- Thursday, 31 March 2022
Nothing causes more distress to people than an injured child. Children are always at risk of physical harm because they’re usually on the go. That’s why parents and guardians have to keep a close watch over them.
Children can sustain injuries in school, daycare, or a healthcare facility because of poor supervision, defective equipment, or child sexual abuse. If a child’s life is unnecessarily endangered because of negligence or ill-intent, a Diamond & Diamond pediatric injury lawyer can advocate for them to hold the responsible parties liable for their injuries.
Keep reading to find out more about pediatric injury in Canada and its most common causes. You will also understand the kind of injuries that may qualify for a personal injury lawsuit and the reasons pediatric injury lawyers are necessary for a successful claim.
What Is Considered a Pediatric Injury?
Pediatric injury is the physical harm to a minor, a person below 18. Injuries may take many forms, most of which are genuine accidents and not a result of negligence or carelessness. However, when young children sustain serious injuries or catastrophic impairments or die due to the action or inaction of others, the responsible parties may be held accountable.
However, because of their minority status, they cannot file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, they need a litigation guardian to make decisions for them in a civil claim, such as personal injury lawsuits, who must retain the services of a lawyer to pursue a civil case.
Parents, guardians, or other adults willing to act on behalf of the child and be responsible for litigation costs may do so, but you should speak to a lawyer. As a last resort, however, if there is no parent, guardian or other adults willing to act for the child, then the court may order the Office of the Children’s Lawyer to serve as the litigation guardian.
It’s also important that you understand that the limitation period for filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a minor child may vary according to the circumstances outlined in Ontario’s Limitations Act of 2002.
The limitation period in most child injury cases is two years from the appointment of a litigation guardian until the minor reaches the age of 18 or discovery of the injury, whichever comes first. But in some cases, it can be as much as 15 years. Therefore, talk to a personal injury lawyer in Ontario to determine how much time you have to file a civil claim for pediatric injuries.
The Most Common Causes of Pediatric Injuries
Kids will be kids, and many will sustain minor injuries as they learn to crawl, walk, run and drive cars. Unfortunately, pediatric injuries are also the leading cause of death for children and youth in Canada.
While proper supervision and care will prevent most of these injuries, failure to provide so may lead to severe physical, psychological, and financial consequences for the child and family members.
If the child suffers an injury due to negligence in a healthcare facility, you will need a team of medical malpractice lawyers to be the child’s advocate. In fact, in most pediatric injury cases, you may need a personal injury lawyer specializing in that area. Among the typical causes of pediatric injuries in Ontario that might require a child injury lawyer include:
In 2016, the most prevalent cause of pediatric injury in Canada was falls. Parachute Canada reports that 262,826 children in Ontario between the ages of 0 and 6 required emergency medical attention due to falls between 2012 and 2016. In 68.8% of those cases, falls resulted in head injuries. Moreover, between 2014 to 2015, there were 1,841 serious injuries from falls involving playground equipment in daycares and schools in Canada.
Pedestrian motor vehicle collisions
As a pedestrian, everyone is at risk of injury. In fact, in 2015, 1,281 children between the ages of 0 and 19 required emergency medical attention after being hit by cars. Seventy-three percent of the injuries occurred in cities and 20% in suburban areas. These accidents happened in parking lots, or private driveways in some cases, because the drivers did not see them.
Many kids cruise the streets of Ontario on their bikes, so drivers of motor vehicles must be extra vigilant to avoid a collision. A distracted or speeding driver hitting a cyclist of any age can lead to life-changing injuries and fatal consequences and it’s even more serious if the victim is a child. Children may sustain concussions, broken bones, or worse from even the most minor collisions.
The Lifesaving Society of Canada reports that a yearly average of 248 children in Ontario received medical attention from a near-drowning incident between 2010 and 2019. Of the fatal drowning incidents of 2020 involving children, 92% were due to distractedness or lack of adult supervision.
Children left in hot cars
Heatstroke (hyperthermia) is a real danger in Ontario during the summer months when temperatures exceed 38 degrees celsius. The risk is even higher when children are in their car seats in a hot vehicle.
One study indicates that six children in Canada died due to hyperthermia from 2013 to 2018, or one child a year. While that is horrendous enough, the study does not account for non-fatal cases of kids left in hot cars, such as an infant left by the parents in a hot car for at least thirty minutes in Mississauga. Parents and guardians should never leave children (or pets, for that matter) in a hot car, even for a short period of time. Those that do may be subject to criminal and civil charges.
Most dog bites and attacks happen to children. In the latest report for Canada, 12,162 children under the age of 19 received medical attention for non-fatal dog bites between 1990 and 2003. In the same period, 19 children died.
Children who survive dog attacks may sustain permanent scarring on their head, face and neck and often have long-term psychological trauma. When a dog attacks or bites a child in Ontario, the dog owner may be liable under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act.
What Is A Pediatric Injury Lawyer?
A pediatric injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond Law can provide legal representation in a personal injury case. A child injury lawyer has extensive experience with the special procedural requirements of handling a minor’s personal injury case under Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure.
While the special rules for minors make a personal injury case more complex, a pediatric injury lawyer has the same goal: obtain compensation for the physical injuries, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and trauma of the child as a result of a negligent Toronto or Ottawa accident. In most cases, an Ottawa lawyer specializing in pediatric injury will consult with medical professionals about the child’s short- and long-term medical needs to determine how much compensation should be claimed.
Under the Minors’ Funds Program, any damages awarded in the case will be held by the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice or invested in high yield savings accounts until the child turns 18. However, a pediatric injury lawyer can arrange for parents or guardians of the injured child to get reasonable access to the financial award to provide the care and support that the child needs to recover from his or her injuries.
What Kinds of Injuries Warrant a Pediatric Injury Lawsuit?
While not all negligent pediatric injury accidents are catastrophic, a child can develop long-term issues from the trauma. The parties responsible for the pediatric injury should be held accountable for the following incidents:
- Choking on small parts
- Child product defects
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Dog bites
- Falls, particularly in sports-related activities in schools
- Healthcare facility injuries
- Slip and falls around swimming pools
- Toxic inhalation
- Motor vehicle accidents
Compensation for Pediatric Injury
A growing child is particularly vulnerable to developing mental and psychological issues because they are in their formative years. When young children go through severe physical or emotional trauma, the medical and other related issues may last for a significant amount of time. Moreover, since the injury may permanently scar or impair the child, it would have a more profound impact on the child as opposed to an adult who suffered a similar fate.
The negligent party may be liable for financial damages in pediatric injury cases. However, when another child causes physical or emotional harm, e.g., bullying, his or her parents may be held accountable.
Other compensation for a pediatric injury that a Diamond Law personal injury lawyer may pursue for the child’s benefit and recovery depends on the extent and nature of the injury. These may include the following:
- Caregiver Expenses
- Future Education Expenses
- Future Expenses for Psychologists
- Future Health-Care Expenses
- Future Loss of Income
- Future Medical Expenses
- Future Rehabilitation Expenses
- Home Modification Expenses
- Loss of Amenities
- Loss of Care
- Loss of Companionship
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Guidance
- Pain and Suffering
- Transportation Expenses
A lawyer must review the relevant medical records and consult with experts to determine if you have a case. Contact Diamond and Diamond today!
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A Child Injury Lawyer from Diamond Law can Help
If you are dealing with a pediatric injury case in Ontario, you may not know what to do, which may cause you to be overwhelmed by stress. Pediatric injury cases are complex and require the unique knowledge of an accomplished child injury lawyer from the experienced personal injury law firm of Diamond & Diamond.
Our personal injury lawyers deal with personal injury cases of various types, such as dog bites, product liability, and owner’s liability. When the victim is a child, our Canada pediatric injury lawyers are even more determined to get compensation for medical and other issues.
Don’t make the mistake of putting things off until tomorrow what you can do today. Pediatric injury lawsuits can take a long time and you must meet your child’s needs in the meantime.
Call us today at 1-800-567-HURT so our personal injury lawyers can give you a FREE evaluation of your case!