Reno Child Injury Attorney

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for those younger than 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to more than 12,000 deaths a year, more than 9 million children are treated in hospital emergency departments each year for injuries. Many of these injuries will result in permanent disabilities that will remain and affect his or her future well into adulthood.

If your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s careless or reckless actions in Northern Nevada, including Reno, Carson City, or Sparks, you could obtain compensation for the compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages incurred. A Reno child injury lawyer can help.

When your child suffers a serious injury, it can affect the entire family, often in unexpected ways. You may find yourself wondering how to deal with the aftermath of a serious child injury or even what legal rights you may have. Children under 18 cannot recover compensation for their injuries on their own, but parents can file a claim on their children’s behalf.

The team of attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers has successfully helped many families recover compensation after a child has sustained serious injuries throughout Northern Nevada, including Carson City, Spark and Reno. While we cannot guarantee results, we can work to help secure the best outcome possible. Contact us today at (775) 600-6000 to schedule your free consultation.

Common Types of Child Injuries in Reno

Children and adults heal differently. Adult bones, for example, may have a harder, more brittle texture than children’s bones. Children may heal more thoroughly from injuries that adults might consider life-altering.

On the other hand, sometimes, children may suffer lifelong repercussions from even seemingly mild injuries, including lifelong scarring, challenges in mobility, or pain.

  • Drowning injuries cause more deaths in children between the ages of one and four than any other cause except birth defects. Even when drowning is not fatal, it can lead to long-term brain damage.
  • Traumatic brain injuries in children may cause substantial long-term learning disabilities, including memory impairment or difficulty with common educational tasks. In many cases, parents may not realize the full impact of traumatic brain injury until a child grows considerably older and has a chance to start showing those signs of cognitive impairment.
  • Childhood back and neck injuries may lead to long-term mobility challenges, including, in some cases, spinal cord injury, which may result in permanent paralysis.
  • Many children break bones in accidents. Sometimes, broken bones may heal relatively quickly. Other times, however, children may have long-term impacts from broken bones.
  • Burns occur commonly in children when they do not have adequate protection from heat sources around them, including, for example, an open flame. Faulty water heaters or poorly protected fire pits can also lead to significant burn risk.
  • Serious scarring, including facial scarring, not only causes considerable pain for your child during recovery, it may also lead to permanent scarring or significant emotional distress, especially as your child gets older.

How to Protect Your Child and Family After a Child Injury in Reno

When your child suffers a serious injury in the Northern Nevada area, including Carson City and Spark, make sure you take the right steps to protect your family.

  • Report the accident. You may need to contact the police to report a car accident, discuss your child’s injuries with their school, or consider reporting the incident to the facility in which it occurred. Reporting the accident will create an incident report or police report, which you can later use to help establish your right to compensation for your child.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for your child. Seek emergency medical attention at a local hospital, including Tahoe Pacific Hospital or Renown Children’s Hospital, or pursue medical treatment at an urgent care facility in the area, depending on your child’s injury. Medical attention can help prevent those injuries from worsening and make it easier for you to establish when your child’s injuries took place.
  • Contact a Reno child injury lawyer at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. A lawyer can help guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your child.

Common Causes of Child Injury in Northern Nevada

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that children under 18 make up about one-fifth of the population in Reno.

Some of the most common sources of injury to this age group include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents where the child was either an occupant of a vehicle or a bicyclist or pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common source of fatal child injuries and nonfatal injuries occurring in teenagers.
  • Burns from hot liquids, surfaces, or chemicals. The risks from burns include loss of bodily fluids, resulting in severe dehydration, the potential of severe scarring, disfigurement, or loss of movement of the limbs because the burned skin constricts as it heals. Infections are a major risk with severe burns and can result in death.
  • Accidental poisoning from toxic substances in the home, school, or other locations.
  • Falls occurring on the same level or at elevation. Doctors treat about 8,000 children for injuries resulting from a fall each day. Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries for children under the age of 15. Falls often occur on playground equipment, stairs, beds without railings, windows, elevated landings, bathtubs, and cluttered walkways.
  • Animal bites. About 52 million dogs live in the U.S., and approximately one-third of all U.S. homes feature a pet of some sort. While these animals provide benefits for their human owners, dog bites result in about 800,000 trips to the emergency department each year, with about 334,000 warranting hospitalization. This equates to one dog attack every 36 seconds around the nation. The most common victims of dog bites are male children between the ages of 5-9. The CDC reports that animal attacks are a greater danger to children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined and that dogs cause more injuries to children than bike accidents, playground injuries, mopeds, skateboards, and ATVs. In addition to scarring and disfigurement, animal bites also carry bacteria that can result in life-threatening infections.
  • Being caught between two objects or being struck by an object. This is the second-most common source of accidental injuries for children under 15. This can happen in sports or because of falling objects and overturned appliances or furniture.

Recovering Damages for a Child

Benson & Bingham red rocks
Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Reno Child Injury Attorneys

When a child is injured, the entire family experiences the psychological and financial impacts of the injury. Nevada allows those who are injured in accidents that someone else’s careless or reckless behavior caused to seek compensation for their injuries through a lawsuit filed in civil court. The compensation received through this claim is known as damages, and the act of seeking compensation through a settlement or litigation is known as recovering damages.

The problem, however, is that children under 18 are not legally permitted to file a claim.

In a child injury case, parents usually have two options for recovering damages:

  • A parent or legal guardian who has established a trust account for settlement or award damages may file a claim. The child may access those funds after he or she reaches the age of 18. The statute of limitations to file a claim for your child is generally two years from the date on which the accident occurred.
  • The child can file a claim within one year after his or her 18th birthday, even if the accident occurred years prior.

Negotiating a Settlement in a Reno Child Injury Claim

As with other types of claims, the vast majority of child injury cases resolve before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. One common method for resolving these cases outside of court is through the settlement process. The court must approve settlements in cases involving children through a compromise of the claim.

You do this through a petition to the court that includes all pertinent details of the settlement, including information on the claimant, his or her legal guardian, the defendant, the agreed provisions of the settlement, and acknowledgment by the guardian that the agreement fully settles the claim.

No parent wants to see their child suffer, but serious childhood injuries are distressingly common. If your child suffered injuries or died in an accident in Reno, Sparks, Carson City or the surrounding area, you might recover damages from whoever was at fault for the accident. While monetary compensation cannot take away the physical and mental anguish you and your child have suffered, it can help you care for your family in the aftermath of a tragic accident.

If your child suffered injuries or died in an accident, contact the experienced and compassionate Reno child injury attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC for a free case evaluation.

Benson & Bingham: Helping Child Injury Victims Recover Compensation

At Benson & Bingham, we have helped our clients recover more than $215,000,000 in compensation for serious injuries, including child injury claims. We have helped recover, for example, $250,000 in compensation for a child with microcephaly.

Our team of attorneys aims to help our clients:

  • Understand the compensation they deserve. Often, insurance companies throughout Northern Nevada will take advantage of accident victims who sustained serious injuries, pushing them to accept compensation offers that simply do not reflect the damages their children deserve.
  • Understand the complexities of child injury claims, including how to ensure that the funds recovered from the claim are set aside for your child’s later use.
  • Pursue maximum compensation for their children’s injuries.

Finding the Party Liable for Child Injuries in Reno and Northern Nevada

In general, people bear a much higher duty of care for children than they do for adults in similar circumstances. Frequently, children lack the reasoning skills necessary to keep themselves safe: remembering not to run out into traffic after a ball or balloon, avoiding pools and other potential hazards where they could suffer serious injuries, and speaking up for themselves when interacting with medical professionals, for example. People can reasonably assume, on the other hand, that an adult might keep themselves safe in many of the same circumstances.

The party potentially liable for child injuries includes someone who:

  • Bore a duty of care to your child at the time of the incident. This might include caregivers, school professionals, or property owners who failed to properly secure “tempting nuisances” on their property as well as drivers on the road with your child or the creators of products intended for children.
  • Violated that duty of care in some way. Sometimes, that violation might include simple careless inattention: looking down at a cell phone while driving through a northern Nevada neighborhood while children played nearby, for example. Other times, it might mean a more substantial violation, such as failing to properly supervise a child.
  • Caused your child injuries due to that violation of the duty of care. To file a claim, you must show that your child sustained injuries due to the accident—for example, that your child suffered broken bones, burns or scarring, or received long-term, life-altering injuries. In some catastrophic instances, the violation may result in death, such as drowning in an unsupervised or secured pool.

An attorney can help determine who may bear liability for your child’s accident and injuries and what steps you should take next.

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Reno Child Injuries

Can I sue if my child suffered injuries at a Reno daycare or school?

Yes. If you believe that your child was injured at daycare or school, take your child to the emergency room for immediate medical assistance, then contact a child injury lawyer at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. The emergency room doctors can diagnose your child’s injuries and provide the proper treatment. After you’ve attended to your child’s injuries, file a police report. If possible, take photos of your child’s injuries.

Can I sue the school district if my child suffered injuries on a Reno school bus?

You might sue the school district if the school bus driver’s negligence caused your child’s injuries. Negligence might include things like texting while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, talking on the phone, or even being distracted because the driver is eating food or watching other children in the mirror.

Can I recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit if my child died from their injuries?

Yes. Parents or guardians can seek to recover damages from whoever was at fault for their child’s death in a wrongful death lawsuit. Parents might recover compensation for loss of companionship, the child’s final medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and other damages. Contact an experienced child injury lawyer in Reno to discuss your case in more detail.

What damages might I recover if my child suffered injuries in Reno?

If you win your lawsuit or settle with the other party, you and your child might recover damages for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, long-term care costs, rehabilitation, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of future earning capacity.

The recovered damages belong to your child, except for medical expenses that you must pay.  As such, the compensation is typically housed in a trust accessible to them when they turn 18 years old.  The law firm that handles the case will assist with this process.

Who is responsible for the injuries my child suffered in a pool accident in Reno?

The owner of the pool and/or those who were supposed to watch your child might share responsibility for pool accidents. A pool owner who did not install and maintain proper fencing surrounding the pool area, did not properly cover the drains, or continuously supervise children in the pool might bear responsibility.  Oftentimes homeowner insurance policies cover the cost of remediation.

Can I sue a company if a faulty product injured my child?

If your child was injured because of a defective product, such as a toy, you may bring a product liability lawsuit against the toy manufacturer or seller. To win a product liability lawsuit, you will have to present evidence that the toy’s design was defective or the toy had incorrect or incomplete warnings about uses that could lead to injury.

Can I sue a Reno medical professional for misdiagnosing my child?

Parents can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical professional if the professional or entity misdiagnosed their child, made a mistake that caused their child to suffer injuries, or killed a child because of a medical misdiagnosis or a mistake. Parents can also often file a medical malpractice lawsuit if their child suffered birth injuries because of a medical mistake.

Should I hire a Reno child injury attorney if I believe I have a child injury claim?

Yes. Child injury law, including wrongful death, is extremely complicated. You should contact a child injury lawyer as soon as possible so that the attorney can get started on your child’s case as soon as possible. There are time limits for filing a lawsuit after an injury or wrongful death, so it’s best not to delay. An attorney can help you gather evidence, properly present your case, and protect your rights throughout the process.

Will it traumatize my child even more if they have to be involved in a lawsuit?

We do everything we can to minimize a child’s involvement in any case we take on. Expert witnesses, your child’s attorney, and other adults involved in the case will handle evidence, negotiate on your child’s behalf, and, if your case goes to court, they can testify on your child’s behalf.

How do I find a good Reno child injury lawyer?

First and foremost, when looking for an attorney to handle a child injury or wrongful death case, seek out an attorney who focuses on that area of law. There are many legal specialties, and the more specific an attorney’s experience, the more likely they are to know how to respond to the specific issues that will come up in your case. You should also make sure that the attorney’s office is close enough to home so that you can easily meet with the attorney about your child’s case.

Once you’ve identified some attorneys near you who practice child injury law, look for online reviews for the firm and the attorney. Select two or three attorneys with good reviews from your list and schedule a free case evaluation with each of them, so you can meet them and decide which attorney will be the best fit for you.

During your case evaluation, be sure to ask plenty of questions, including the years of experience the attorney has practiced child injury law, how many cases the attorney handled with similar circumstances to your child’s case, and how the attorney interacts with children.

How much do your Reno child injury lawyers cost?

An initial case evaluation is free, and we don’t charge clients for our services unless we win the case. During your free case evaluation with our personal injury law firm, we will go over the details of our contingency fee contract with you.

Let Our Reno Child Injury Attorneys Help You

Having your child experience a serious injury is one of the most upsetting things a parent can experience. Let an experienced personal injury attorney help you understand the process of obtaining the compensation you need to help pay for the expenses of your child’s injury, and the compensation they deserve to deal with the impacts that their injury has sustained in their present and future life.


If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident in Reno that another party’s negligence caused, you should contact us immediately to discuss the details of your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. We also serve clients in Lake Tahoe, Sparks, and Carson City. Schedule your free consultation by contacting Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC online or by calling (775) 600-6000 today.

 


Benson & Bingham (Reno Office)
1320 E Plumb Lane Ste A
Reno, NV 89502
Phone:775-600-6000

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