contacting our law offices at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your case. We can handle every aspect of your claim for compensation and speak with the claims adjuster, the insurance companies law firm, or the defendant's attorneys during the negotiation process.
What Have Other Families Obtained in Illinois Child Injury Cases?
Families in Illinois have recovery significant jury awards and settlement agreements for their child injury claims. Here are some sample case and settlement summaries to illustrate what relief you might obtain and how you might obtain it.
$3,500,000 Illinois Child Accident Settlement; 2016.
Here, a young teenager was riding his bicycle adjacent to a construction site in the south suburbs of Chicago when a truck exited the area and turned right into him. The force of the crash killed the thirteen-year-old boy. He was survived by his parents and sibling. They brought this wrongful death action against the construction company, trucking company, and other related companies. The family argued that the defendants negligently maintained the construction site and should have better placed signs alerting riders to danger. They cited these failures and others as the main cause of the boy's death. In an out-of-court agreement, the family settled the case for $3.5 million.
$125,000 Illinois Child Accident Settlement; 2018.
This legal dispute centered on a dog who attacked a little girl. The child was just six years old at the time of the incident. The defense claimed that the girl jumped on the animal. The plaintiffs denied this contention. Instead, they offered that the dog viciously attacked her for no reason and left her with great injuries including scars across her face. She had to undergo treatment to reverse the damage of the lacerations and that cost the family over $20,000. Despite denying being responsible for the altercation, the dog owner did choose to settle the matter for a reported $125,000.
$1,990,000 Illinois Child Accident Settlement; 2016.
This case was filed in Kane County, Illinois after a child (four) was found dead in a swimming pool. At the time of the tragedy. the club did not have enough staff to supervise the area. They also did not supply proper equipment for the pool and lounge such as a defibrillator. These failures and other led the family of the child to believe the company was responsible for the boy's wrongful death. The actual defendants were the country club and management company. The latter was tasked with managing the site. The pair decided to settle with the family rather than fight the matter in court. They each gave half of the total compensation amount that the family received: $1,990,000.
$525,000 Illinois Child Accident Settlement; 2011.
In this Illinois child accident lawsuit, a little girl was injured when a large truck rear-ended the car she was in. The child sustained several serious injuries including broken bones, scarring, and eye damage. She needed multiple operations and even plastic surgery. The medical bills alone topped $100,000. The parents sued the trucking company responsible for the Illinois truck accident, Schroeder Associates Inc. In a private settlement, the trucking company gave the family $525,000 for their damages.
Our Law Firm Offers Affordable and Effective Legal Service to Injured Children and their Families
If you suspect that your child's injuries were the result of the negligent actions of another individual, entity, government agency or business, and have no money to hire an attorney, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help. Our law firm accepts every compensation claim through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement postpones the payment of all our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury trial award.
We encourage you to contact our child accident law office today by calling (888) 424-5757. Speak with our representatives to schedule your no-obligation, comprehensive case evaluation. We provide every client a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee, which means if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.