When a child is injured in an automobile accident, slip and fall accident, day care center, school, theme park, or other location, there are several factors that are considered when valuing a child injury case. It should be pointed out that each child injury case should be evaluated on its own facts and merits. Every child is different. Similarly, every personal injury claim is different. Individual attention should be given to the child’s case by the Florida Personal Injury Attorney, the parent or guardian, and any other individuals involved with assisting a child with the pursuit of damages and compensation for the child injury case. The are various factors that may be considered when valuing a child injury case.
Liability (Fault). Liability refers to the cause of the incident or accident. In Florida, with the exception of a dog bite case, a plaintiff or claimant must prove that the child was injured due the fault or negligence of another person or business. In other words, a person or business failed to do something in a safe manner for the protection of the minor child or alternatively acted in a careless matter that caused the child injuries. With better care and attention, on the part of the at fault person or business, the injuries would have been avoided.
Damages. Damages refer to the losses that are sustained due to the child injuries. Damages can be classified as either Economic Damages or Non-Economic Damages.
Economic Damages. Economic damages refers to expenses that are incurred in the past or future due to the child injuries. Economic damages are expenses that can be calculated and estimated with some reasonable certainty as follows:
Past Medical Bills;
Future Medical Bills;
Past Wage Loss (when applicable);
Future Wage Loss (when applicable); and
Education / Tutoring Expenses (incurred due the injuries).
Non-Economic Damages. Unlike economic damages there is no strict formula and no set number for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages typically refer to the following:
Loss of Enjoyment of Life;
Loss of Companionship; and
Loss of Services.
The value of economic and / or non-economic expenses will depend, in part on the following factors:
Age of the child;
Condition of the child prior to the incident / accident;
Permanency of the child injuries;
Severity of the child injuries;
Impact on the child’s activities of daily living;
Impact on the child’s cognitive abilities;
Impact on the child’s education; and
Impact on the child’s future income / employability.
Evaluation of a minor’s personal injury case can be quite complicated and often times requires the services of a child personal injury attorney to evaluate the case and advise the parent/guardian regarding value legal options and settlement opportunities. On the issues of liability and damages, there are two books available to parents for free that contain information regarding Liability, Damages and other topics. The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Center Injuries, Theme Park Injuries, and other topics. Get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents – has chapters on Day Care Center Regulations, Outdoor Equipment and Playgrounds, Indoor Facilities, Record Keeping, Emergency Procedures, and other topics. This book will be released in February 2012. Visit the Wood, Atter & Wolf Website in the near future to get a free copy of this book. If you have a question or concern about a child injury and or the valuation of the same, contact a Florida child the injury lawyer for advice, consultation, and legal representation. All initial consultations are free of charge and all of these cases are handled on the contingency basis meaning that there will be no payment of fees unless there is a financial recovery for the injured child.