Children typically suffer some bumps, scrapes, and bruises from roughhousing with other children while growing up. But a serious injury to a child can affect the child’s future and the whole family.
Children are protected by South Carolina law. If your child was seriously injured in an accident caused by others’ carelessness or negligence, your family may have a legal right to claim compensation for the child’s medical bills and other expenses.
You need guidance from a compassionate Columbia child injury attorney who can help you deal with the financial consequences of your child’s injury.
Joye Law Firm is proud to celebrate 50 years of delivering trusted legal representation to clients across South Carolina. Our Columbia injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm concentrate on applying our legal experience to try to make a positive impact in the lives of people we represent.
Our attorneys have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for legal skills and ethics conferred by the respected legal rating directory.
Call to let us review your child injury case and explain how we may assist you. If we handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. We only receive payment if we secure compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or a jury award.
Common Injuries to Children
Children do not have the life experience or judgment to recognize dangerous situations. In addition, they are impulsive. An injured child in Columbia or elsewhere in central South Carolina may require treatment in the emergency department at Providence Health or Palmetto Health Richland or the pediatric emergency center at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries such as those caused by vehicle accidents, falls and drownings are the leading cause of injuries and deaths to children. The most common accidents involving children are:
- Falls — Children are adventurous and many like to climb. Falls are the leading cause of childhood injuries up to age 15, according to the CDC. Each day, an estimated 8,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms across the U.S. for fall injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many fall injuries occur on school playgrounds and public playgrounds. Falls may cause head injuries, concussions, and bone fractures. Some occur because of inadequate supervision by school staff.
- Car Accidents — Car crashes cause injuries to hundreds of children in Columbia each year, including young children and teenagers. Head injuries are among the most common type of injury sustained by children in car accidents and these can result in developmental issues for young children. South Carolina requires children up to a certain age and size to ride in a car seat. But a child can still be seriously injured, even if properly secured in a car seat. More than half of fatal traffic accidents in South Carolina involve a drunk driver. If a child’s injury or death is caused by the carelessness or negligence of another motorist, the at-fault motorist may be held accountable for the harm caused.
- Burns — Fire is the third leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 14, according to the National Safety Council. Burn injury claims may involve schools, daycares or at-fault drivers who cause accidents leading to fires.
- Drowning — Many children are naturally drawn to water and swimming pools. Most drownings and near drownings occur when an unsupervised young child falls into or climbs into a swimming pool, unaware of the risk. That makes it critical for pool owners to take proper security measures to prevent unauthorized access to pools and pool accidents. Property owners may be held liable for negligent security in some instances after pool accidents resulting in injury or drowning.
- Suffocation — Suffocation is one of the five leading causes of child deaths, according to the National Safety Council. Infants may suffocate due to smothering by bed clothes, pillows, heavy blankets, stuffed animals, bumper pads or other objects. Older children may suffocate by getting entrapped in plastic bags, laundry bags, or abandoned appliances.
- Poisoning — More than 300 children are treated each day in hospital emergency rooms as a result of being poisoned. Young children may try to eat or drink unsecured medications or household cleaners, detergent pods or other products that can be toxic if swallowed.
- Sports — Participating in sports activities is an important part of growing up for many children in Columbia, S.C, whether it involves playing football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer or other sports. Nationwide, more than 1 million children are treated in emergency rooms for sports injuries each year. Coaches and parents should pay attention to make sure children taking part in sports are wearing the proper safety gear and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration during hot and humid days.
Where Children’s Injuries Can Occur
There are many different situations in which a child can suffer a serious injury caused by others’ negligence or disregard for safety. Some accidents are caused by a teacher or caregiver’s failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent a child from getting into a hazardous situation. Some accidents are caused by a property owner’s failure to secure a swimming pool or trampoline or lack of proper maintenance of playground equipment.
Our Columbia children’s injuries lawyers at Joye Law Firm handle cases involving the following types of accidents:
- Daycare accidents
- School accidents
- Playground accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Accidents involving unsafe products such as dangerous toys or car seats
- Car accidents
Who is Liable in a Child Injury Claim?
The attorneys at Joye Law Firm can conduct a thorough investigation of your child’s injury to determine who is legally liable under South Carolina civil law. If the injury resulted from an avoidable accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety, it may be appropriate to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation.
Children spend many hours at school. If your child was injured at school or while participating in a school activity, it is possible the school system may be liable for your child’s injury. However, public schools in South Carolina are generally shielded from lawsuits by sovereign immunity.
There are specific steps to take and legal notification deadlines to meet to bring a personal injury claim against public school systems such as the Richland County School District or a nearby public school system. That means that you have only a limited amount of time to have an attorney review the accident and investigate it to determine the cause.
If an investigation by our attorneys at Joye Law Firm finds evidence that a school system or a school employee such as a bus driver was responsible for your child’s injury, we can file a claim on your behalf and pursue just compensation. Filing an injury claim can focus attention on a systemic issue in a school system and prevent other children from being harmed.
The first step to take after your child receives medical treatment is to explore your legal options during a free case review with a Columbia child injury lawyer. It is crucial that you speak with a qualified child injury lawyer as quickly as possible. If you delay, you may lose the right to take action.
What About Injuries Due to Negligent Supervision?
Schools, daycares, teachers and other staff have a legal responsibility to keep safe the children entrusted in their care. When they fail to provide adequate supervision and a child is injured as a result, the school, daycare or caregiver may be liable for the injuries.
If a lack of supervision by school staff led your child to being assaulted by another student or suffering a preventable injury, you may have a legal right to take legal action against the school system. Teachers and school personnel have a legal duty to keep safe the children in their care.
Our child injury lawyers at the Joye Law Firm will analyze the incident and determine whether the supervision in the incident is question was less than would have been provided by a prudent teacher, coach or school system employee in a similar situation in Columbia. In some instances, this may be shown by a school system’s failure to hire enough employees to provide adequate supervision of students.
Contact Our Columbia Child Injury Attorneys Today
If your child has been seriously injured in Columbia or elsewhere in Richland County, and you believe someone else was at fault, seek legal guidance from the trusted legal team at Joye Law Firm. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of children who have been harmed. Upholding the trust that clients place in us drives our efforts. If your child was injured in a preventable car accident caused by another motorist, at school, at daycare or elsewhere, please do not delay in contacting our office to have us review the details of the incident and explore your legal rights.