Injuries to minors frequently involve what is called an “attractive nuisance”. You have all probably heard the term. It is a concept of negligence that is recognized in many states. An attractive nuisance is an object which by it very location and configuration is attractive and also dangerous to children according to personal injury lawyer Brien Roche. If the owner of that object allows it to remain accessible to children knowing that it will attract them and knowing that they will be injured if they come in contact with it, then that may be a basis for a negligence claim against the owner of that object.
Children Have Favored Legal Status
Many tort claims that are brought involve children. Children, in general, are given a favored status in the law meaning that they have special protection. This is true likewise in regards to tort claims. For instance, in regards to negligence claims, children under 7 years of age generally are legally incapable of committing any act of negligence. Children between 7 and 14 are generally presumed to be incapable of committing negligence although that presumption can be rebutted with the presentation of evidence showing that the child is, in fact, capable of committing a negligent act because of his intelligence level, experience level and other factors that may bear on that.
Presenting Damages Suffered
In terms of presenting the damages suffered by a child there are several important considerations:
- Frequently parents and treating physician maintain an almost false sense of optimism. That false sense of optimism needs to be given a dose of reality as to what really can be expected of this child.
- What this child is going through needs to be presented graphically so that everybody can feel what it is like to be this child. If this child is 12 years old and is now in a situation where he has no bladder control and needs frequent diaper changes that needs to be presented.
- The life care plan for the child needs to be fully developed. This child may be in need of life long care even beyond the life expectancy of the parents. The full scope of that plan needs to be developed and presented and fully justified.
- Consider the appointment of a guardian. The appointment of a guardian to manage the child’s finances takes this issue away from the parent’s control and insulates them from any accusations of seeking to somehow benefit from the child’s injury.
Brien Roche is a personal injury attorney with more than 30 years experience in injuries to minors, personal injury, negligence and product and premises liability cases. If your child has been injured, contact us today.
For more information about injuries to minors, or contact the Fairfax areas leading attorney, Brien Roche.