Watching their child suffer is a challenging and painful situation for any parent. Children have accidents and suffer injuries all the time, but when someone’s negligent actions cause their injuries, parents may have the legal right to collect compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If careless actions caused your child to suffer undue harm, contact a compassionate and diligent Chicago child injury lawyer to schedule a consultation.
Determining Liability in Child Injury Cases
With the help of as skilled legal professional, the plaintiff in a child injury case (the child after reaching the age of majority or their parent) must prove to the court who is liable for the injuries in question. Proving someone’s liability for a child’s injuries requires a parent and their legal counsel to establish four elements of negligence. A qualified Chicago child injury attorney could help collect the evidence to prove the following elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
The first element a parent and their attorney must establish is the defendant’s duty of care toward the child. For example, the child’s caregiver would be responsible for keeping a watchful eye on them to prevent them from sustaining injuries. Alternatively, motorists owe a duty of care to drive responsibly and avoid causing foreseeable harm to others on the roadway, including children.
Breach of Duty
To establish a defendant’s breach of care, the plaintiff must show that the negligent party knew they were putting the injured child at risk with their behavior. They can also prove that any reasonable person in the same situation would have known the action or inaction could cause injuries.
For causation, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to show a direct link between the defendant’s actions and the child’s injuries. An example would be a motorist operating their vehicle recklessly, leading to a crash that causes the child in another vehicle to sustain otherwise avoidable injuries. Another common example is a property owner who negligently leaves an “attractive nuisance” accessible to wandering children who don’t know better than to stray onto a dangerous premises.
The claimant will need to prove that the child suffered verifiable injuries and financial losses because of the accident. A Chicago lawyer can help establish an injured child’s damages through hospital bills and other documentation.
Common injuries Children Sustain in Negligence Claims
Children do not have life experience or take the same precautions as adults. The lack of caution can often lead to severe injuries when combined with a lack of supervision and negligence. Personal injuries that children in Chicago often suffer include:
- Severe or traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
A legal professional could help build a strong civil claim to collect the compensation that an injured child deserves.
The Statute of Limitations for Child Injury Claims in Chicago
The statute of limitations for civil filings in Chicago is two years. However, when a case involves a child, certain exceptions apply. Per Illinois Compiled Statutes 735 ILCS 5/13-202, the statute of limitations will begin running the day the child turns 18 and expires on their 20th birthday.
When parents or guardians sustain losses because of the child’s injuries or need compensation to care for the child, they must file a claim within two years of the accident occurring. A diligent child injury lawyer in Chicago could handle the legal work and ensure a claim is filed promptly and within the requirements of the statute.
Meet with a Chicago Child Injury Attorney Today
If your child sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to collect compensation for your family’s losses. Dealing with the injury claim while caring for your child can be overwhelming.
Let a hard-working and compassionate Chicago child injury lawyer help you through the complex process. If you need help holding a negligent party accountable for your child’s injuries, call today to schedule a time to meet.