Frequently Asked Questions
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My child suffered injury in an accident. Is my child’s testimony required in an injury claim?
Child testimony might be required in court for a case involving the child’s accident and injury but it’s unlikely to happen. That’s because a lot of child injury cases – and other personal injury cases – settle before reaching the courtroom. Even when the cases do go to court, the parents and witnesses, rather than the child, may provide the testimonies.
Determining the Validity of Child Testimony
When deciding whether or not to allow/request a child to testify, age might influence the court’s decision, but it’s not the final deciding factor. The court is allowed discretion as to whether or not a child’s testimony is valid and admissible.
Some issues the court may consider when determining if a child should testify in the injury case are listed below.
- whether the child understands what it means to be under oath.
- whether the child has the ability to understand and remember the event that caused the injury.
- and, whether the child is capable of expressing him/herself to answer questions.
It’s unlikely that a child will have to testify in a child injury case, but you can direct your questions and concerns with your attorney. Even though most cases settle out of court, a good attorney will be thoroughly prepared for trial, should an agreement not be reached.
Your attorney will be able to help your family prepare for court if need be, and can walk you through the legal process so that you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Consult an Attorney in Atlanta about Your Child Injury Claim
If you need to speak to an attorney about a claim involving child injury, and whether child testimony might be required, call Law Office of Jason R. Schultz in Atlanta for a free consultation. We can help with every step of the claim process. Contact us at 404-474-0804 to speak to one of our team members today.
What are some of the most common signs of daycare abuse?
The signs of daycare abuse for children vary according to the type of abuse and the child’s developmental stage and tendencies. Sadly, over 900,000 children in America fall victim to abuse and neglect each year, and childcare centers reportedly only about 9,000 cases, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.
Common Signs of Daycare Abuse in Children
There are three major types of abuse, each with distinct symptoms and signs.
- Physical abuse – physical abuse is often the easiest to recognize. Signs include unexplained bruising, frequent bruises, marks that look like blows from an object, dental injuries, head injuries, bald spots, changes in behavior, complaints of soreness, adult-sized bite marks, burns, and welts.
- Sexual abuse – signs of sexual abuse include difficulty walking or sitting, frequent urinary tract infections; yeast infections; bruising, bleeding, or discharge in the genital or anal areas; gagging; torn underwear; regressive behaviors; nightmares; and other behavioral changes.
- Psychological abuse – this type of abuse involves belittling, rejecting, isolating, terrorizing, or ignoring a child. Signs include changes in eating habits, self-abusive behavior, sleep disturbances, bedwetting, ulcers, extremes in behavior, depression or overly emotional, the development of a habit (biting, rocking back and forth, etc.), and withdrawal.
Getting Help if You Notice Signs of Daycare Abuse
Your child has a right to safety and wellbeing. You expect that your child’s physical, emotional, educational, social, and developmental needs will be met when in daycare. It’s a horrible shame and a sickening experience for parents when they notice signs of daycare abuse.
If you suspect your child has been abused, contact the local child protective services to report it. You may also wish to contact an attorney to discuss any legal avenues you may have available.
For legal help in Peachtree city, call attorney Jason Schultz. Contact us today for a free consult at 404-474-0804.
What should I do if my child is injured by another child at school?
If another child injures your child at school, it’s important to talk with school officials about the incident. But if there was serious physical harm done, also speak with an attorney.
School Liability When another Student Injures Your Child
Public schools fall under governmental immunity, which protects them from lawsuits. But school liability may apply if there’s proof of negligence. Private schools are also subject to liability if their negligent actions resulted in harm.
There are a variety of scenarios in which a school may be negligent. A common one is a failure to supervise. Let’s say a student on the playground was throwing rocks at others. But staff assigned to playground duty were off to the side talking with one another and didn't see the incident. As a result, a child sustains serious injuries to the head and face.
Another common situation is bullying or harassment that turns physical. For instance, kicking, punching or tripping. Proving negligence can be difficult in these situations. Let’s say the school had knowledge of a problem between students. A situation between them starts to escalate but no one intervenes. If it results in injury to a child, liability may apply.
Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel after an Incident at School
These types of cases involve complicated issues and laws. Of course, liability might also apply to the parents of the other child. But it’s important to consider the role school played. An attorney can help determine if its negligence was a contributing factor.
In order for anyone to qualify for compensation, the injury has to be of a serious nature. Should a child attack another while at school and it’s deemed deliberate, it would likely entitle the parents to file a claim.
Serious physical harm may be the result of bullying, an altercation or other circumstances. It’s important to understand your legal rights. Talk to Jason R. Schultz in Peachtree City if your child suffered serious injuries at school and you wish to explore your legal options to recover compensation. Contact us at 404-474-0804.
Can I file a claim against an unlicensed, negligent babysitter such as a neighbor?
It may be possible to file a claim against an unlicensed, negligent babysitter in Atlanta, such as a neighbor. This will depend on whether or not you can prove the individual’s careless or reckless actions were to blame for your child’s injuries.
Injuries Caused by a Negligent Babysitter
The good news is that licensure doesn’t impact liability if the babysitter’s negligence is to blame for a child’s injury. A babysitter may be negligent under various circumstances:
- Lack of supervision. A common scenario that might lead to injury is when a babysitter fails to properly supervise a child. For instance, the babysitter leaves the back door unlocked and the gate to the pool open. As a result, the child in his/her care wanders off and falls into the pool. If this is the reason for a child’s injuries, parents may pursue a liability claim against the negligent babysitter.
- Lack of care. Another situation in which a babysitter could be accountable for a child’s injuries is a case of inadequate care. An example would be a child whose medical condition requires medication and the babysitter fails to give it or overmedicates the child. As a result, the child becomes very ill.
- Traffic accidents. If the babysitter was driving a child somewhere and was involved in a car accident that was his/her fault, the parents may file a claim against the babysitter. The babysitter’s insurance may cover the child’s injuries in some cases, though parents may pursue additional legal action if the babysitter has no coverage or does not have enough to cover all damages.
Contact an Attorney if a Child Was Injured While under a Babysitter’s Care
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention concedes in an article, “Crimes Against Children by Babysitters,” that crimes of negligence often go unreported to police. If parents suspect negligence occurs, without obvious injury, then they tend to simply terminate a babysitter’s employment.
Thus, proving negligence in a babysitting claim can be complicated. Seek legal advice in Atlanta if your child’s serious injuries occurred while under the care of a babysitter for both your family’s and future families’ safety. An attorney can determine if there is a viable case and help establish liability. Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804.
Can I file a claim against a school district if my child suffered food poisoning from the cafeteria?
It may be possible to file a claim against the school district should a child suffer serious illness from food poisoning at a school cafeteria. Because of a variety of complex issues that could impact this type of claim, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice.
Government Immunity and Filing a Claim against a School District
Many school districts hire their own cafeteria workers. Therefore, if a child suffers serious school-related food poisoning, parents may in some cases pursue a claim against that particular school district. However, if an outside entity employs those responsible for serving food to the students, then parents may explore filing a claim against that company.
But school districts may be covered by sovereign immunity that protects government entities from lawsuits. Generally, if the school officials acted responsibly in performing their duties, the school may not be liable. In such a case, parents may talk to their attorneys about other parties that may be liable, which may include others in the chain of distribution.
Factors Relevant to a Claim Related to Food Poisoning Injuries
Food poisoning in a school cafeteria may not be a regular occurrence but it does happen. When it does, there can certainly be unpleasant side effects. This in itself generally doesn’t warrant filing a claim. However, if it caused a child to suffer serious or fatal injuries, then it might.
The claim must prove negligence. Although improper preparation and storage of food could lead to school cafeteria workers held responsible for the food poisoning, there are other scenarios in which food poisoning could occur. For instance, it may be that the food arrived at the cafeteria tainted. In this case the manufacturer who makes and packages the food could be liable.
Since the cause of food poisoning may not be readily evident and considering the complex laws that can impact filing a claim against a school district, seeking legal counsel is important. Call Jason R. Schultz for legal assistance: (404) 474-0804.
What are some school bullying myths?
School bullying is an unfortunate reality. The problem with this form of victimization is that it can spiral out of control, possibly leading to violence. It may even be considered a type of psychological child abuse.
According to BullyingStatistics.org, bullying is more often verbal and mental abuse than anything else (77 percent of students). About 14 percent of these victims suffer a severe reaction to the bullying. However, it can move into physical abuse.
School Bullying Myths
There are some myths about bullying that could lead to a lack of understanding in adults and others. Some of these myths can make the situation worse or even cause the victim to feel bad.
One myth is that bullying is no different than the normal conflicts in which children and teens may be involved. Conflicts stem from disagreements between people. Bullying is an imbalance in power, where victims are unable or unwilling to defend themselves.
Another myth is that dealing with bullying can make a kid tough or prepare them for the real world. But it may have negative psychological effects on some children that can be detrimental over the long-term.
Finally, some believe that the kids should work it out on their own. By failing to get school officials or parents involved, it is likely to continue and may even worsen in some cases.
Seeking Help from a Personal Injury Attorney in Peachtree City
If your child was seriously injured as a result of bullying, an attorney at the Law Offices of Jason Schultz in Peachtree City can provide consultation. We can go over the case of school bullying or abuse, and who may be liable for damages.
What happens if an injured claimant dies before their Fayette County personal injury case is settled?
When an injured claimant dies before their personal injury case is settled, the claim will often carry on through the deceased’s estate. The executor of the will, or an administrator if there is no will, should petition the court to establish an estate. That person would then take the place of the deceased plaintiff. Laws vary by state, so it is important to hire a Fayette County injury attorney who can help you with the process.
Those who will benefit from the deceased’s estate, such as family members and other heirs, are able to pursue the claim. However, any outstanding expenses from the injury, such as medical bills, will also belong to the person who wishes to carry on with the personal injury case.
Consulting with your Fayette County injury attorney is the best step because the insurance company will require attention. They may need some simple documentation or they may do something extreme, like pull their offer, if there was one.
Your attorney can advise you of how to deal with the insurance company. Your next steps will depend on what stage the personal injury case was left at. It may be easier if it was close to settlement. If the case was still in preliminary stages, you will need to decide if you want to continue to pursue it.
If your loved one died before their personal injury case was settled, you need a Fayette County injury attorney to advise you of your next steps. Rated one of the top trial lawyers in Georgia, Jason R. Schultz has the experience to win your case. Contact his office today at (404) 474-0804. But first, you can read our FREE eBook to learn more about personal injury cases: The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia: The Truth about Your Injury Case.
What are the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in a child in Atlanta, Georgia?
Your child can be exposed to lead in many places. From poorly manufactured toys to old house paint, even though lead has been discontinued in household products it is still a health risk. When your child suffers injuries and illness from lead poisoning it is time to talk to an Atlanta child injury attorney.
This is often more serious in children due to their size. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious symptoms such as:
- low appetite and energy;
- abdominal pain and cramping;
- difficulty sleeping;
- muscle weakness; and
Long-term consequences include loss of mental abilities, kidney damage, coma and stunted growth. The earliest symptoms are abdominal cramps, vomiting, seizures, possibly loss of consciousness and muscle weakness. In the event of these signs developing, poison control or 911 should be called immediately. The sooner your child can be treated for this serious condition the lower the risk of long-term damage.
After you have gotten your child the medical attention they need and have removed the lead contaminates from the area, it is time to consider your next move. Lead poisoning can cause lifelong disabilities and damages that could mean increased financial needs in the future. As a parent, you have the right to compensation from the negligent party responsible for exposing your child to toxic levels of lead. To seek compensation for the damages and losses your child and family have suffered from another’s failure to prevent lead exposure, you should work with an attorney.
An Atlanta Child Injury Attorney Can Protect Your Family’s Rights
An injury to your child due to another’s negligence is a situation no parent ever wants to face. Fortunately, you have the right to have an injury attorney help your family seek justice when your little one is harmed by someone else’s actions.
When you need help with child injury claims, auto accidents and other types of personal injury we are here to help. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. we provide our clients with our FREE eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia, to help provide them with the basic information needed to determine if they have a personal injury claim. When you’re ready to team up with an attorney to seek compensation for your child’s injuries after a serious accident, contact us for a FREE consultation – 404-474-0804.
Can I file a claim if my child suffers an injury while under the care of a babysitter or daycare?
When a child is injured by a babysitter or daycare provider, parents may immediately wonder if daycare liability laws will require the facility or person to cover costs associated with medical bills. While it may seem like a clear cut answer – depending upon the child injury – the answer is “maybe.”
Proving Duty of Care in Child Injury Claim
If you believe that your child was injured as a result of negligence and you think you have a claim in Carrollton, a personal injury lawyer should review your case to determine if the daycare had a “duty of care” according to Georgia state law. If the daycare had a duty of care, breached the duty and your child was injured as a result of that breach, your lawyer will be more likely to prove that the daycare was negligent.
Proving a Breach of Duty of Care in Daycare Liability Cases
To build a child injury claim, parents should explain the following to their personal injury lawyer:
- Was the child injury a result of insufficient supervision by the daycare workers or babysitter? If so, the daycare may be liable for negligence related to the employees’ actions.
- Could the child injury have been prevented? For example, a child falling from playground equipment could likely have been prevented with proper supervision.
Your claim must also consider “causation” and “proximate cause.” Proving causation is proving that the daycare’s negligence caused the child injury. Proving proximate cause is proving that no unforeseeable intervening events caused the child injury.
Before filing a claim with the daycare facility’s insurance carrier, consult a lawyer to ensure that you fully understand liability laws and that your child’s rights are addressed.
Need Help in Carrollton? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
As the victim of a child injury in Georgia, you have rights that the insurance companies cannot ignore. While they have a team of lawyers working on their side, shouldn’t you have experienced legal representation fighting for your best interests? Before accepting any settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation.
How can I tell if my childs head injury after an accident in Georgia requires medical attention?
If your child suffered a head injury in an accident in Georgia, it is always best to seek medical attention because the damage may not be obvious. A child injury attorney in Villa Rica is available to help if you have questions about possibly pursuing a claim against the other party.
A head injury can be deceptive. Your child may act fine, but there could still be damage. Traumatic brain injuries are the most common types when there is impact to the head.
While in any situation where there is a head injury, there may be signs that something more serious is going on. This could indicate the need for immediate medical attention.
Some of the signs that may indicate a serious head injury include:
- loss of consciousness;
- difficulty seeing or talking;
- severe headache;
- limitations in motor skills or cognition;
- memory loss;
- sudden changes in behavior;
- loss of balance/coordination; and
- inability to focus, pay attention or think.
Ensure that your child’s injuries are addressed -- it can become an important factor if you decide to pursue a claim.
If your child was seriously injured in an accident in Georgia, and it was the result of someone else’s negligence, it would be beneficial to contact a child injury attorney in Villa Rica. An attorney can explain if you have a legitimate claim worth pursuing.
Contacting a Child Injury Attorney in Villa Rica
As the victim of an accident in Georgia, you have rights that the insurance companies cannot ignore. While they have a team of lawyers working on their side, shouldn’t you have experienced legal representation fighting for your best interests? Before accepting any settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation on your case – 1-404-474-0804.