Every day in Massachusetts — and throughout the United States — children suffer from a variety of injuries. Thankfully, most of these injuries are minor, requiring no medical treatment beyond some antibiotic ointment and a bandage. However, in cases where a child has been more seriously injured, it is crucial that their parent or guardian determine, as quickly as possible, if the injury was due to the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. If so, you may have the right to pursue a claim on behalf of your injured child.
Types of Claims
At Keches Law Group, our attorneys are experienced in handling a variety of cases related to injuries suffered by children. These cases include the typical claims often pursued by adults, such as automobile accident cases, injuries caused by defective products, slips/trips and fall accidents, dog bites, and medical malpractice claims. However, the attorneys at Keches Law Group are also able to handle cases that are generally considered specific to children, including injuries that happen at school or daycare, and injuries caused by bullying or child abuse.
One of the more interesting aspects of child injuries is that another person, business, or governmental entity may be considered at fault for the injury even if the child was the one who put him or herself into the dangerous situation. Very often, a child will suffer an injury after they enter onto the property of another in order to engage with or play on what is referred to as an “attractive nuisance.” The most common form of attractive nuisance is a swimming pool, but the category includes many other types of attractions, including, but not limited to,
- Mechanical equipment,
- elevated platforms/tree houses,
- large mounds of dirt/earth, and
- ditches and holes dug into the ground.
In order for one to be able to assert a claim against a landowner or manager for injuries caused under these circumstances, a party must meet five requirements:
- The landowner knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass,
- the condition involves an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children,
- the children, because of their age, do not recognize the risks involved in the dangerous condition;
- the burden of eliminating the condition is slight compared to the risks presented, and
- the landowner fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the children.
For an elaboration on these requirements, visit the Massachusetts Legislature’s page on Massachusetts General Law Chapter 231, Section 85Q.
Hiring an attorney with experience in pursuing attractive nuisance claims is crucial to making a financial recovery in such cases. At Keches Law Group, our attorneys have over thirty years of pursuing attractive nuisance and other child-related injury claims.
Who Has the Right to Pursue the Claim on Behalf of the Child?
Another aspect of child personal injury claims revolves around the adult who will be responsible for the case. In some cases, a dispute may result if the parents are unable to determine who is best able to represent the interests of the child. In such cases, a parent and, in cases where the parents are deemed incapable of looking after the best interests of the child, another relative or friend may seek to be appointed a “guardian ad litem” by the probate court in order to represent the interests of the child including the hiring of an attorney to represent the child. The attorneys at Keches Law Group can work with you to become appointed “guardian ad litem” on behalf of a child who has suffered injuries.
Time Limits for Pursuing Child Personal Injury Claims
Although the typical time limit or “statute of limitations” for pursuing a personal injury claim in Massachusetts is three years from the date of the incident, if a minor child was the injured party, this three year time frame does not begin to run until the child turns 18 years old (with certain exceptions, such as medical malpractice claims). Although the parent or guardian of a child injured due the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital does have longer than the standard three years to pursue their case, there are other applicable time limits under what is referred to as the “statute of repose.” As a result, it is essential that you contact an attorney familiar with all relevant time limits for pursuing claims. Whereas many personal injury firms will refer their medical malpractice claims to other firms, Keches Law Group has attorneys who specialize in medical negligence as well as all areas of personal injury; our attorneys will work together as a team to tackle all aspects of your case.
At Keches Law Group, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has been pursuing claims on behalf of children for over 30 years; our attorneys can provide you with the assistance, support and counsel needed to pursue a claim on behalf of a child injured due to the negligence of others.
If your child has been injured, contact Keches Law Group at 617-898-0808 or online for a free, no-obligation consultation today. We will be happy to meet you at one of our conveniently located offices or at your home.