Watching your child hurt or suffering is one of the hardest things a parent can go through. It’s a deep pain that feels like it’s tearing at your own heart. You feel their every ache, their every tear, as if it’s your own. This pain is mixed with a helpless feeling, a longing to take their place, to bear their pain for them. And yet, all you can do is hold them, comfort them, and hope for their pain to ease. The sight of your child in pain is a stark reminder of how deeply a parent’s love runs.
No matter if you child was hurt while playing, walking, on a bicycle, getting in or out of a car or school bus – the agonizing pain of losing a child in an accident due to another’s carelessness is a tormenting burden to bear for any parent.
If your child has suffered a serious injury in an accident, call us to get the advice you need. Our child injury lawyers are located in the heart of Hamilton, but have represented countless families throughout Ontario who’s children have suffered serious injuries do to the of others. We would be more than happy to sit with you and your family for as long as you need or answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton area at 905-333-8888 to speak with us today. You can also email us confidentially through our website and one of our intake specialists will be happy to set up an appointment by way of zoom or in-person.
The following are common types of accident which we see – and that we can help with:
Bicycle accident involving children are a significant concern, particularly when they are caused by negligent or distracted drivers. According to Transport Canada, in 2020, over 8,500 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle-related accidents, with children being particularly vulnerable.
Children are naturally more at risk in these situations because their decision-making skills are still developing. They might not yet fully understand the importance of road safety rules, like stopping and looking both ways before crossing a street, or the necessity of wearing a helmet while cycling. They’re also smaller and less predictable in their movements, which can make it challenging for drivers to spot them, especially if those drivers are distracted.
The most common types of bicycle accidents involving children include falls from the bicycle, collisions with stationary objects, and, more dangerously, being hit by cars. According to Parachute, a Canadian injury prevention organization, motor vehicles are involved in approximately 64% of serious cycling injuries among children under the age of 10.
The injuries from these accidents can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe, life-altering ones. The Canadian Paediatric Society reports that every year about 110 children under the age of 19 die from bicycle-related injuries in Canada, and 25% of these fatal injuries are due to head injuries. These kinds of injuries can have long-term effects on a child’s cognitive development and can drastically change their life.
It’s essential to address the issue of distracted driving to prevent these accidents and safeguard our children’s lives. Measures like promoting helmet use, educating children about road safety, and enforcing stricter laws against distracted driving can significantly reduce the risk of bicycle accidents involving children. It’s a collective effort that involves parents, educators, law enforcement, and the children themselves.
Pedestrian accidents involving children, can be devastating. When a child is hit by a car, the outcome can be brutally severe and life-altering. A child’s small stature and undeveloped body make them especially vulnerable to significant injuries.
One of the most severe injuries is head trauma. When a child is struck by a vehicle, their head could hit the vehicle itself, the ground, or another object. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as concussions, contusions, or even more serious conditions like brain damage. These injuries can result in long-term complications like cognitive impairments, memory loss, changes in personality, and physical disabilities. Some children may need long-term care and rehabilitation, and in the worst cases, traumatic brain injuries can be fatal.
Spinal cord injuries are another devastating possibility. If the impact of the collision affects the child’s spinal cord, it can lead to partial or complete paralysis. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, the child may suffer from paraplegia (paralysis of the legs) or quadriplegia (paralysis of both the arms and legs). These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and long-term care.
Both types of injuries can significantly impact a child’s quality of life. They may require ongoing medical treatment, potentially leading to financial hardship for their families. They may also face challenges in their development, education, and social interactions.
Distracted and negligent drivers play a considerable role in these tragic accidents. Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, or fiddling with the stereo or navigation system. Even a few seconds of distraction at the wrong moment can lead to an accident.
Negligent drivers are those who fail to exercise reasonable care while driving. This can include reckless behavior such as speeding, running red lights or stop signs, not yielding to pedestrians, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These actions pose a significant risk to all road users, especially vulnerable ones like children.
It’s essential for drivers to remember that they share the road with pedestrians of all ages and to be especially cautious in areas where children might be present, such as near schools and parks. Paying full attention to the road, respecting speed limits, and following traffic laws can prevent many of these devastating accidents.
The following are several other reasons why children are often involved in pedestrian accidents:
The aftermath of a dog attack on a child is not only physical but emotional and psychological as well. The physical damage can be severe, often resulting in painful wounds and, in more serious cases, deep tissue damage or disfigurement. Children may have to undergo multiple surgeries or medical procedures to repair the damage, which could lead to permanent scarring. These scars can affect a child’s self-esteem and body image as they grow, leading to long-term psychological distress.
Beyond the physical pain, the psychological trauma of a dog attack can be profound. The child might develop a fear of dogs or other animals, hindering their ability to interact normally in environments where pets are present. They may experience anxiety, depression, nightmares, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The fear and stress can disrupt their daily lives, affect their performance at school, and inhibit their social interactions.
Parents of the affected child also suffer emotional turmoil and stress. The worry for their child’s wellbeing and the guilt of not being able to prevent the accident can be overwhelming. They may experience anxiety about their child’s recovery, their future health, and the financial burden of medical bills. The entire family might need counseling or therapy to cope with the traumatic incident.
The ripple effect of a dog attack on a child is immense, impacting their mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as that of their family. It’s a reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership, public awareness about animal behavior, and the necessity of immediate professional help, both medical and psychological, following such incidents. If your child was hurt by a dog – contact our child injury lawyers today to discuss what compensation your loved one is entitled to.
Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children, particularly for those under the age of five. Often, these tragic accidents occur in residential swimming pools and can be attributed to a variety of factors.
Child drownings are a tragic reminder of the importance of pool safety. It’s crucial to ensure pools are properly secured with high, child-proof fences and gates, and that children are always supervised when near water.
Near-drowning incidents, where a child survives an initial submersion in water, can still result in severe health consequences, particularly related to the brain. During a near-drowning event, the child’s oxygen supply is cut off. The brain is extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation, known as hypoxia.
When the brain doesn’t receive adequate oxygen, it can lead to a type of brain injury called hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. This condition can cause serious damage to brain tissue and can result in cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, or even a vegetative state. The severity and type of damage depend on how long the brain was deprived of oxygen.
Immediate symptoms might include unconsciousness, confusion, dizziness, or seizures. However, some of the impacts may not become apparent until days or weeks later, such as issues with memory, learning, movement, speech, or emotional control. These injuries can be life-altering, requiring long-term rehabilitation and care.
Furthermore, even if a child appears relatively unharmed immediately after a near-drowning event, complications such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) or pneumonia can develop, which can further reduce oxygen to the brain and exacerbate damage. For more information about starting a child near-drowning claim contact our child injury lawyers today.
As part of our practice we have dealt with many pediatric injuries over the years – with some being much more severe than others.:
Pediatric orthopedic injuries resulting from vehicle collisions can vary significantly in severity, ranging from minor fractures to severe, life-altering damage. Common types of these injuries include fractures to the upper and lower extremities, and they often necessitate surgical intervention.
Our child personal injury lawyers often learn from our orthopedic experts about child trauma. The long bones in children—such as the femur in the thigh or the humerus in the upper arm—are particularly susceptible to fractures. In the lower extremities, fractures of the femur or tibia can occur, which may require surgical fixation with rods or plates. Upper extremity fractures often involve the humerus, radius, or ulna, and may need casting, pins, or even open reduction and internal fixation in severe cases.
An additional concern in pediatric orthopedic injuries is the potential damage to the growth plates, also known as the physis. These areas of developing cartilage tissue at the end of the long bones are where bone growth occurs in children. Injuries to these areas can disrupt normal bone development, potentially leading to limb length discrepancies or angular deformities. In some cases, surgery might be necessary to repair the growth plate and realign the bone.
In severe incidents, a child may sustain a traumatic amputation or an injury so serious it requires surgical amputation. These injuries are life-altering and require intensive rehabilitation, and potentially, the fitting and learning of use of prosthetic limbs.
Any orthopedic injury to a child has the potential for long-term consequences due to the continuous growth and development of children’s bodies. Therefore, the goal of treatment, whether surgical or nonsurgical, is not only to heal the current injury, but also to ensure that future growth and development can occur as normally as possible. However, despite the best interventions, in some cases, permanent damage and functional limitations can occur, highlighting the critical importance of injury prevention.
Pediatric traumatic amputations are devastating injuries that often result from high-impact accidents, such as being struck by a car while walking or bicycling. This type of injury occurs when a child’s limb is severed or crushed as a direct result of the accident or is so badly damaged that surgical amputation is required.
The physical implications of such an injury are immediate and lifelong. A child will require acute medical care, potentially including multiple surgeries, intensive wound care, and the fitting of a prosthesis. Physical therapy will be essential to help the child adapt to the loss of the limb and learn to use the prosthesis effectively.
However, the care costs do not end with the initial hospitalization and rehabilitation. Prosthetic limbs need to be replaced regularly, particularly for a growing child. This necessity, combined with the cost of ongoing physical therapy and potential future surgeries, can lead to substantial healthcare costs over the child’s lifetime. Luckily In Ontario, if an individual is involved in a motor vehicle accident, they may be eligible for accident benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). If the injuries are deemed “catastrophic,” which includes amputations, they are entitled to increased benefits to cover medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care costs. Our child injury lawyers can help you set up these enhanced benefits to help cover your child’s future care costs.
Moreover, a traumatic amputation can have profound psychological consequences. The child may experience a range of emotions, including grief for the lost limb, anxiety about their changed body, and fear of social stigma. Professional psychological support will be crucial to help the child cope with these feelings.
The injury could also impact the child’s vocational future. While many individuals with amputations lead fulfilling, independent lives and pursue a wide range of careers, certain physical professions may become more challenging. The child may also need to advocate for workplace accommodations to ensure they have equal opportunities.
Lastly, a traumatic amputation will invariably affect a child’s lifestyle and self-image. They will need to learn new ways to perform everyday tasks and may face challenges in certain activities or sports. It may take time for them to adjust to their new body image and regain confidence in social situations.
If your child has suffered a traumatic amputation as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence it’s vital that you contact our child injury lawyers today.
Pediatric traumatic spinal cord injuries are among the most catastrophic injuries a child can endure. Such injuries typically result from severe trauma, often caused by kids getting hit by cars. The outcome of such injuries can vary widely, from partial loss of motor or sensory function to complete paralysis.
The physical implications of a traumatic spinal cord injury are immediate and life-altering. A child may lose the ability to walk, move, or even breathe independently, depending on the level and completeness of the injury. This disability can necessitate a host of adaptive equipment and modifications to the home, such as wheelchairs, lifts, and accessible bathrooms.
The healthcare costs associated with pediatric spinal cord injuries can be staggering – which is why you need to speak to our child injury lawyers about catastrophic rehabilitation benefits. They include acute hospitalization, surgical interventions, rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, and necessary equipment and adaptations. These costs can place a substantial financial burden on the family, particularly as the need for care and equipment will continue throughout the child’s life.
Additionally, a child with a spinal cord injury will face significant psychological and social challenges. They may struggle with grief over their lost abilities, fear about their future, and anxiety about social acceptance. Professional psychological support is crucial for helping the child navigate these feelings and adjust to their new reality.
Furthermore, the injury can impact the child’s family relationships. Parents and siblings may experience feelings of guilt, grief, and helplessness, and family dynamics can shift as everyone adjusts to new roles and responsibilities. Support for the family, both practical and emotional, is essential during this time.
From an educational and vocational perspective, accommodations may need to be made to facilitate the child’s participation in school. Long-term, the child may face limitations in their choice of occupation, depending on their physical abilities.
Lastly, living with a spinal cord injury can impact a child’s social and recreational life. They may need to find new ways to engage in activities they previously enjoyed, and social relationships may change as a result of the injury.
Childhood brain injuries, often caused by accidents such as vehicular collisions, are a significant concern in Canada, as they are around the globe. Despite precautions such as wearing a helmet while biking or using crosswalks when walking, tragic incidents can still occur. The ever-active nature of children, their innate curiosity, and occasionally, their limited understanding of potential dangers, can place them at higher risk. Car accidents, in particular, have been identified as a major cause of traumatic brain injuries in children, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or passengers.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have devastating and life-altering consequences for a child. These injuries can result in physical disabilities, cognitive deficits, and behavioral changes, all of which may persist for a lifetime. They may also impact a child’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks independently and can affect their education, social relationships, and overall quality of life – all of which may require access to enhanced no-fault benefits which is something that our child injury lawyers can help you with.
In Canada, the annual incidence rate of TBIs in children is alarmingly high. According to a report by Parachute Canada, a national charity dedicated to injury prevention, nearly 6,500 children and youth are hospitalized every year due to acquired brain injuries, with the leading cause being falls, followed closely by motor vehicle-related incidents.
The cost of caring for a child with a brain injury is enormous, both financially and emotionally – which is why you need to speak to a child injury lawyer. From a financial perspective, direct costs such as medical care, rehabilitation services, special education, and assistive technology can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Indirect costs, such as loss of productivity and potential income, are also substantial. The emotional toll on families is equally significant, involving stress, anxiety, and the psychological impact of caring for a loved one with a chronic health condition.
Brain injuries can transform a child’s life in an instant, radically shifting their developmental trajectory and future prospects. It is crucial to raise awareness about the potential dangers children face and to emphasize preventative measures to reduce the incidence of these tragic incidents. Equally important is the provision of support to the families affected by these life-altering injuries, helping them navigate the challenging path that lies ahead.
In Ontario, a lawful litigation guardian – who is normally the parent of the child – can start a injury claim on behalf of their minor child. A child’s legal guardian are generally the ones who bring forth a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor, given their legal responsibility to protect the child’s interests. If there are no parents available, then a loved one can apply to the court to be appointed as a litigation guardian. The litigation guardian will of course have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the child. Lastly, the PGT – or public guardian and trustee can be involved to protect the child’s interest if there is no one available or willing to act.
A child CANNOT start an action on his/her own under the age of 18. They are considered by our courts to not have the legal capacity to sue. Regardless of who starts the claim, it is crucial to engage a child injury lawyer experienced in child injury claims to ensure that all relevant factors are considered and the best possible outcome is achieved for the child.
Althrough not direct payable compensation, a dependant child, like an adult, is able to access a parent’s no-fault benefits (accident benefits). Ontario Accident Benefits is a part of your car insurance policy in Ontario, Canada. If you get into a car accident, these benefits can help cover certain costs, no matter who was at fault for the accident. If your child was critically hurt, or has suffered life changing injuries, then he/she may have access to Catastrophic Accident Benefits – with limits up to $1,000,000 (unless optional catastrophic benefits were purchased which can increase this coverage up to $2,000,000 for medical, rehabilitation and attendant care benefits).
A child, like an adult, would also have a claim against the neligent person(s) or company or institution which caused injury. In these terms, a child would be able to recover non-economic and economic damages.
Non-economic damages refer to such compensation as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment or life or loss of amenities. Economic compensation refers to such compensation as potential future wage loss, loss of housekeeping capacity (or if there is a possibility that the ability for a child to take care of a future orderly home is interrupted). Although future wage loss is complex to predict for a child, and often requires input from experts – such as medical experts, occupational therapists, vocational specialists or life-care planners. This is a complex process and generally requires the assistance of qualified Ontario child injury lawyers, as well as other professionals (as noted) to accurately assess.
If your child has been hurt as a result of someone’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness call us today. Our child injury lawyers have been fighting for the rights of hurt kids since 2003 and can help you recover both financial relief and a sense of justice that your child deserves.
To schedule your free consultation with our lawyers for hurt kids, call us toll-free, no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-888-LALANDE or local throughout Southern Ontario area at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can chat with our live operator 24/7 or send an email through our website and we will be happy to get right back to you.
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It’s a legal process to seek compensation for a child’s injuries due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act.
A parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed litigation guardian can initiate a child injury claim on behalf of the child.
It can cover medical expenses, future care costs, pain and suffering, future wage loss, and more.
Two years from when the child turns 18.
Yes, if a child is injured in a motor vehicle accident, they can access Accident Benefits regardless of who was at fault.
A litigation guardian makes decisions about the legal case on behalf of the child and is responsible for protecting the child’s interests.
It’s usually held in trust with the accountant of the superior court of justice until the child turns 18, but funds can be accessed earlier for the child’s benefit with court approval.
If the child’s injuries are catastrophic, they can access additional benefits under their (or their family’s) auto insurance policy.
Yes, hiring a lawyer can help navigate the legal process, maximize compensation, and protect the child’s interests.