Glendale Child Injury Lawyers
As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your child safe. You may have reviewed dozens of daycare centers, preschools, and primary schools throughout Glendale and Los Angeles to find one that is safe. When you shop for a new family car, you likely looked at hundreds of safety reports to make sure it could handle itself in a collision. Even when visiting family or friends, you may pay close attention to their dogs in case there is a risk your child could be bitten.
Unfortunately, you cannot always be there to protect your child. While children can recover quickly from broken bones or soft tissue damage, serious trauma like brain damage and spinal cord injuries can last a lifetime. The costs of these injuries are astronomical and far outside the average pay rate of most Los Angeles County residents. But if your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we are strong advocates for injured children and their families. We can sit down with you to discuss what happened to your child in a free consultation. We will listen to all of your concerns and explain how you can receive compensation from the person or business who caused your child’s injuries. There is no cost to talking to us. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our Glendale child injury attorneys at (818) 507-4311.
We like to believe that our children can come back from any injury. Most kids can get up easily with only a few scrapes or bruises after a football game or falling off a bike. But, in Los Angeles County, there are many dangers. Very few cities and neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly, and our drivers are not known for their safe driving practices, meaning children can easily be injured in a variety of car accidents.
Sadly, the risks do not stop there. More than 9.2 million children in the U.S. are admitted to the ER every year due to unintentional injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the leading causes include falls, car accidents, fire, animal attacks, and drownings. Children around Glendale are often injured in:
- Car accidents, often as passengers or as teen drivers
- School bus crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bike accidents
- Scooter accidents
- Dog attacks
- Amusement park accidents
- Swimming pool accidents and drownings
- School accidents
- Daycare accidents
In general, if someone owed a duty of care to your child and broke that duty through an act of negligence, then you may be able to receive full compensation for your child’s injuries. However, it is important to understand that the legal process for filing a personal injury claim is different for minors in California.
When adults are injured by another party, they typically handle the legal process on their own. However, children cannot do that, and parents should be aware of unique legal requirements they may need to fulfill to secure compensation for their children.
Legal Representation: Minors are not allowed to sign settlement agreements or other legal documents on their own. Instead, a judge must assign a Guardian ad Litem to represent the child in legal proceedings. Typically, one of the child’s parents will be assigned as the child’s legal representative. Your attorney can submit a petition at the Glendale Courthouse of East Broadway or another Los Angeles Courthouse to begin this process.
Settlement Approval: All settlements or jury verdicts for child injury cases must be approved by a California judge before they can be distributed to a child and parents. The judge will review every aspect of the settlement, including the attorney fees, to ensure that it is fair for the child.
Dividing Compensation: Once a settlement or jury verdict is approved by a judge, compensation will be divided. In general, all compensation for medical bills and treatment will be paid directly to the hospital or doctor. If you paid out of pocket for your child’s medical expenses, then you will be reimbursed for those costs. Any money left over, including pain and suffering damages, will be placed in a trust. This trust will be locked until your child turns 18, at which point they can access the funds. Compensation for long-term medical costs, such as future physical therapy or medical equipment, may also be placed in a trust and be accessed by petitioning the court. These trusts can accumulate interest.
Statute of Limitations: In most cases, you have up to two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, for children, time starts ticking when your child turns 18. This means that your child has until the age of 20 to file a claim or lawsuit. However, we do suggest that you do not wait to file a claim, as you may lose evidence if you wait too long.
One of the biggest barriers to receiving full compensation in California is comparative negligence. This states that an accident victim can be found partially at fault for their own injuries and denied compensation based on how much fault they are assigned. For example, if a car accident victim is awarded $100,000 and is assigned 25% of the fault, he or she can only receive $75,000. California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that an accident victim can still recover compensation even if he or she is 99% at fault. A person would only be barred from compensation if they are 100% at fault.
However, with children, the courts follow different rules. Children and teenagers can only be found negligent in certain scenarios, meaning that comparative negligence may not apply in your case. For example, if a child was obeying the instructions of a parent, then he or she cannot be found at fault. In general, courts will look at the child’s age, intelligence, and maturity when determining if the child is capable of acting negligently. In addition, children 5 or younger cannot be found negligent in California.
It is important to note that children may have limited rights in premises liability claims, or when a property owner causes an injury. In other states, property owners can be found liable if a child wanders onto their property and is injured due to an “attractive nuisance,” such as a playground set, treehouse, or pool. California does not have an attractive nuisance doctrine, meaning children can be barred from receiving compensation if they are trespassing.
If your child has suffered a serious injury, then you are likely feeling angry, scared, and worried about their future. Many children are disabled every year in catastrophic accidents, forcing their families into medical debt. Even if your child is expected to make a full recovery, you can expect a hefty bill from the emergency room or hospital. But, if your child’s injuries were caused due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to recover full compensation for their trauma.
Our Glendale personal injury attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, provide strong legal representation during this difficult time. We handle all of the legal burdens of filing claims for our clients, including collecting evidence of wrongdoing, reviewing medical records, calculating the cost of injuries, and negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. We have more than 40 years of combined experienced and have recovered more than $125 million for clients throughout the San Gabriel Valley and San Fernando Valley. To discuss your child’s accident in a free consultation, call Aghabegian & Associates, PC, at (818) 507-4311.
Fill out the form below to request your free consultation to discuss your options.
No Upfront Fees
Contact us today for a free consultation. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis-if we don’t recover compensation for you, you don’t pay.
Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.