Port Richey Child Injury Attorneys

For any parent, there is nothing scarier and more distressing than the thought of your child suffering harm. Nothing hurts more than seeing your child in pain, especially if the injury happens due to someone else’s negligent or careless acts.

If your child suffered injuries due to the negligence of another person, you have a right to seek compensation for the resulting damages and losses.

It is advisable to work with a lawyer to help you hold the negligent party responsible for your child’s injury. Speak with a Port Richey child injury lawyer at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss your case and determine your best course of action.

Children Often Suffer Injuries Because of Negligence
Port Richey Child Injury Attorneys

There are various causes of child injuries. Reasons children sustain injuries range from car accidents to choking and drowning. Regardless of what caused a child’s injury, the effects can be devastating and long-lasting.

Children account for nearly 15 percent of the population in Port Richey, and they are the precious jewels of our city. Nationwide, each year, over 12,000 people between the ages of 0 and 19 die from unintentional injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 9.2 million other children seek medical care for nonfatal injuries in emergency rooms.

As a parent, you always do your best to protect your children and ensure that they are safe. However, sometimes, a child’s injury can be beyond the parent’s control.

A child is likely to suffer injuries in school or daycare where the parents cannot control their child’s surroundings and interactions with others. Other injuries may occur due to defective toys or dangerous playground equipment. A large percentage of child injuries occur because of negligence on the part of other adults.

If your child suffered injuries due to another person’s negligent act, you—as a parent—could sue the negligent individual to seek compensation for the child injury.

Ten Common Risks and Accidents That Cause Child Injuries

These are the most common causes of child injuries in the United States:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of child injury and death, according to the CDC. Teenagers are also likely to sustain injuries in motor vehicle accidents, especially when learning to drive.
  2. Playground accidents. Children should always have adult supervision on the playground. However, when playground owners negligently maintain the premises or the equipment is inherently unsafe or defective, a child is likely to sustain injuries even when supervised by a parent or another adult.
  3. Fireworks-related child injuries. Many kids love fireworks. However, kids should never play with or ignite fireworks because children do not understand the risks involved. Thousands of children sustain serious injuries from launching fireworks.
  4. Poisoning. Small children do not understand the risk of harm when eating certain things. When small kids become more mobile, they are likely to put things in their mouths. These things may include household chemicals, medications, and other things that may cause poisoning.
  5. Choking. Many toys, household items, and even foods are a choking hazard for kids due to children’s small throats and underdeveloped swallowing reflexes. The smaller the child, the bigger the risk that they could choke on something. In some cases, choking is the result of toy defects.
  6. Drowning. Drowning is the second-leading cause of child injury and death after motor vehicle accidents. While many water-related accidents among children happen due to negligent supervision, others might fall under the attractive nuisance doctrine.
  7. Falls. Children fall all the time. While most falls are not preventable, others are the result of a supervising adult’s negligence or the property owner’s failure to maintain the property in a safe condition.
  8. Dog bites. Children are more vulnerable to dog attacks and bites because kids are more likely to approach, tease, and provoke dogs. Under Fla. Stat. § 767.04, dog owners are strictly liable for bites caused by their dogs.
  9. School and daycare accidents. Children are likely to sustain injuries in private and public schools or daycare. Many child injuries in schools and daycare are the result of negligence on the part of school/daycare employees.
  10. Amusement park accidents. While amusement parks may seem like the ideal places for family fun, many children sustain harm in amusement parks due to improper maintenance of equipment or negligence of the park workers.
Who Can Be Liable for a Child’s Injury?

When taking care of or supervising children, adults must exercise reasonable care to protect the kids and prevent injuries. When a person or entity fails to take reasonable precautions to protect the child’s safety and well-being, they can be held liable for the resulting injury and losses.

Liable parties depend on the circumstances of your child’s injury. However, potentially liable parties in child injury cases include:

  • Other drivers (in car accidents)
  • Bus drivers (in bus accidents)
  • Dog owners
  • Property owners
  • Manufacturers and designers of products, including toys
  • Teachers
  • Sports coaches
  • School/daycare workers
  • Amusement park workers
  • Doctors and medical professionals
  • Manufacturers of playground equipment
  • Other parents

In child injury cases, it is not uncommon for insurance companies or at-fault parties to deny liability by arguing that the child is solely responsible for their injury. The insurer or liable party may also blame the injured child’s parents for negligent supervision.

If your child has sustained injuries and you suspect that another person or entity can be held liable, you should talk to a Port Richey child injury lawyer to determine liability in your particular case and fight back against the insurer’s attempts to deny your claim.

Injuries Affect Children Differently Than Adults

Children are much more vulnerable to injury compared to adults. A serious accident can cause fatal injuries or leave a child permanently disabled. It is essential to understand that injuries might affect a child differently when calculating a fair settlement offer.

Researchers published a study on how injuries to children differ from those suffered by adults in pedestrian accidents. Here’s what the study found:

  • Among adult victims, the most common injuries are musculoskeletal injuries, which account for more than 40 percent of all injuries in pedestrian crashes.
  • Among child victims, head and neck were the most commonly injured areas of the body, accounting for over 34 percent of pedestrian accident injuries in children. Musculoskeletal injuries account for about 22 percent of the injuries among children.

The reason injuries affect children differently than adults is because children have smaller bodies and underdeveloped musculature. When a vehicle hits a child, the child’s head and neck are often the first impact point.

What is the Time Limit for Filing a Child Injury Lawsuit in Florida?

For most personal injury cases based on negligence, the time limit for filing a lawsuit is four years from the date of the injury (Fla. Stat. § 95.11). However, the statute of limitations is different when pursuing a lawsuit for a child injury.

State law tolls the time limit for filing a child injury lawsuit under the following circumstances:

  1. The injured child does not have parents or guardians;
  2. The child’s parent or guardian has an interest adverse to the child’s; or
  3. The parent or guardian is incapacitated and cannot file a lawsuit on behalf of the child.

There is also a different time limit for child injury lawsuits involving claims of medical malpractice. Failure to file a lawsuit within the applicable time limit may prevent recovery for the injury, which is why it is advisable to consult with a child injury lawyer to help you navigate the legal process to recover damages.

What Compensation is Available in Child Injury Cases?

When your child suffers injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover the following types of damages:

  • Medical expenses. Under Florida law, an injured child’s parent or guardian can seek compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of the child’s injury.
  • Loss of future income. While adult victims can seek compensation for lost wages in personal injury cases, children can get compensated for the loss of future income if the injury affects their earning capacity and has permanent effects.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. If the injury affected your child’s quality of life, you can seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Mental impairment. Some injuries cause permanent mental impairment in children. If that is the case, you can recover damages for your child’s mental problems.
  • Emotional distress and psychological issues. It is not uncommon for children to suffer from emotional distress and develop psychological problems following a traumatic event.

That is not the complete list of damages that you can recover in a child injury case. Consult with a Port Richey child injury lawyer to evaluate your particular situation and calculate damages in your case.

Note: If a settlement amount in a child injury case exceeds $15,000, the child’s parent or guardian must get court approval to receive the compensation (Fla. Stat. § 744.387).

Why You Need a Child Injury Lawyer in Port Richey
Port Richey Child Injury Lawsuit

If your child sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you need a lawyer that handles child injury cases. You cannot hire just any personal injury lawyer.

You need a skilled lawyer who specializes in injury cases involving children due to the unique circumstances that child injury cases present. If your child suffers injuries in Port Richey, it makes sense to find a lawyer near you to ensure that the lawyer can handle your case effectively and give it the attention it deserves.

There are at least four reasons you need a lawyer who has experience representing clients in child injury cases:

  1. Your settlement may require court approval. Child injury cases are more complicated than personal injury cases involving adults due to a Florida state requiring court approval for settlements exceeding $15,000. Under Florida law, children are considered minors who cannot make decisions for themselves. To protect the child’s best interests, Florida law requires court approval for any child injury settlement exceeding $15,000. For this reason, it is advisable to be represented by a skilled attorney to handle your case and help you obtain court approval.
  2. You need a lawyer to assess all the damages and losses. Since your child may not be able to explain how much it hurts—even using the 0-10 pain scale—it can be difficult to determine how much your child injury case is worth. A permanent or disabling child injury can be worth millions of dollars. Your lawyer will help you determine how your child’s injury may affect various aspects of his or her life to calculate a fair settlement offer. An experienced attorney on your side will make sure that the settlement is sufficient to cover all of your expenses and compensate for your child’s losses.
  3. You need assistance in negotiating with the insurance company. You should be careful when negotiating a settlement with insurance companies. The harsh truth is that insurers do not care about you or your child. Insurance companies are looking out for their own interests, which is why they may attempt to settle your claim for as little as possible. Your child injury lawyer is the only person you can trust when determining a fair settlement and negotiating with the insurance company.
  4. You need a lawyer to help you determine fault. Fault is sometimes not obvious in child injury accidents. For this reason, you may need a skilled attorney to help you determine fault to hold the liable party responsible for your child’s injury. The at-fault party may blame your child or you for the child’s injury. Your lawyer will gather all available pieces of evidence to hold the negligent parties accountable for the harm and losses they caused.
Port Richey Child Injury FAQ

We have prepared answers to the most frequently asked questions about child injuries in Florida. If you did not find an answer to your questions in the FAQ section below, speak with our Port Richey child injury attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss your case.

What to do if my child has injuries in Port Richey?

The first thing you should do is call 911 for help. The dispatcher may send an ambulance to the scene of your accident or tell you to transport the child to a hospital on your own.

It is advisable to have your child checked even if the child’s injury seems minor. Injured children often develop symptoms of a serious injury in the weeks following a traumatic event.

Who can seek compensation for a child’s injury on their behalf?

When a child is a minor, the general rule is that the child’s parent or legal guardians can pursue a claim to recover damages on the child’s behalf. If you are considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of your child, consult with a lawyer to discuss your options.

Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit if my child died due to someone else’s negligence?

Yes, the deceased child’s parents or legal guardians can sue the negligent party for causing or contributing to their child’s death. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the parents or guardians can recover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of comfort and society
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages
  • And many more

While suing the negligent party cannot bring back your child, it could help you achieve a sense of justice and closure.

What compensation can I seek for my child’s injury in Port Richey?

When filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor child, the parents or legal guardians can obtain compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of future income
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship

These and many other types of damages may be available to parents or legal guardians of children who sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence.

What happens to the child injury settlement money?

The parents or legal guardians who receive the settlement on behalf of their injured child can delegate the funds to a:

  • Bank account
  • College fund
  • Trust fund

Since each case is unique, it is advisable to consult with a Port Richey child injury lawyer to discuss how you can and cannot use your child injury settlement money.

What do I need to obtain compensation for my injured child in Port Richey?

Port Richey Child Injury Case

In most cases, the person bringing a child injury claim must prove that someone’s wrongful conduct resulted in their child’s injury. The burden of proof and the specific things you need to prove to obtain compensation depends on the type of your claim:

  • Negligence. If your child injury claim asserts someone else’s negligence, you will need to demonstrate evidence to prove that another person or entity owed you or your child a duty of care and there was a breach of that duty due to their act or omission.
  • Medical malpractice. If a hospital or medical professional failed to adhere to the accepted standards of care when treating your child and your child suffered harm due to their deviation from the standard of care, you might be able to sue the doctor or hospital for medical malpractice.

Can multiple parties be liable for my child’s injury?

Yes, Florida follows the legal doctrine of joint and several liability, which means more than one party can be held liable for someone’s injury. If your child sustained injuries due to the negligence of multiple parties, you could hold each of them responsible for the resulting damages.

Under Fla. Stat. § 768.81, each party found liable for another person’s injury will be responsible for paying the victim’s damages in proportion to their degree of fault.

What to do if the defendant blames parents for the child’s injury?

It is not uncommon for individuals or entities whose negligence causes someone’s injury to blame the injured person for their own injury. In child injury cases, the defendant may also blame the parents for negligent supervision.

If the defendant blames you for your child’s injury, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer to refute their accusations.

Note: Even if the parents are partially at fault for their child’s injury, they can still receive some compensation under Florida law.

How long does it take to settle a Port Richey child injury case?

It is impossible to say how long a child injury case will take without knowing all of the circumstances surrounding the injury. Therefore, if you want to figure out how long it will take to settle your child injury case to obtain compensation, you need to consult with an attorney.

At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our skilled lawyers can help you determine the estimated timeline of your particular case after analyzing all the facts and circumstances.

Should I accept an insurance company’s settlement offer?

If an insurance company made you a settlement offer, you must decide whether you want to accept or reject it and make a counteroffer. In most situations, you should not accept the offer right away because initial settlement offers are usually much lower than the victim’s actual losses.

You should speak with an experienced child injury lawyer before accepting the insurer’s settlement offer to determine the full extent of your injuries to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages and losses.

Do I need court approval to receive compensation for my child’s injury in Port Richey?

Whether or not you need to obtain approval from the court to receive compensation for your child’s injury depends on the settlement amount. Generally, settlement amounts that do not exceed $15,000 do not require court approval.

However, if the settlement amount is more than $15,000, the child’s parents or legal guardians must seek court approval to settle their claim.

Can I resolve a Port Richey child injury case without going to court?

Yes, it is possible to resolve a personal injury case through a settlement without having to go to court. Taking an injury case to trial may result in high litigation costs and legal fees, and there is no guarantee that you will get any compensation whatsoever.

If you have representation from a skilled child injury lawyer, you are more likely to resolve your case without going to court. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit first to settle your claim for a fair amount.

How much can I recover through a Port Richey child injury settlement?

The value of your child injury case depends on a multitude of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The severity of the child’s injury
  • The effects of the child’s injury on his or her life
  • The cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Certainty of the defendant’s liability
  • Whether the defendant’s conduct is willful, reckless, or wanton
  • The cost of litigation

These and many other factors will affect how much you can recover through a child injury settlement or verdict. You can contact our attorneys to review your particular case and help you calculate the total value of your child injury case.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a Port Richey child injury lawsuit?

The statute of limitations is a time limit that the state law imposes on filing lawsuits. Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11, the statute of limitations for negligence-based personal injury cases is four years from the date of the accident.

However, the time limit is different when filing a child injury lawsuit on behalf of a minor. In Florida, the statute of limitations may toll under specific circumstances.

Your attorney will help you understand how long you have to file a child injury lawsuit in your particular case.

What happens after I file a Port Richey child injury lawsuit?

Once you file a lawsuit against the negligent party to seek compensation for your child’s injury, you will have to submit a demand for compensation. The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to your demand.

Then, you should work with your attorney to build a compelling legal case by gathering evidence, using depositions, getting subpoenas, and taking other steps. You and the defendant will then have a chance to present your arguments and evidence.

After filing a lawsuit, you still have an opportunity to reach an agreement and settle your case through negotiations or mediation. If you cannot settle, your case will proceed to trial.

Do I need a Port Richey child injury lawyer?

Many parents and legal guardians of injured children think that they can handle their claim without a lawyer. However, if your child sustained injuries in Port Richey, you can benefit from hiring a Port Richey child injury lawyer to help you:

  1. Gather evidence
  2. Obtain witness statements
  3. Determine liability
  4. Calculate your damages and losses to determine a fair settlement amount
  5. Handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies
  6. Prepare your case for trial if the case cannot resolve through negotiations
  7. Advocate for your best interests in court

As a rule of thumb, plaintiffs represented by a lawyer obtain a larger settlement amount.

Why should I contact Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers to pursue a Port Richey child injury case?

Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers is an established and reputable law firm that handles different types of child injury cases in Port Richey and other parts of Pasco County and beyond.

Our results-driven attorneys represent injured victims and their families to help them secure maximum compensation for their losses and damages.

We strongly believe that anyone who sustains injuries due to someone else’s negligence deserves fair and full compensation for their injuries, including children.

The knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients in child injury cases. We offer free initial consultations to our prospective clients.

When working with the Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, you do not have to worry about attorney’s fees until we obtain compensation on your behalf. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.

What types of child injury cases do Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers handle?

The reputable and dedicated attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers handle a wide range of child injury cases. Our focus is to help injured children and their families to get the compensation to which they are entitled.

We assist clients with all types of child injury cases, including those that involve:

Contact our attorneys regardless of what caused your child’s injury. We can pursue the compensation that you and your child deserve by holding the negligent parties accountable.

How much does a Port Richey child injury lawyer cost?

Some law firms, including Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. It means that our attorneys only charge a fee for their legal services if we win your case.

When working with an attorney on a contingency fee basis, the attorney will receive a certain percentage of the total amount of your settlement or verdict as payment.

Unlike many other law firms in Port Richey and elsewhere in Pasco County, Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers do not have any hidden fees or upfront costs. We are committed to helping you get the compensation you should receive so that you do not have to worry about attorney’s fees while your case is ongoing.

How can I contact a Port Richey child injury lawyer at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers?

You can schedule a free consultation with our dedicated and reputable lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers by calling (727) 845-5972 or completing our contact form.

Get a Free Consultation with a Port Richey Child Injury Lawyer

Nicolette Nicoletti Port Richey Injury Accident Lawyer
Child Injury Lawyer, Nicolette Nicoletti

At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we understand that nothing can be more precious than your child’s health and wellbeing.

That is why our experienced and dedicated lawyers are committed to helping you hold liable parties accountable for all the damages and long-lasting losses caused by their negligent or careless conduct. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means our lawyers do not receive payment unless and until we win your case.

Schedule a free consultation with our knowledge child injury lawyer in Port Richey to review your case and help you seek the compensation to which you and your child are entitled. Call (727) 845-5972 or write to us through our contact page.