Being injured through the negligence of another individual can be a painful, costly and sometimes life-changing event. Because we as adults have the advantage of many years of life experience, we can see the world for what it is — an often dangerous place filled with pitfalls and potential risks. On the other hand, children — especially those very young — are generally unaware of many perils that surround them and their parents almost every day.
As relative innocents, very young children can be seen as being more or less blameless in their actions. When a child injures himself while playing with his friends or family, we immediately feel empathy for the youngster; hoping that he both recovers quickly from his injuries and that he learns from the incident, if only that he or she doesn’t repeat it in the future.
However, when a child is injured due to another person’s negligent or thoughtless actions, our reaction tends to be somewhat different. We may feel anger or resentment toward the individual who caused the incident. While the child may not know what occurred or who is to blame, the parents and society take it upon themselves to protect the child’s interests. Depending on the severity of the accident and extent of the child’s injuries, this is the point at which adults may retain the services of a personal injury attorney.
As Maryland automobile, trucking and motorcycle accident lawyers, I and my colleagues understand the incredible emotional hurt that families must endure following the injury or death of a child. Naturally, if one is hurt or inured intentionally they might decide to file a personal injury action against the negligent party.
In the case of children being hurt by another’s actions, such as in a car or trucking-related collision, the parents or legal guardians may be in a position to file a personal injury suit on the behalf of the minor. The suing of another party in such cases may include compensated for the child’s pain and suffering, as well as other physical injuries.
When a minor is terribly injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, the parents or guardians may sue for compensated based on present, future, and even past medical expenses. The suit may also include compensation for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs that are yet to be incurred as a result of the child’s future recovery from his or her various injuries, stipulated to help the injured child sustain a good quality of life and care going forward.
Of course, when a child is killed there is no amount of compensation that can equal the loss of that young, promising life. In these kinds of cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can include compensation for the family’s loss of its son or daughter, as well as for the loss of affection or love. The Court would need to approve any award, which may include specific directives regarding where that settlement can be placed.
Much of this pertains to cases such as one we ran across in the news a while back. According to reports, a young boy of just five years died following a rear-end traffic collision on a Beltway on-ramp on a Wednesday afternoon in December. The accident happened a little before 3pm when a sport utility vehicle struck a passenger sedan on the ramp leading to the inner loop of I-695 from northbound I-83. Based on police reports, cars stopping suddenly on the ramp resulted in a chain reaction crash.
The vehicle carrying the victim, his sister and their two parents was one of two vehicles rear-ended in that wreck. According to police, five-year-old Jake Owen and his older sister, Alexandra Owen, were taken by medevac chopper to the pediatric trauma unit located at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Sadly, the young boy died about an hour after being admitted to the trauma unit.
Police reports indicated that a preliminary investigation showed that speed may certainly have played a part in the crash; according to Maryland State Police, the SUV was speeding. Although there was no mention of whether defective vehicle equipment, such as brakes or steering components were also to blame, the investigation was ongoing at the time of the news article.
Boy, 5, dead after beltway on-ramp collision, BaltimoreSun.com, December 28, 2011