Tampa Child Injury Attorney
When you get injured, it is painful, frustrating, and presents challenges for going about your daily life. But when your child gets injured, you want nothing more than to take away their pain and suffering. You may even want to get even with the person who caused your child such suffering.
We get it. You are the person responsible for making sure your child stays safe and, if they do suffer injuries, get the best medical care possible so they can recover.
If your child has suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to collect compensation from the at-fault person or company. To find out for sure, speak with a Tampa child injury lawyer today.
Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Gets Results
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, personal injury law is all we do—and we have been doing it for over 25 years. For all areas of child injuries, we could help pursue compensation so your child gets the medical attention they deserve and you do not have to worry about covering those massive expenses.
The child injury legal defense team at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys can help you understand how to move forward with your child’s recovery while we focus on getting you maximum compensation by holding the negligent party responsible for your child’s injuries. By taking that burden off your shoulders, we can help ease your stress and anxiety during an already emotional and frustrating time in your life.
Get the help that both you and your child deserve. Speak with a trusted Tampa child injury attorney today.
Types of Child Injuries in Tampa
Kids run into things constantly. For the most part, they may suffer minor bruises or cuts, but they do not have any serious medical issues. However, when negligence is involved, that can create a situation where a child’s injuries can be extremely severe and even life-threatening.
Last year in Florida, there were over 160,000 car crashes that resulted in injuries. That is over 400 injury crashes per day. Many of those injuries happen to children.
These injuries can happen for many reasons:
- The driver fails to properly restrain a child.
- The driver fails to install a child car seat correctly.
- A child car seat is defective.
- An airbag causes injury.
Children may face serious injuries, including:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Broken bones.
Just like adults, children’s car accident injuries can be life-threatening. A child, however, is more likely to break free from any restraints in a high-speed crash because their bodies are smaller. This can seriously increase the likelihood of permanent injuries.
Birth injuries don’t just happen during the birthing process. They can include injuries suffered during pregnancy. What is most tragic about birth injuries across the board is that they often cause life-altering consequences—sometimes for both the child and the mother. Even minor birth injuries can result in extreme medical costs.
Injuries that occur during pregnancy or birth are often preventable. Many of these injuries occur because a medical professional failed to properly assess an emergency or use a medical tool correctly. Sometimes, defective tools themselves can cause these injuries.
Birth injuries can result from medical malpractice, which is another area where children often suffer injuries. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional fails to treat a patient with the care that a reasonable medical professional would in a similar situation. Aside from some birth injuries, medical malpractice can involve children in several ways.
Failure to Diagnose. When you take a child to the doctor because they are not feeling well, you expect that your doctor will conduct a thorough medical examination to accurately diagnosis your child. Sometimes, doctors are too busy to spend adequate time with each patient and this can result in a doctor finding nothing wrong.
The law calls this type of medical malpractice a failure to diagnose, and it has serious consequences. Your doctor might suggest that your child just has a cold or something minor and they should rest for a couple of days. In serious situations, a medical issue may require immediate attention, but the doctor has missed it.
Because of that, your child may suffer not only from their medical issue, but because the doctor failed to diagnose your child, they may suffer additional medical issues down the road. If this has happened to your child, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Misdiagnosis. Related to failure to diagnose is another issue with diagnosing your child’s condition. Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor sees and evaluates your child, but diagnoses them with something other than what is really wrong.
Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences. Your child may receive unnecessary medical treatment. They may take medication that they do not need. Not only can this have unintended side effects, your child does not get the care they deserve to fix their actual medical condition.
Once another doctor sees your child, or the original physician corrects their diagnosis, only then can your child begin their recovery. If this situation occurs to your child, you may have a legitimate claim for medical malpractice.
Inappropriate Treatment. Along with misdiagnosis and the unnecessary treatment that may come with that, is inappropriate treatment from your child’s doctor. Even when your doctor has accurately diagnosed your child, they may not treat them correctly. This can have unintended consequences that could leave your child worse off.
Inappropriate treatment may also come from a pharmacist who provides you with a different prescription than what your doctor called in. Here, the pharmacist makes a mistake, either giving your child the wrong medication or in a different dosage. This could rise to the level of medical malpractice and could have serious consequences for your child’s health and safety.
Surgical Error. If your child needs to undergo surgery, this can be a nerve-wracking experience for you. While some surgeries are routine, it is still scary to see your child go through something so serious. Even simple surgeries can have tragic results.
When a surgeon commits an error during your child’s surgery, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. This could come from:
- Operating on the wrong body part.
- Leaving medical equipment in your child’s body.
- Incorrect dosage of anesthesia.
Children love toys, and your child probably has a few favorites that you cannot separate them from. When you give your child a new toy or a toy they have had for years, you expect them to be safe using that toy. But when a toy does not work as intended, it can have serious consequences for your child’s health.
Toys can sometimes catch on fire, they can trap children’s small fingers, and they may even have edges so sharp that a child can cut themselves. All of these might be examples of a product liability claim. If an incorrectly built or designed toy injures a child, you may have a legitimate claim against the manufacturer or store where you bought it. You may collect compensation from the manufacturer or store.
Amusement Park Injuries
Florida has its fair share of amusement parks that are extremely attractive to children, both those who live nearby and those traveling great distances for family vacations. These rides are supposedly safe for children, but sometimes a ride does not go through the quality control process as it should or maybe a child is let on a ride when they should not have been because they are too small.
When an amusement park ride injures a child, the speed at which many rides go can cause serious consequences. If an amusement park injures your child, they may have suffered broken bones, whiplash, or even had to have a limb amputated. In these conditions, you may be able to sue the amusement park for compensation, collecting money to help you cover your child’s medical expenses and to fund their altered lifestyle.
School Bus Injuries
Your child may ride to and from school on a school bus. They may even ride a school bus on school trips or for extracurricular activities. You and your child rely on the bus driver to get your child to and from school safely every single day.
The school bus company and the school district owe you and your child that same duty. The buses must be properly maintained, ensuring the safety of each child on board. Without safety procedures in place and regular maintenance, any accident could cause your child to suffer injuries. If that happens, you may have a claim against several parties including the driver, the school bus company, and the school district.
If your child is still fairly young, you may leave them with a daycare provider while you work. You assume that the daycare provider takes proper care of your child and keeps them free of harm. If your child comes home injured after being at daycare, your provider may be responsible.
Daycare injuries can happen for many reasons and could result in broken bones or additional illness from taking another child’s medication. When a daycare facility is negligent in any way that results in your child suffering an injury, you may have a claim against them where you can collect compensation.
Whether your child plays on the playground at school or the neighborhood park, you expect that your child will not get injured by the equipment. After all, manufacturers make the equipment for children.
Unfortunately, playground equipment can degrade over time. Schools and cities may not prioritize replacing or repairing the playground equipment, which could lead to injuries. Older playground equipment may also not be subject to the same safety standards as newer playground equipment is today. This could also cause serious injuries to children who use the playground. If your child was injured on a playground, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner.
Every state has a statute of limitations, a deadline by which an injured person can sue the person or company who injured them. In Florida, children have a longer statute of limitations. To file a Tampa personal injury claim on behalf of your child’s injury, you must do so within seven years of the date of your child’s accident.
This does not mean, however, that you can wait several years before filing a lawsuit. In fact, never wait that long because witnesses may forget what they saw and evidence could go missing. Besides that, depending on the severity of the injuries your child has suffered, they may require extensive medical treatment that may be extremely costly. Waiting too long could mean you have to shoulder the burden of those costs.
The sooner you speak with a Tampa child injury attorney, the sooner you may be able to collect compensation for your child’s injuries. Do not delay another day.
You Have Recourse
When accidents injure children, it’s rarely their fault. Adults have a responsibility to keep children safe; accordingly, adults are oftentimes to blame for children suffering injuries in everything from car accidents to product liability.
Many other accident categories exist in Tampa where children suffer injuries. It often points to extreme negligence, but what can you do to find justice after it happens? Many parents like you often think you can’t fight back to pay for your child’s inevitable medical bills.
Fortunately, the law is on your side. Take a look at many typical child injuries, and the Florida laws in place to protect their welfare.
Child Injuries in Car Accidents
All one has to do is look at the local headlines to see how many children get hurt in car accidents here in Tampa. These examples alone show the disturbing aftermath of what happens to children when walking near busy roads, or merely sitting in a restaurant. When they become car passengers, injuries become even more severe if hit by another driver.
Spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries are possible if hit at high impact in a car. While seatbelts are mandatory in Florida, it doesn’t stop injuries from happening. Sometimes airbags don’t properly deploy either.
This is just the start of how children become injured every day in accidents throughout the Tampa area.
Child Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles often cause more injuries than any other vehicle, even if a child isn’t riding on one. A lot of people in Tampa are into riding motorcycles. Some are even seen riding with their children, which is always a risky choice.
In Tampa, no legal restriction exists on young kids riding as passengers on a motorcycle. They still have to ride in a child restraint device if younger than five. Integrated child seats are also required for kids younger than three, not including wearing proper headgear.
Still, a lot of controversies exist about placing children as motorcycle passengers. About a decade ago, a major story came out of the Tampa area when a man was seen holding his young child in front of him while riding a motorcycle at high speed. No accidents happened, yet an uproar arose at what could have happened. A child thrown off a motorcycle could end up with devastating injuries.
Motorcycles occasionally hit children on open roads where the drivers often go well beyond the speed limit.
Child Injuries from Dog Bites
Many school-age children walk to school throughout Tampa, making them vulnerable to numerous accident scenarios. One of those is encountering non-friendly dogs running wild throughout local neighborhoods.
While we usually think of dogs as being friendly to children, not all are. A child may inadvertently see a stray dog and start to interact with him or her. It sometimes leads to the dog biting the child from not understanding their intentions.
Various local stories of dog bites on children continue in the media. One time, a local one-year-old infant suffered a vicious bite in the face by a dog. It required a helicopter flying the child to a nearby trauma center for immediate medical treatment.
Just one bite from a dog could disfigure a child for life, leading to ongoing medical bills and life-altering situations.
Child Injuries From Medical Malpractice
Far too many medical malpractice cases continue in the Tampa area. Those involving children still happen too often, with usually devastating results.
Parents of two children here once sued John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital after heart surgeries on each child led to permanent paralysis. The hospital’s heart surgery unit was known at the time for having major safety issues, causing other troubling problems with children.
Thankfully, the parents of the above young patients received multiple millions of dollars in settlement fees.
There is never any excuse for medical malpractice on this level. Children are far too valuable to face the negligence of adults who neglect following basic safety procedures.
Child Injuries From Product Liability
Sometimes using a product designed for children can become the reason your child suffers an injury. As trusting as we all are in buying products our children use, all it takes is one product defect to cause something to go wrong.
A common scenario in this category is children’s toys that pose health hazards or other risks. With more toys being sophisticated in their designs, it opens the door to them starting a fire or malfunctioning in ways that can physically hurt a child.
Other times, products designed for young kids like high chairs or other items requiring assembly aren’t checked for safety. One little product defect could cause an item to collapse or topple over onto one of your children.
Far too many possibilities exist for child injury with product liability. It causes every type of injury from brain injuries, burns, to even amputations.
FAQ About Child Injuries
No doubt you have a lot of questions about what to do next if you just found out your child was injured in an accident. What are the steps you should take to win justice and compensation?
Take a look at this FAQ to show you how the legal system works once you gain legal representation.
What Should You Do First After Suffering Through a Child Injury?
The first thing to do is seek medical attention for your child or children. Time is often of the essence in getting proper medical care. Internal injuries sometimes show no symptoms right away in children until it becomes a critical health issue.
Think of your kids above all else and get the treatment they need, no matter how minor the injuries appear. Traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries are going to afflict them for years to come, though early treatment can sometimes alleviate worsening conditions.
Once you get the medical care your children need, it’s time to think about the future. No doubt one of those thoughts is what kind of medical bills you’re facing. These are undoubtedly overwhelming already just from the first wave of treatments.
Medical bills may go on for years due to ongoing therapies, depending on the injuries involved. All of that may have you wondering how you’re going to pay all those bills.
Seek legal representation next. This is so important in working toward getting the settlement you need to keep your children’s lives in order.
Your legal team is there to help you through every step of the legal process.
What Evidence Do You Need to Gather?
One of the first things your legal team does is go to the scene where your child’s accident occurred. What really happened to cause the accident?
A major first step is to acquire as much physical evidence as possible. Car accidents frequently have remnants left over your attorneys can preserve. Most important, though, is interviewing witnesses who saw what happened when your child was injured. Witnesses are often valuable if your case goes to trial later.
Equally essential to find is any video footage, either from random people or from traffic cameras. Nowadays, with smartphones recording everything, a witness perhaps captured your child’s accident on video in perfect clarity. Thanks to most smartphone cameras recording in hi-def quality, it can sometimes beat traffic camera footage in clearly showing what happened.
Nevertheless, acquiring traffic camera footage is often simple to do, considering it’s a public location. Tampa has many traffic cameras in the area that record video 24/7.
If the accident occurred at an indoor business, acquiring security camera footage is sometimes more complicated. A business might try to erase their footage, even if they’re breaking the law. A subpoena is usually acquired to get any security camera footage from a business or other indoor/outdoor public location.
How Do You Negotiate With an Insurance Company?
If you haven’t already, call a lawyer to take the next step in your legal journey to gain justice for your child: seeking a settlement from an insurance company. This means the insurance company representing the person who caused the accident.
Unfortunately, not everyone is insured here in Florida. Some media reports say it’s as high as 20 percent of all people here not being insured. It might mean turning to your own insurance and using an uninsured driver add-on to get your child’s medical bills covered.
Your legal team is there to help you through these steps. In scenarios where the negligent person does have insurance, let your team of attorneys contact them and file your claim.
Never attempt to communicate with insurance companies on your own. They usually go to great lengths to contact you and get you to settle for less than your child deserves. The reason they do this is to avoid the time and expense of going to trial.
Because of your financial predicament, you may feel tempted to take that early settlement. Let your legal team negotiate with insurance companies to get a better offer. Also, avoid talking to the insurance companies about your child’s injuries since it can lead to your words being twisted later.
What Settlement Might You Receive?
This question always comes up in child injury cases. It’s an important one since the settlement you win determines the direction of your children’s future. All the medical bills you have could put them into a life of debt that prevents them from any quality of life.
On top of it, your children may have physical handicaps for their entire life, not making life very easy. Having money that helps you pay their medical bills and future care is imperative.
Settlement negotiations with insurance companies take time. They’re out to try to pay you as little as possible, something your legal team fights against based on the evidence of your case.
The evidence you present is key in how much you may receive in compensation. Regardless, never expect a specific amount. All cases are different, and your case could have differing variables from other common scenarios.
While your legal team negotiates with the insurance company, each settlement offer is communicated to you. Only you decide which offer you want to take. Your attorneys can’t accept any settlement offer for your child without your consent.
Keep in mind suing for punitive damages against a negligent driver or other person is also possible later. These lawsuits potentially bring in additional settlement money.
Will You Have Legal Fees?
Our law firm works on a contingency basis. This means you don’t have to pay our legal team any attorney fees unless you secure a final settlement or award.
The last thing you want is to deal with further financial issues while already dealing with big medical bills. We understand this.
We believe in swift justice for children when they become hurt. Accidents do happen, yet those proven negligent need to pay the price for changing the promising life of your child.
What is the rush?
Don’t wait to file a claim since the statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury is four years. During that time, evidence can disappear, and your child could suffer from further disabilities because of the injuries they initially experienced. Get the justice your children deserve as soon as possible and call us now.
Speak With the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Today
Nothing is worse for a parent than seeing their child in pain. When your child suffers injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to collect compensation from that person or company to help cover your child’s medical expenses and any future costs they may incur related to their injury.
To help you achieve that goal, however, you need to partner with a Tampa child injury lawyer. At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we have been helping our Tampa neighbors for over 25 years. Clients just like you turn to us to help them recover money for their child’s injuries.
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I had an extraordinary experience at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. They were so professional and kept me well informed about my case. I would highly recommend them.
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