Parents want more than anything to keep their children safe. A child’s inquisitive nature can be endearing, but it can lead them to dangerous situations. Though you may try your best to keep them away from potential hazards, you cannot be everywhere at once, and accidents do occasionally happen. When someone else is responsible for your child’s injuries, a seasoned personal injury attorney could help you hold them accountable.
A High Ridge child injury lawyer could be your loyal advocate throughout every stage of the legal process. They could examine evidence to identify at-fault parties, evaluate the full-extent of your child’s injuries, and demand the comprehensive compensation your child needs to recover.
Child Injuries Caused by Others
Parents rely on others to safeguard their children from the time they are born, as a medical team typically helps with the birthing process. Daycare workers and school officials must also render adequate care to the minors placed in their care. Landowners must ensure their properties are free from hazardous conditions, even for child trespassers. Manufacturers must ensure their products that target children are designed and created safely.
Examples of injuries a child might suffer due to negligent adults include:
- An obstetrician who fails to address fetal distress, leaving a baby without oxygen and suffering brain damage before performing a Caesarian Section
- A child’s clothing manufacturer whose products are highly flammable, causing burn injuries when a toddler finds matches and plays with them
- A distracted daycare worker who allows a child to wander off and fall in a swimming pool and possibly drown
- A homeowner who does not lock a backyard gate securing a trampoline to which a child is attracted and injured jumping on it
To prevail in a civil lawsuit, a parent or guardian must prove someone owed a duty to act reasonably for a child’s safety, and failed to do so, directly resulting in their child’s harm. Once retained, an experienced High Ridge child injury attorney could look for elements of negligence to build a case for compensation against a negligent party.
The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
Generally, landowners do not owe any duty to make their property safe for trespassers. But the Supreme Court of Missouri has carved out an exception for child trespassers called the attractive nuisance doctrine.
If a child trespasser is injured on someone’s property, the standard for proving the landowner responsible is based on whether the landowner knew children would likely trespass because the attractive nuisance was compelling to them, and they would not recognize how dangerous it was. A proactive legal professional must also prove the defendant’s effort to make the nuisance safe is a minor inconvenience compared to the risk it poses to naive children.
Parental Responsibility Laws
The attractive nuisance doctrine is complicated by Missouri Revised Statute § 537.045 if the injured child trespasser damages the property during the act. While an injured child may have a personal injury claim, the landowner may have a claim that the child trespasser’s parents are responsible for their child’s actions that caused property damage, naming them in a counteraction. The courts can rule the injured child’s parents must pay up to $2,000 in damages to the landowner or allow the child to work off the amount, if all the parties agree.
If your child trespassed on another person’s property due to an attractive nuisance and was hurt—but also caused some type of property damage themselves—contact a qualified child injury lawyer in High Ridge to handle this complicated legal matter.
A High Ridge Child Injury Attorney Puts Your Family First
Children are naturally curious and, because of their undeveloped brains, may take chances that put them in danger while they play and explore. They are also vulnerable to harm while in the care of negligent adults—such as daycare workers, babysitters, and school employees. They are also prone to injury from products they can disassemble and choke on or that are not labeled for age-appropriateness.
If your child was injured by a negligent caregiver, medical professional, defective product, or while on someone else’s property, contact us as soon as possible. A High Ridge child injury lawyer is prepared to help you build a strong claim for monetary damages.