Your child probably fell before, but this fall was different. This time your child didn’t fall because they were learning to walk, running too fast, or forgot to tie their shoelaces. This time your child fell because of a property owner’s or manager’s negligence and your child got hurt.
Common Places for Child Falls
Children, like adults, can fall anywhere. For example, your child may have fallen and gotten hurt at a(n):
- Store. Broken shopping carts, slippery floors, and cluttered aisles may cause slip and fall injuries at grocery stores and other retail stores.
- Playground. You may bring your child to the playground because it’s a safe place to play. However, each year hundreds of thousands of children are hurt, tens of thousands of children require hospitalization, and some die from playground injuries. If your child’s own negligence—or yours—caused them to fall and be hurt, then your child is unlikely to recover damages for their injuries. However, if the playground was negligently designed or inadequately maintained, then someone else may be liable for your child’s injuries.
- Indoor play space. Indoor play spaces are essential for parents of young children on harsh winter days or rainy summer days in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. However, indoor play spaces carry many of the same risks as outdoor playgrounds. Additionally, inadequate lighting, torn carpeting, and slippery floors may create fall risks.
- Birthday party. A birthday party held at a business establishment, restaurant, or private home may be a lot of fun until your child slips and falls. Depending on the location and circumstances of the fall, the property owner, business, or party host may be liable for your child’s injuries.
- Friend’s house. Whether your child was being cared for by your friend or playing with a classmate, the homeowner or property owner has a responsibility to prevent reasonably foreseen fall accidents. For example, property owners should ensure that carpeting, tile, and other flooring are adequately maintained, that floors are dry, that stairs and railings are up to code, and that the property is reasonably safe.
- Camp or extracurricular activity. Facilities and equipment should be adequately maintained to prevent your child’s slip or trip and fall at camp or an after-school, weekend, or summer activity.
- Hotels. Slippery hotel floors, inadequate lighting, broken stairs or railings, malfunctioning elevators or escalators, and other hazards may cause your child to slip and fall in a hotel.
This list is not all-inclusive, and you should consult an experienced fall injury lawyer if your child was hurt in a fall accident anywhere other than your property.
Children Do Suffer Fall Injuries
Children may be more resilient than adults, but they may still suffer severe fall injuries, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Eye injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
The most severe falls may result in death.
Could Your Child Have a Slip and Fall Case?
To receive compensation for a fall injury, you must prove that the property owner or manager:
- Had a legal duty to keep your child safe.
- Knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition on the premises.
- Had an opportunity to repair or warn of the dangerous condition.
- Caused your child’s injury by failing to repair or warn of the dangerous condition.
A lawyer can evaluate the evidence and determine whether you have a case worth pursuing.
What to Do After Your Child Is Hurt in a Fall Accident
To protect your child’s rights, you should take the following steps after a fall injury:
- Get immediate medical care for your child’s injuries.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- If possible, take pictures of the scene and the condition that caused the accident.
In the days and weeks that follow your child’s fall injury, you can:
- Follow doctors’ orders for follow-up care. The exact nature of the medical care will depend on your child’s injuries but may include ongoing doctor’s appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other appointments.
- Save all documentation related to the accident. Ask for a copy of your child’s medical records.
- Do not sign any papers or insurance company agreements until you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer.
- Pursue legal action. You may need to file a legal claim to get the necessary compensation from the homeowner’s, renter’s, or property owner’s insurance company. A legal action need not be personal, and it may be possible to maintain your relationship with a person who was caring for your child at the time of the accident if your child fell at a friend’s house.
- Let your child know it was not their fault. Your child did not do this on purpose, and they are not to blame.
- Contact a slip and fall lawyer. Our lawyers provide free consultations so that you can learn about your rights and make informed decisions about how to protect your child’s future.
Consider These Slip and Fall Damages
People may tell you that it isn’t essential for you to contact a lawyer because your child does not earn an income and because you have health insurance to cover your child’s medical costs.
While both of these things may be true, there still may be important reasons to consult a personal injury lawyer if your child is hurt.
Your child may incur financial injuries that are significant regardless of your health insurance coverage or their non-working status. A fall injury could result in:
- Time lost from their education and other activities.
- Medical expenses or rehabilitation therapies that are not covered by your insurance.
- Expenses for your family if you need to take off from work to care for your child or hire someone to do it.
- Permanent injuries that affect your child for the rest of their life.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering that is deserving of compensation.
Other costs and injuries may also occur.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible because:
- The law provides you with a limited amount of time to file a case.
- It is easier to collect evidence soon after an accident occurs.
- The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you may be able to recover damages.
We invite you to contact our experienced slip and fall lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation in any of our 11 Midwest personal injury offices, your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference.
Insurance companies know what we mean business and are often willing to settle our clients’ claims. Over the past half-century, we’ve helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Contact us today to talk about how we may be able to help your child recover from a Wisconsin, Illinois, or Iowa fall injury.