Fairfax Child Injury Attorney
Helping Virginia Children Recover from Serious Injuries
There are few things worse than suffering an accidental injury. When your child is the one who is unexpectedly injured and requires medical care, it can be a nightmare. Because children are far more impulsive and inexperienced than the average adult, they are much more susceptible to suffering injuries. For instance, they may run to pet an unknown dog without fear of being bitten or jump into a pool even if they can’t swim. Sadly, this fearless behavior can lead to serious consequences.
At Rothermel Law Firm, PLC in Fairfax, we understand how devastating it can be to learn your child has been seriously hurt, especially if their injury was caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone else. Charles Rothermel is an experienced personal injury attorney who has helped numerous families help their injured children attain compensation to cover their medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Whether your child has suffered a minor injury or is disabled for life, we will fight to ensure you obtain the fair and just compensation that will cover you and your family for life. We look forward to doing everything in our power to help you and your child get your lives back on track.
Child Injury Data
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injuries—such as those caused by falls, traffic, and drowning—are the leading cause of injury and death among children throughout the United States. Each year, more than 12,000 children up to age 19 die from unintentional injuries and over 9.2 million are treated in emergency care for non-fatal injuries.
More child injury stats include:
- Injuries due to falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury.
- Injuries due to traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children.
- Suffocation and drowning are also major causes of child injury and death.
- Male children have a higher injury death rate than female children.
Common Child Injury Claims
In Virginia, a person under the age of 18 cannot file their own injury lawsuit. However, one or both of their parents as well as another trusted adult may file a claim on their behalf. This means that mandatory court approval of settlements is necessary for minors under 18 years of age.
Injury claims that often involve children include:
- Attractive nuisance: Children are still learning how the world works, so they often touch, eat, or chase things they shouldn’t because they don’t know any better. This is a major factor in “attractive nuisance” claims, which occur when a child wanders into a dangerous area (usually due to curiosity) and gets hurt. An example is a child wandering into their neighbor’s yard because they saw a nice-looking pool only to fall in and injure themselves. In such cases, you can typically sue the property owner for not properly protecting against this hazard (e.g., not putting a fence around the pool).
- Sports injuries: Children often get injured while playing sports, both recreationally and while competing. Head injuries, broken bones, and scrapes are among the most common injuries.
- Playground accidents: Accidents on a playground or other recreational area can be caused by inattentive staff or unsafe playground equipment.
- Car and other traffic accidents: Children are often the victims of traffic accidents, especially while walking, cycling, or playing in or near the road.
We can also help with injury claims that involve:
- Dog bites
- Bike accidents
- School bus accidents
- Birth injuries
- Hospital errors
- And more
What are the Most Fatal Injuries to Children?
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Fire-arm related injury
- Malignant neoplasm (cancer)
- Drug overdose/poisoning
- Congenital anomalies
- Heart disease
- Chronic lower respiratory disease
Because there are numerous potential causes of child injury, the individuals and organizations that can be held legally responsible are myriad as well.
Liable parties in child injury claims may include:
- Healthcare professionals
- Other children’s parents
- Pet owners
- Playground equipment manufacturers
- Property owners
- Business operators and owners
- School teachers and officials
- Sports coaches and/or team players
- Toy manufacturers
- And others
Determining liability in any injury claim is often a complicated matter; when it’s your child’s word against an adult or company, it can be an even more difficult process. Seeking the help of a qualified child injury attorney is often the best course of action once your child is out of danger. An experienced child injury lawyer possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to investigate the incident, interview witnesses, collect relevant evidence and expert testimony, and build a strong case for fair compensation.
Contributory Negligence in Child Injury Claims
In a typical injury claim, one person (the defendant) is at fault and another (the plaintiff) is considered the victim. However, in some instances, the plaintiff may be found to be partially responsible for their accident. For example, if a drunk driver crashed into a motorist who had just run a red light, both parties would likely be found at fault for the crash and assigned a percentage of the blame. This is known as “contributory negligence.”
In the state of Virginia, any child under the age of seven is presumed to be incapable of contributory negligence, meaning neither a defendant nor their lawyer can use this defense against a minor in court. Minors between the ages of seven and 14 may be held partially responsible for their injuries in some cases, but this is very rare. Children 14 and over are presumed to be capable of contributory negligence, but the defendant must be able to definitively prove fault. While it is unlikely that your child will be subject to contributory negligence in a child injury case, having a lawyer on your side to protect their rights is the best defense against this tactic.
Damages Available in a Child Injury Case
When you file a child injury claim, the primary goal is to hold the responsible party accountable by having them pay compensation to the victim and/or their family. This compensation is designed to cover all expenses and losses related to the incident in question, whether economic (such as medical bills) or non-economic (mental anguish).
You may be able to receive compensation for:
- Your child’s medical bills, including the cost of hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and more
- Any necessary and ongoing medical care, equipment, and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering your child experienced
- Punitive damages (when applicable)
- And more
We Can Help Your Child Get the Care They Deserve
At Rothermel Law Firm, PLC, we have helped numerous children and their families recover after serious accidents. We understand how to handle cases involving minors—while we always fight aggressively for their rights, we treat our young clients and their relatives with the patience, compassion, and care they deserve. We don’t want to make your child’s injury and the circumstances surrounding it any worse, so let us handle the legal side of things while you and your child focus on recovery.