Although most childhood injuries are minor, some accidents cause devastating, life-long harm. Those injuries can result in enormous medical bills, as well as lost wages if a parent has to take time off from work to care for his or her injured child. If you believe that your child sustained injuries as a result of somebody else’s negligence or recklessness, your family might be eligible to receive compensation to help settle your debts.
A Western PA child injury lawyer could help your family determine whether to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the person who hurt your child. Furthermore, a hardworking Indiana personal injury attorney could help you build a strong claim that accounts for both past and future losses stemming from your child’s injury.
Common Childhood Accidents Seen in Western Pennsylvania
All parents expect their kids to get many minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises before they grow up. However, parents do not expect their children to suffer catastrophic injuries from preventable accidents. Some of the ways in which children in Indiana, PA suffer severe injuries in childhood include:
- Car crashes — Although car seats and booster seats offer kids some protection, they cannot prevent them from sustaining serious injuries in all types of motor vehicle wrecks;
- Pedestrian accidents — Sadly, cars sometimes hit children, often when a driver is distracted and not paying proper attention to his or her surroundings;
- Bike collisions — Distracted driving can also cause a motorist to be unaware of a child on his or her bike;
- Dog bites — Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites and often result in permanent scarring and disfigurement;
- Playground accidents — Sometimes children suffer severe injuries on faulty playground equipment that was either inherently unsafe or too old and worn down;
- Daycare or school accidents — Many children suffer needless injuries at their daycares or schools due to staff negligence or hazards on the property.
It can be very challenging to determine precisely how a child suffered his or her injuries, particularly with small children and babies who cannot use words to advocate for themselves. That is why it is essential to work with seasoned child injury attorneys who know how to perform the right kind of investigation in Western PA. Experienced local attorneys know where to look for the evidence and how to examine it. A dedicated lawyer could closely review all police reports, eyewitness testimony, medical records, and photographic evidence from the accident scene to help determine causation.
Statute of Limitation Nuances for Minors
In Pennsylvania, people usually have two years to file a personal injury claim. However, for minor claimants, the two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit does not generally start running until a child turns 18. In other words, children in Western PA have until their 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are additional exceptions, and significantly longer time periods, to the extent the case involves sexual abuse allegations.
Even though Pennsylvania courts grant families extra time to file lawsuits, it is still critical to discuss what happened with an Indiana, PA child accident attorney as soon as possible after an injury. Parents are responsible for the medical bills for their minor child, and the parents’ claims for these losses must still be filed within two years of the incident – even though the child is not yet 18. That is, the statute of limitations on the parents’ claim for medical bills will likely expire before the statute of limitations on the child’s injury claim. It is also vital for a local lawyer to start gathering evidence as soon as possible because critical evidence may be unusable or unavailable over time.
Call a Western PA Child Injury Attorney Today
Watching your child suffer because somebody else made a mistake is not fair. A Western, PA child injury lawyer could help your family recover sufficient damages to pay for your child’s current and future care. Get in touch with our team at Marcus & Mack today to set up an initial meeting to discuss what we can do to help your family. Your first consultation is always free.