Since 1982 injury lawyer Timothy Houten has represented children and the families following a personal injury to the child. A father of two grown up children, Attorney Houten has the experience, in and out of court, to work with children and their families who are the victims of personal injury in Essex County.
Child injury victims are different. The youngest ones cannot speak for themselves. Older children sometimes won’t because of parental or peer pressure, or the perception of the same. Witnesses to child injuries are often not the parents and may not have the same motivations to help. Further, since parents and guardians are the ones who will hold and keep any financial awards, insurance companies and juries are often skeptical of giving big awards.
Children get injured in different ways too: children motor vehicle accidents victims; children injuries as a result of dangerous conditions in a store or home, and burn injuries are all, unfortunately, the types of cases we see too regularly.
Get an Experienced Middleton Attorney for your Family’s Child Injuries
What is involved in a child injury case? While insurance companies and insurance defense trial attorneys may not ultimately want to go to trial with a child as the plaintiff and critical witness, they still may put the family through many steps before offering a fair settlement. Those steps include a statement by the child and the parents or guardians; photographs of scarring; a deposition of the child and parents; securing the child’s before and after medical records; and talking to his or her doctors, teachers and witnesses.
How do we know a settlement is fair? You will need to go to an experience child injury attorney. Someone who has undertaken representation of many children, and adults, and can give you good counsel about the pros and cons of the case. The only way to be in that position, however, is to have aggressive representation all along. We take pictures, secure medical records, talk to witnesses and prepare the child, and the family, all along.
Medical Records and Testimony in Child Injury Cases
To file a claim for pain and suffering you must submit the child’s medical records to the insurance company. If there is a trial, you will need certified medical records to enter into evidence. What about prior records? If they are relevant, they may be required. What about unrelated records? If the insurance company demands them, or the judge orders them, you need an experienced child injury lawyer to keep them out of evidence. Furthermore, you may need the help of a report from the child’s treating doctor. In most serious cases, we need the doctor to testify at a video deposition or at the hearing.
Recreational Use Statute
A facility, such as a playground or park, that is free and open to all for public recreation, may be protected from liability by the Recreational Use Statute. This is a special problem with children, because we often encounter injuries on ball fields, playground equipment and at other such public facilities. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer will delve deeply into the facts and often finds “third” parties that are responsible. For example, a free ball park may have required a fee for participation in the league; or, there may be an outside contractor who is responsible for the cause of the injury.
Given the complexities of injuries to children, and the problems that could arise, you should call Middleton Attorney Timothy Houten for a free consultation.