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Virginia Injury Blog
Injuries to Children in Virginia Are Often Serious

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Injuries to Children in Virginia Are Often Serious

By Jim Hurley, Portsmouth Children's Injury Lawyer

Serious injuries to children and wrongful death lawsuits after the loss of a child’s life are among the most tragic things we deal with as Virginia personal injury lawyers.

Children are considerably more vulnerable than adults whether they are crossing roads, in parking lots or at home. Generally, if you are under the age of 18, you cannot file a lawsuit without the help of a parent, adult or guardian.

The kinds of accidents that can involve children include:

1 Birth Injuries;

2 Accidents on playgrounds;

3 Accidents at daycares;

4 Injuries from crossing the road;

5 Injuries on bikes, scooters and skateboards;

6 Electrical shock injuries from power sockets;

7 Dog bites;

8 Injuries from dangerous and defective toys of other children’s equipment;

9 Accidents involving household cleaners and other substances;

10 swimming pool drownings;

11 Accidents as passengers in motor vehicles;

12 Accidents at theme parks, bounce houses and trampoline parks.

There are so many potential dangers that parents can be excused for becoming paranoid about their children. However, if you take basic safety precautions, your child should be safe. When parents contact us for help, it’s usually when their child or children have been hurt by another party. Often it’s another driver who has caused a crash, but the culprit could be the owner of a children’s attraction who has cut corners with safety, a public utility or a daycare provider. It could also be the manufacturer of a harmful drug that has been wrongly marketed to children.

In some instances, these accidents can result in death or severe disability. Personal injury lawsuits filed on behalf of children can involve very high costs if a child is facing the rest of his or her life with serious injuries. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12,000 people under 19 die every year in unintentional accidents.

Children are often more vulnerable than adults when they have accidents. Even slip and fall accidents can have very serious complications. Child athletes are more at risk of serious brain injuries if they are allowed to play on after a concussion and they may suffer from internal injuries and possible infection and psychological after-effects. Any such injury to a child can require specialist care and significant medical expenses and long-term rehabilitation expenses. See our website for more information about injuries to children.

Exceptions for Minors in Virginia Law

Virginia law has certain exceptions for minors. If you are injured while you are trespassing on another person’s property, you have no grounds to sue the landowner under Virginia law. Many states have an attractive nuisance doctrine. This means a landowner may be liable for injuries if he or she attracts curious kids. The classic example is a railroad that fails to properly fence off its yard, allowing children to play in and around the trains.

Although Virginia does not have an attractive nuisance doctrine, the courts hold that kids under age seven cannot be negligent. In Virginia, if you are even one percent negligent, you may not be able to recover compensation after an accident. Virginia law also holds that children between the ages of 7 and 14 lack the capacity to understand the dangers of their actions.

We hope your child is never injured in an accident, but if he or she is, they will need to recover the most. Call our Virginia children’s injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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