Virginia Beach Child Injury Lawyer
As a parent, the health and safety of your child is your greatest concern. If your child suffers an accident or serious injury through no fault of his own, you may not know what to do or where to go for help once you’ve sought medical attention.
Our VA Beach Injury Lawyers help families recover after their young members have suffered a serious accident. We realize there are few things worse than seeing your child or children seriously hurt. Our Virginia Beach child injury lawyers allow you to feel confident that your family’s legal needs are being handled with the appropriate level of care while you concentrate on helping your child recover from his or her injuries.
How Child Injuries Can Occur
Childhood is an active and carefree time that most adults remember fondly — until they’re parents. Then they realize how many hazards exist that pose a threat to their children. It is common for kids to sustain personal injuries from:
- School bus accidents
- Day-care accidents
- Dog bites or attacks
- Injuries from unsafe toys, strollers or car seats
- Injuries from straying onto dangerous properties
- Playground accidents
- Unsafe conditions at schools
- After-school activities
- Accidents on bikes, skateboards or scooters
- Injuries as a passenger in a car accident
- Injuries at a trampoline park, swimming pool, theme park or other establishment
Even common events like slip and fall accidents can result in serious complications. Any sort of incident is capable of leaving a child with significant injuries including broken bones, head trauma ranging from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), internal injuries and possible infection and psychological aftereffects. Any such injury can require significant medical expenses and long-term rehabilitation costs which should be addressed with the help of a Virginia Beach child injury attorney.
Virginia Law Exceptions for Minors
Many states recognize the Attractive Nuisance doctrine. This holds that landowners are liable for personal injuries that occur to children from dangerous conditions the landowner knows are likely to attract curious minors. A landowner who fails to take reasonable steps to eliminate such hazards may be legally responsible for incidents that occur later. Railroad tracks, power company equipment, and swimming pools are often sources of injuries to kids.
While Virginia may not follow the Attractive Nuisance doctrine, it does operate under similar principles when assessing cases where minors have been injured. For instance, boys and girls under age 7 cannot be negligent. Virginia law also holds that children between the ages of 7 and 14 do not have the capacity to understand the peril and dangers of their acts. Therefore, it is presumed they are not responsible for the accidents they are involved in. However, there are important exceptions, which our Virginia Beach child injury attorneys can explain during your consultation.
Injuries to Children in Car Accidents
Drivers in Virginia owe a special duty to children once they realize they are nearby. While a driver is unlikely to be held liable for an injury or a death to an adult pedestrian who unexpectedly steps out on a busy highway away from a crosswalk, a driver in a residential area should be prepared to stop for a child who appears on the road.
The special duty owed to children in Virginia was set out by the Supreme Court of Virginia in the 1965 case of Sullivan v. Sunderland. A seven-year-old girl was hit and killed by a logging truck when she stepped into the road in Dickenson County, Virginia. The court made it clear that the duty and the liability of drivers to adults and children are different and “ordinary care” to an adult “might be gross negligence toward a child under the same conditions.” Drivers must be extra careful when children are around and treat them differently than adults.
The Death of a Child in Virginia
In some cases, children fail to survive their injuries. These are the most harrowing cases we deal with as Virginia attorneys who represent those who lose a loved one due to the fault of another. Every year a certain number of children and teens die on the highways of Virginia and North Carolina.
When we handle these cases we handle them with great care. We make sure that the family of the child is left to grieve but no stone is unturned in ensuring justice is served through the courts in suing an at-fault driver, the owner of a dangerous establishment or the manufacturer of a deadly product. Virginia has a statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit which is two years. You must make sure to bring a case well before this deadline approaches.
Importance of a Virginia Beach Child Injury Lawyer
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers understands the emotional turmoil parents face when their child is hurt as a result of someone else’s actions. Our Virginia Beach child injury lawyers can explain your options and guide you through the legal system following an accident to your child. Injury settlements involving children must go through the court in Virginia to be sure that your son or daughter is protected. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call to learn more. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has a main office in Norfolk and client meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We can also visit you in your home or at a hospital.