Child Injury Attorneys in Columbia, SC
If another party’s negligence or intentional conduct caused your child harm, contact Strom Law Firm’s Columbia Child Injury Lawyers at 803-252-4800 to speak with us about your child’s rights and entitlement to compensation.
As parents and guardians, our first and most important job is to protect our children by keeping them safe and healthy. When your child needs somebody in their corner following an injury, as their parent, the responsibility falls on you to ensure somebody fights for their rights. You must ensure that your child receives the best care necessary and the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Skilled and Compassionate Columbia Child Injury Lawyers
If your son or daughter suffers from a significant injury, you should consult a skilled and experienced lawyer to assist in seeking compensation on your child’s behalf. Our Columbia Child Injury Lawyers are experienced in all types of personal injury claims, including those involving injuries during birth or childhood.
We are ready and able to:
- Assist you in gaining an understanding of the compensation your family should pursue related to your child’s injuries. It is important to realize that the ramifications of an injury to your child are serious. Aside from your concern for your child’s well-being, your family will likely absorb significant financial consequences and additional damaging effects.
- Offering our advice in furtherance of preventing mistakes that will likely less your financial recovery. There are many ways to inadvertently lessen your compensation following an accident. You may accidentally admit fault to the accident or you may accept a quick settlement without considering all of the factors. Let us help you avoid these issues.
- Take as much of the stress and weight off of your shoulders as we can. While we are empathetic, we recognize that we cannot fully understand your pain and stress as a parent of an injured child. Much of the claim filing and litigation process can add even more stress, but we can handle that stress while you care for your child. Let us make life a little easier for your family and your injured child.
Different Types of Children Injuries
Children suffer injuries in different types of ways:
Injuries that a child suffers during birth can cause financial costs and a long road to recovery for your son or daughter. Some serious injuries can result in life-long consequences for your child, completely altering the future. If a doctor fails to follow a reasonable standard of care, medical providers and their facilities may be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Children are helpless with no control of whether they are involved in a car accident. When one occurs, those who are at fault should compensate your child for any resulting injury.
Although not able to drive, children are still at risk of suffering a significant injury in car accidents, including:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Burns or glass-related injury
- Amputation and Lacerations
- Spine Injury (SCI)
Products Liability Accidents
One of a parent’s worst fears is supplying his or her child with a toy or other product that eventually harms their child. Unfortunately, toys and other products intended for children harm those very same children every day. Some toys are choking hazards, some cause chemical reactions, and others just plain catch fire. Other toys although seemingly working as they are supposed to, may tighten around a child’s neck or wrist and cut off circulation.
Companies that put harmful toys and other children’s products into the stream of commerce should pay for any injuries resulting from their carelessness.
State Fair and Amusement Park Injuries
The State Fair is in town, and your kid is uncontrollably happy to be able to ride the new roller coaster. Joy can turn to chaos, fear, and pain in a matter of seconds when the ride does not work as intended. Your child could suffer cuts, bruises, fractures, even brain injury or death from a failed harness or neglected maintenance of a ride.
School Bus Injuries
Across America, buses provide more than 10 billion rides to students every year. You as a parent expect that those bus rides will end with your child safely at school or home. What you never imagine is that a bus ride could end with your child in the hospital. Bus accidents can be caused by a variety of reasons, including maintenance, bus driver error, or an error by other drivers on the road.
When your child presents with the symptoms of a serious illness or injury, you rely on doctors to help diagnose that injury and provide appropriate treatment for your child. When doctors fail in that duty, you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim on behalf of your child.
This may include:
- Misdiagnosis your child’s condition.
- Improper treatment of your child.
- Surgical or procedural errors.
Daycare Accidents and Playground Injuries
Sending your child to daycare should never cause concern for a parent. However, far too often, daycare’s fail the children for whom they are supposed to be caring. Sometimes daycares completely neglect your child, sometimes they inadvertently fail to give your child her medication, and sometimes they feed them food to which they are allergic. Playground injuries also cause for worry, if proper supervision is not being practiced.
If your child is bitten or attacked by a dog, whether a neighbor, a passerby or a park visitor, the owner of that dog should pay for any resulting injuries. An owner of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog if that dog was not provoked. First things first, if your child is bitten by a dog, immediately get that dog’s vaccination records. Rabies is a very serious illness that can result in death. Secondly, get any information on the owner, including name, phone number, and address. This information will be important if you need to file a lawsuit in the future.
Compensation After a Child Injury
A child injury claim will never erase the pain and suffering caused to both you and your child, but it can help lessen the burden on you and your family. Compensation for such an injury will depend on the severity of the injury and insurance policy coverage among other factors. If filing a claim for a child’s injury, you may expect to pursue compensation for the following:
Medical expenses. These include the initial emergency room visit, any follow-up appointments, physical therapy, any necessary medical devices, any medically necessary modifications to your home, and any other costs for medically necessary equipment or visits.
We will also fight for compensation for the following:
- Your child’s pain and suffering.
- Any detrimental impact on the child’s future possibilities.
- Any loss in your income as a parent that results from your child’s accident and the care they need thereafter.
Columbia Child Injury FAQ
One of the most distressing things most people can imagine is a child suffering because of the intentional or negligent actions of another person. Unfortunately, it is all too common for children to suffer from these types of injuries. Children look to the adults in their lives to protect them and speak up on their behalf. If you are aware of a child who has suffered an injury, an experienced child injury lawyer can help you protect the child and secure any recovery they deserve.
The team at Strom Law Firm, LLC is experienced in the delicate, complicated, and important issues involved in child injury cases. Contact our firm today if you need support in a child injury case in or around Columbia, South Carolina.
Read on to understand more about injuries unique to children and common concerns around seeking recovery.
Q: Are there any differences in recovery for children and adults after a common Columbia child injury like a slip and fall accident or car crash?
In many respects, the same criteria for liability exists in cases involving a child victim. Specifically, you will need to demonstrate that another party’s actions or conduct caused the accident and resulted in injuries. Children suffer certain accidents more commonly. For example, car accidents injure child passengers more frequently than adults. In just one year, more than 600 children under the age of 13 died in car accidents in the United States.
One distinct area may be in calculating damages. An attorney experienced in child injury cases, can help consider the much longer remaining lifespan of children and their future estimated damages for both the physical and mental impacts of an accident, as well as the sometimes unique nature of the injuries and their long-term prognoses.
Q: Do any laws specifically protect Columbia’s children?
In most instances, individuals trespassing on private property cannot recover for injuries suffered on the property. South Carolina has a recognized an exception to this limitation for children, called the theory of attractive nuisance.
Under this theory, a property owner can be held responsible for injuries suffered by a child trespasser if:
- There is an artificial creation on the property either made or brought by the property owner;
- The artificial object is especially attractive to children; and
- The owner fails to take reasonable precautions to keep the condition safe from children
Common artificial conditions that fall under the attractive nuisance doctrine are swimming pools, construction materials, explosives, firearms, and man-made lakes.
If your child was injured while on another person’s property, work with your attorney to determine if the attractive nuisance theory may be applicable.
Q: Are bullying and harassment problems in Columbia?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 19 percent of students in grades nine through 12 reported being bullied on school property within the preceding year, and nearly 15 percent reported being a victim of cyberbullying. At 23 percent, the number of students who reported bullying on school grounds in South Carolina was above the national average. While almost 9 percent of students in the United States didn’t go to school because they felt unsafe, this percentage was over 13 percent in South Carolina. According to an analysis of the CDC data, South Carolina ranks number 14 in a list of states with the biggest bullying problems.
Q: What laws protect children from bullying or harassment in Columbia’s schools?
South Carolina obligates schools to protect against bullying and harassment in the Safe School Climate Act.
The act prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying, which is defined as “a gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical, or sexual act that is reasonably perceived to have the effect of ”:
- Harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; or
- Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interferences with the orderly operation of the school
The protections extend to actions on school busses, at official school bus stops, at school-sponsored activities or events, and at any other program where the school is responsible for the child.
Every school district must develop a policy against bullying that includes consequences for bullying and reporting procedures. Any school employee or volunteer with reliable information about bullying must report it to a school official.
Q: What should I do if my child was a victim of bullying or harassment?
If your child is the victim of bullying or harassment, , consider consulting with an attorney, and immediately report the concern to the principal or assistant principal and demand an investigation. If the response from the school district is unsatisfactory, you will need to submit a written complaint to the District Superintendent’s office or escalate to the State Department of Education’s Ombudsmen.
A lawyer can help you navigate the investigation process to protect your child.
Q: What is child abuse and neglect?
Child abuse and neglect take place when an adult responsible for a child’s welfare:
- Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury or engages in acts or omissions that present a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the child;
- Commits or allows to be committed against the child a sexual offense or engages in acts that present a substantial risk that a sexual offense would be committed;
- Abandons the child;
- Encourages, condones, or approves the commission of delinquent acts by the child; or
- Fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter or age-appropriate supervision, education as required by law, or health care.
It is common to think of abuse and neglect as physical abuse, but it also includes sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and failure to provide necessary resources.
The numbers show that child abuse and neglect remains a serious problem in South Carolina. A single year saw 46,062 referrals for child abuse and neglect and 36,744 referrals for investigation. In that same year, there were 17,071 victims of child abuse or neglect in South Carolina. Of those cases, 56.6 percent of victims were neglected, 54 percent were physically abused, and 4.9 percent were sexually abused. The abuse and neglect resulted in 28 child deaths.
Q: Who is required to report child abuse or neglect?
South Carolina law requires certain people to report suspected abuse and neglect, including:
- Medical examiners
- Other medical and emergency providers
- Mental health professionals
- School teachers
- Social workers
- Childcare/daycare workers
- Foster parents
Mandatory reporters should report concerns of abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will then perform an investigation and assessment and develop a safety plan to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. Cases can also be reported to local law enforcement.
Failure to report suspected child abuse and neglect is a serious breach of responsibility for mandatory reporters.
Q: What are common signs of child abuse and neglect?
Children are often unlikely to admit to or understand the abuse or neglect they are suffering. The adults in their lives need to know common signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. Spotting these signs allows an adult to step-in, report the abuse, and advocate on the child’s behalf.
Keep an eye out for:
- Withdrawal from friends;
- Unwillingness to participate in usual activities;
- Increased anger, hostility, or hyperactivity;
- Change in school performance;
- Frequent absences from school;
- Resistance to leaving school or school activities;
- Rebellious or defiant behavior, including attempts to run away;
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, fractures, or burns;
- Lack of or unbelievable explanations for injuries;
- Non-age appropriate sexual knowledge or behavior;
- Inappropriate sexual contact with other children;
- Delay or loss of developmental skills;
- Poor growth, weight gain, or being overweight;
- Stealing food or money;
- Poor hygiene; and
- Lack of medical care
The above list provides examples of important signs or symptoms, but is not exhaustive , and each child is unique. The most important thing is to identify any changes in behavior or physical appearance or health. If you notice changes that indicate a lack of care in the child’s life, report it.
Q: Who is responsible if a child is abused or neglected?
Responsibility for child abuse and neglect is complicated because the responsible party has likely violated both criminal and civil laws. The state prosecutor is responsible for pursuing criminal charges against the defendant.
To seek civil recovery, work with an experienced lawyer to understand liability. While the most obvious responsible party is any individual who caused the abuse or neglect, failure to report by mandatory reporters could also have contributed to the child’s injuries.
Q: Can a child recover damages for their injuries?
Children deserve to recover compensation for their injuries, but recovery options will depend on the injury and the different ways they have suffered. A lawyer will work with you to analyze the child’s injuries and determine how the injury occurred and will use this information to understand the potential for recovery.
Potential damages to consider include:
- Medical expenses: The defendant may be held responsible for any medical expenses resulting from the injuries, including doctors’ bills, costs of surgery or hospital stays, and prescription medication, and the cost of ongoing medical support.
- Caregiver financial impact: If a caregiver must accompany a child to appointments or remain home with them to manage their injuries, they may need to miss work. In some instances, a caregiver may be able to recover some damages associated with the medical and financial hardships they have themselves sustained because of abuse and neglect the child has suffered.
- Impact on future earning potential: If the child’s injury permanently limits their ability to perform certain functions, this might limit their long term earning potential. Your lawyer can bring in a financial expert as needed to evaluate the appropriate value of these damages.
- Property damage: A defendant may be liable for any damaged or destroyed property. For example, destroyed electronics are an unfortunately common occurrence when a child is a victim of bullying.
- Emotional distress: Injuries to children often involve emotional distress given the sensitive developmental state of most children. This is especially true after actions like bullying or abuse. Emotional effects like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression can seriously disrupt a child’s life. The child deserves compensation for the consequences of their injuries.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages punish the defendant for egregious behavior and are generally subject to certain caps on recovery. Work with your lawyer to determine if punitive damages are appropriate based on the facts of the case.
While financial relief can’t take away the pain and emotional suffering a child has experienced, it may provide a child the resources they need to secure the best possible support. It also allows a child’s caregiver to focus less on financial concerns and more on securing the injured child the support they need.
If a child you care about has suffered an injury because of another party’s negligent, wanton, or intentional act, bullying or harassment, or abuse or neglect, a lawyer can be a a critical partner in securing recovery.
The team at Strom Law Firm, LLC is committed to pursuing the recovery each client deserves. We work with our clients to understand the unique facts of their case and to prepare a case strategy meant to achieve the client’s goals. Our lawyers advocate vigorously for our clients’ rights, especially when our client is vulnerable. We have the legal experience, research resources, and network of professional relationships necessary to offer our clients the best legal representation possible.
Contact Strom Law Firm, LLC today if you are working to secure recovery and justice for an injured child in or around Columbia, South Carolina. Reach out to us for a free case evaluation where we will review your case and determine if our representation will benefit you.
Your Columbia Child Injury Lawyers
If your child has suffered an injury in Columbia, its surrounding areas, or across the state of South Carolina, contact our Columbia Child Injury Lawyers today. Visit us at our office, contact us online, or give us a call at 803-252-4800 to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with someone in our office.