Representing Injured Children and Their Families in Boston
No one wants to see their child get injured, but sometimes, these events are completely out of your hands. As attentive as most parents are, children can be hurt in a variety of ways throughout Boston — while at school, daycare, a friend’s house, or playing in a park. Some children can get up from a tumble without any issues, while others may be catastrophically injured for the rest of their lives. Bearing these costs alone can be next to impossible, but if your child’s injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., our Boston child injury attorneys have worked with numerous parents whose children were seriously injured by others. We can use our extensive knowledge of these types of cases to investigate what happened to your child, determine who’s responsible, and advocate for full compensation, including coverage for your child’s medical bills and future treatment. Do not allow the person who harmed your child to get away scot-free. Call us at (617) 870-0907 to discuss your child’s injury in a free consultation.
Common Child Accidents
Whether you have a three-year-old you send to daycare while you’re at work or a teenager who just got her first car, you cannot always look out for them, much less control the actions of other individuals. If your teenager is on the road with a reckless driver or your toddler has a negligent caretaker, they can be seriously injured.
In our experience, children in Boston are often injured due to:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bike accidents
- School bus accidents with the Boston Public School District
- Dog attacks
- Slip and falls
- Swimming pool accidents and drownings
- Playground accidents
- Daycare abuse
- Defective children’s toys
- Dangerous car seats
In one case handled by our firm, we represented a child and her parents after her foot was crushed while playing on an Alta Glide at school. After talking with investigators, we determined that a piece of playground equipment had been negligently installed and helped the family recover the cost of the child’s broken bones, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
After such an accident, you are right to feel angry, stressed, and worried about how to pay for your child’s medical treatment. However, you should not give up hope. If someone caused your child’s injuries by being careless or reckless, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim on your child’s behalf to cover the lifetime costs of his or her injuries.
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The Impact of a Child Injury
We like to believe our children can pick themselves up after every bump, bruise, or scrape, but the fact of the matter is that they are fragile. A broken bone may heal with minor treatment and rest, but a blow to the head or spinal cord damage could impact your child for the rest of their life. They may suffer cognitive damage, affecting their ability to learn and speak, experience paralysis, which takes away their ability to play sports, or have to grow up with a disfigurement or scar, impacting their social life. No child deserves to suffer this way, especially if their injuries could have been avoided.
Catastrophic injuries like brain damage or paralysis can limit a child’s ability to find a job and come with costly medical bills and equipment. Even if your child fully recovers, it will likely require a great deal of money and treatment. Psychologically, your child may have deep scars left over from the accident. Dog attacks and car crashes can remain in a child’s mind for decades, resulting in PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
You and your family should not have to shoulder the burdens of your child’s injuries alone if someone else caused them. Massachusetts state law allows parents to seek compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional damages their children have suffered after an act of negligence. While there are certain legal hurdles you will have to jump through, you can get full compensation for your child’s trauma with a personal injury claim.
We've offered crucial support and guidance to individuals who have suffered injuries, ensuring their financial and emotional well-being.
Legal Requirements for a Child Injury Claim
The process for filing a child injury claim is similar to an adult’s, but there are some added steps.
For one, children cannot file personal injury claims or agree to settlements on their own. In the state of Massachusetts, a child must be assigned a legal representative who will represent the child throughout the claim or trial. To start this process, your attorney can file a petition with the local Boston courts and schedule a meeting with a judge. Typically, a judge will assign one of the child’s parents to act as the child’s representative, but another family member or responsible adult can be chosen if necessary.
After the Guardian ad Litem has been assigned, your attorney can begin filing a claim against the party who injured your child. In most cases, an accident victim has until three years after the date of an injury to file a claim. For children, however, the clock doesn’t start until they are legal adults. This means that a child has three years from when he turns 18 to file a personal injury claim – his 21st birthday. After this point, he or she is barred from filing a claim.
While this may seem like a long time, we do not advise you to wait. Personal injury claims require time to collect evidence, research to determine who caused the accident, and negotiations to get a fair settlement. If you wait too long, evidence may spoil, and witnesses may forget what happened. Instead of waiting, we suggest talking to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your child’s case.
Lastly, whether you file a claim or pursue a lawsuit, your child’s settlement or jury verdict must be approved by a judge. At the end of the case, in a meeting with the judge, the judge will review the list of damages and settlement amount. If the judge approves of the award, then the funds will be distributed to the different parties involved, including:
- If your child’s medical bills were placed on a lien, then the hospital will get paid directly.
- If you paid for any expenses out-of-pocket, then you will receive compensation directly.
Any leftover compensation for your child’s pain and suffering will be placed in a trust fund until your child turns 18, although we may be able to negotiate for your child to receive the funds early if he or she is within a few years of being an adult. This fund will accrue interest, meaning your child may receive more money than the original amount placed in the trust.
Speak to a Boston Personal Injury Attorney Today
Witnessing your child go through a traumatic injury is every parents’ worst nightmare. When these tragic events do occur, you should consider all of your legal options. The costs of a child’s injuries can be astronomical, but a Boston personal injury claim may help set your family on a better path.
For nearly two decades, the team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., has advocated for the best interests of injured children and their families. We have an in-depth understanding of Massachusetts personal injury laws and can personally investigate your child’s accident. If there is even a small possibility that another person’s negligence caused your child’s injuries, then we can use all of our resources to pursue proper compensation. To discuss your case in a free consultation with a Boston personal injury attorney, call us today at (617) 870-0907.