Frequently Asked Questions
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What should I do if my child suffers serious playground injuries at a public park?
If your child suffered serious playground injuries – such as breaking his arm in a slip and fall at the park – while at a public park in Atlanta, speak with an attorney about your legal options. You might be eligible to file a negligence claim to recover damages, but there are certain restrictions on filing claims against a city or municipality.
The details surrounding the accident determine whether or not you can file a claim; your attorney will be able to review your case and determine eligibility, as well the estimated value of your claim.
Determining Liability for Playground Accidents
The first step in determining claim eligibility to file a claim for playground injuries on a public park is to pinpoint who is responsible for the accident.
A few of the possible responsible parties are below.
- The city or town
- Another party responsible for the playground (private playgrounds)
- The groundskeeper
- The playground equipment manufacturer
- The childcare worker responsible for watching your child
Cities like Atlanta are immune from government liability in some cases, but some injury claims are admissible, so long as certain requirements are met. You must establish that a city agency was negligent in some way, and that the negligence led to the playground accident.
If you plan to file a claim with the City of Atlanta, you must make your claim in writing to the agency responsible for your accident within six months of the accident. The city will then determine if it is liable for your child’s playground injuries. If so, you will negotiate a settlement. If not, or if you are unable to negotiate a settlement, you can file a lawsuit against the city. An attorney can be helpful whether you’re still filing your claim with the city, or starting to pursue a lawsuit.
Other claims involving playground accidents will differ. If filing against an equipment manufacturer, you may file a product liability lawsuit. If filing against a childcare worker, you may file a claim alleging neglect against the childcare center.
An Attorney Can Help Explore Liability for Playground Injuries
Attorney Jason Schultz has a passion for helping families stricken by injury obtain the financial compensation they need and deserve. To discuss a playground accident that occurred in Atlanta, contact Jason Schultz today at 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.
How do I prevent window falls when my child is in someone else's care?
Know how to prevent window falls when your child is in someone else’s care, such as a babysitter or daycare. The best thing you can do is to thoroughly check the location your child will be staying, look for hazards, and discuss your concerns with your child’s caretaker. If you are in doubt or believe there are dangers present, do not allow your child to stay there.
Checking for Window Fall Hazards
An average of 5,180 children were treated in emergency departments for window fall-related injuries from 1990 to 2008, according to a study published in Pediatrics in 2011. Window falls are real concern for parents, particularly if their child will be out of their care for a period.
When looking for safety hazards, you can use the following checkpoints.
- Is there furniture next to the window? Children may climb furniture and get closer to the window.
- Are there any open windows in your child’s reach? Whether or not the window has a screen is inconsequential. In the cases where screen status was known in the Pediatrics study, more than 80 percent reported a having a screen. Screens do not protect your child.
- Do the windows have window guards? If there are windows in your child’s reach, they should have rails on them.
- If the windows don’t have guards, do they have stops? These devices prevent the window from opening past a certain point.
- Is there soft plant material outside of the window? The severity of injury from window fall accidents is greatly dependent upon the type of surface on which the child lands. Soft ground and plants are best. Concrete and brick increase the risk of fracture and head injury.
- Will there be adequate supervision? The above safety measures are only effective to a degree. Learning how to prevent window falls comes down to ensuring proper supervision.
Speak to a Child Injury Attorney after an Accident
Knowing how to prevent window falls if your child is in another’s care may only go so far. If your child suffered injuries from falling out a window while in someone else’s care, a babysitter or daycare may be liable for injuries. Speak to an attorney to determine what type of legal action to take.
For assistance in the Peachtree City area, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.
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.
Are school buses safe for children?
A lot of parents ask themselves, "Are school buses safe?" Generally speaking, it’s relatively safe to allow children to ride on school buses. A report by the US Department of Transportation states: “The safety record for school bus transportation exceeds that of all other modes of travel.”
School Bus Safety Statistics
So how safe are school buses? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus rather than driving themselves or riding with friends.
Kids may even be safer riding the bus to school than riding with a parent. Twenty-three percent of student fatalities during school travel hours were traveling with an adult driver compared to one percent who were traveling by school bus, the NHTSA reports.
Why Buses are Safe
The NHTSA and the American School Bus Council (ASBC) explain that buses are safer because they have the following.
- rigorous crush standards.
- flashing red lights and a bright yellow color for increased visibility.
- well-trained and thoroughly screened drivers.
- and, added safety features such as cross view mirrors and stop arm signs.
The ASBC provides several other benefits of taking the bus over driving to school, such as the following.
- kids can safety text and study while on the bus.
- tardiness rates amongst those taking the bus is much lower.
- a “20-mile round-trip school commute saves an approximate $420 annually for each student who rides the bus and an approximate $10.9 billion nationwide.”
Bus Accident Injuries and Fatalities
Even with all the safety precautions though, bus accidents do occur on occasion. From 2003 to 2012, 1,222 fatal school-transportation-related accidents have occurred, according to the NHTSA. If your child sustained serious or fatal injuries in a bus accident, or if you were injured by a school bus, call attorney Jason Schultz for a free legal consultation in Atlanta.
Contact our accident injury team today at 404-474-0804.
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 type of long-term care will my child need if he/she suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident?
The type of long-term care a child needs for a spinal cord injury (SCI) after an accident in Atlanta depends on the severity and location of the injury. A serious injury can result in a complete loss of function in all four limbs. For others, the loss of feeling and mobility affects only the lower half of the body.
Common Types of Long-Term Care Necessary for a Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury
One of the first steps after a child suffers an SCI in an accident is developing a customized treatment plan. It may include a variety of therapies and healthcare providers. The goal is to address the child's practical, emotional and medical needs.
Occupational and/or physical therapy is one example of long-term care for a spinal cord injury. Specialized care may address issues with bowel/bladder control caused by paralysis. A child might need continued care for respiratory problems, which for some might include use of a ventilator. Some may require in-home nursing care. And some children have psychological problems they may address through counseling or other types of mental healthcare.
Ongoing care of some type is almost always necessary for a spinal cord injury. The child's age, extent of damage and other factors will play an important role in determining how that plays out.
Seeking Help from an Attorney if Negligence Caused a Child's SCI
In any type of long-term care, families can expect sizable medical costs. The financial burden can take a toll on the whole family. But if the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, a claim might address those expenses. An attorney can determine how liability could impact one's right to pursue compensation.
A catastrophic injury such as this might allow for recovery of other damages in a claim. Let's say a parent has to stop working to care full-time for his/her child. A claim might address those lost earnings. An attorney can consider other potential forms of compensation available; for instance, victims might recover damages for pain and suffering, disability and more.
Speak with Jason R. Schultz if your child suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another’s negligent actions. Call us at 404-474-0804 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation.
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 brain injury signs in a child?
Among the biggest fears many parents have is that their child suffers a brain injury. Signs may vary, but reporting them to a doctor immediately is important. Brain injuries can change a child’s quality of life and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly.
Children can suffer head trauma as a result of many types of accidents, including sports-related injuries, falls, car accidents and more. Injuries to the brain do not always manifest immediately, and the injured child may seem fine for hours or even days following the incident. It’s important for parents to be vigilant about seeking medical care for their child if he or she has had any type of head trauma or exhibits any signs of trouble.
Recognizing Traumatic Brain Injury Signs
In older children, traumatic brain injury signs may include:
- clumsiness/loss of coordination;
- loss of consciousness;
- nausea and vomiting;
- pupil dilation (one of both eyes may be affected);
- extreme confusion;
- combative or other strange behavior; and
- fluid coming from nose or ear.
In infants and very young children, some of the above named symptoms may be obvious, while others may not be. Young children may not have the language skills to communicate what they are feeling, and it can be difficult to judge things like clumsiness or speech changes in children who are still learning to walk and talk.
Youngsters this age may be more likely to exhibit changes in appetite and nursing habits, irritability, crying and other mood changes, sleep pattern disturbances, and loss of interest in toys and activities they previously enjoyed.
Help with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Following a Child’s Head Trauma
A brain injury can affect a child’s development and can have a serious impact on the family’s financial well-being. If your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta today to learn more about the resources available to you and your family to recover compensation for damages related to brain damage and other signs or consequences of head trauma.