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Child Protection: Preventing Injury to a Child in Illinois

A child injured or deceased as a result of negligence can be a very hard experience for any family. That is why protecting your child to prevent such injuries is important for any parent or caregiver.

Unfortunately sometimes, no matter how much you try to prevent it, accidents still happen. When a child is hurt, parents or guardians of a minor under the age of 18 can bring a claim or lawsuit on the child’s behalf.

The following instances of injury to a child show the need for child protection and illustrate situations where a lawsuit may be warranted:

  • Car accidents: Child injuries from car accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. However, many of these deaths are preventable. For example, when children are in appropriate car seats and booster seats, serious and fatal injuries are reduced by more than half.
  • School bus accidents: Tens of thousands of children ride in school buses every day, across the country, and many are injured every year in school bus accidents. Children do not wear seat belts while riding on most school buses, which can increase the severity of these injuries.
  • Fireworks: According to the CDC, typically, 60% of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday, and children 14 years and younger sustained about 45% of these injuries.
  • Playground equipment: Falls are the cause of most non-fatal playground injuries. Tragically, strangulation is the leading cause of death related to playground equipment. In fact, the majority of these deaths occur on home playgrounds rather than public playgrounds. In 2008, nearly 206,599 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground equipment-related injuries.
  • Premises liability: Tenants at most properties are protected by safety codes which require landowners to meet certain safety standards. However, property owners will at times fail to comply with these codes. A property owner must give written warning if he or she knows that children may be on the premises, and that a dangerous condition is likely to cause injury to a child, or death.
  • Ingestion of household products: Children are at risk at home due to the potential to swallow a potentially poisonous substance. Medicine, household chemicals and pesticides can all cause serious injury to a child.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Of children 0-14 years old, traumatic brain injury results in 435,000 trips to the emergency room annually, 37,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 2,700 deaths nationally.
  • Severe burns: The American Burn Association reported that 66% of burns occur in the home. Child protection diligence is necessary at home when it comes to burn risk.
  • Pediatrician malpractice: The grounds for charging a pediatrician with malpractice can be very stringent: A pediatrician must have a medical and working relationship with the victim, and must have acted in a way that does not meet the reasonable standards of skill and care that a qualified physician would perform. Additionally, the child must have suffered injury from the pediatricians’ negligence.
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse is a very sensitive area of the law, especially when minor children are involved. Cases may include sexual abuse by a clergy member, school teacher or school staff member, a coach, or a family member. Often, the very individuals who are charged with child protection may be the ones causing injury to a child.

Serious injuries may require lifelong medical care and treatment, and that treatment can be extremely expensive for parents or guardians. Abels & Annes, P.C. looks to recover present and future costs when representing an injured minor.

If your child has been injured, contact us for a free case consultation.

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