Built on Family.
Focused on Helping.
Dedicated to Winning.
We win or you don’t pay
500 ★★★★★ reviews
The last thing you want to hear from someone on the other end of the phone is that your child is hurt. All you can do is hope that it is not serious and then wonder what caused your child’s injury. Once you figure out what happened and you know that your child is getting the care he or she needs, you can work on the legal aspects of the case.
That’s when you need to call the Duluth child injury lawyers at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. We’re here for you when someone injures your child. We recognize the value of family—several Nicolet siblings and other family members work together here. We know how to come together behind those whose children found themselves injured due to someone else’s negligence. We’re here to help you. Call us today.
Those who may bear the responsibility for your child’s injuries include:
Often, determining who is responsible for a child’s injury is complicated. For example, if your child suffers an accident on faulty playground equipment, is the manufacturer solely or partly liable? Is a teacher who noticed defective equipment but let the children play on it anyway liable? Is the school liable? A Duluth child injury lawyer can help determine who should pay damages for your child. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today to discuss your legal options and who to pursue damages against.
Since a child under the age of 18 cannot file a lawsuit, a parent or guardian can file the lawsuit on the child’s behalf. A child is entitled to the same types of damages as an adult. The court also looks to see if the child behaved appropriately for his or her age.
In some cases, the laws for children are different. For example, if an adult trespasses onto a property with an unfenced pool and drowns, the family usually cannot recover damages since the adult trespassed. However, if a child trespasses in the same situation, the court is more likely to hold the property owner liable since he or she knew or should have known that the pool would attract a child and would pose a danger if left unfenced and/or unlocked.
A child can recover compensation for injuries, but the parent or guardian must place the compensation, less for medical expenses, into a trust or separate account for the child. The child can recover the same damages, including economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages if applicable.
Economic Damages. Sometimes called special damages, economic damages have a monetary value. The court orders special damages in an attempt to make the child whole again.
Economic damages include:
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value since you can never put a price on emotions and feelings. The court orders the defendant to pay non-economic damages as a way to make a person whole again. While the money does not make a child physically whole again or bring back a child who died from negligence, it does help the parents financially.
Non-economic damages include:
The injuries a child could sustain depend on the type of incident, from faulty toy or playground equipment to an automobile accident.
Injuries might include:
Your child could also suffer from secondary injuries, such as open wounds becoming infected. The defendant could also bear the responsibility for these injuries. Additionally, if your child has existing conditions and the accident or incident exacerbates them, the defendant could hold responsibility for the extra medical attention your child needs for them. If not for the accident or incident injuries, your child would not have the additional pain and suffering.
You might think it is easier and cheaper to settle with an insurance company without retaining an attorney. However, people that attempt to settle their own cases may leave money on the table. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. In any case, the money they have to pay out decreases their profits. They also know that most people do not know the laws and may use this to trick you into saying something that they can use to “convince” you that the pittance they offer you is all they can offer—or worse, to deny your claim.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Duluth child injury attorneys know the tricks the insurance companies use, so they cannot twist what we say, use it to deny your claim, or offer a pittance that might not cover your medical expenses. Insurance companies also know that when you retain an attorney, they have a higher risk of heading to a courtroom if you do not believe their offer is fair and reasonable. They would rather settle, because going to court costs the insurance companies a lot of money—sometimes even more than a fair and reasonable settlement because they must pay their attorneys to defend their position.
Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today to discuss your legal options.
Refrain from signing anything or agreeing to anything over the phone without speaking to an attorney first. If you sign a medical release or a settlement and it is not for enough money, you might not have enough to pay medical expenses.
Additionally, if your child sustained injuries that caused or will cause long-term or permanent disabilities, the layperson cannot estimate how much the child’s medical care will cost over the child’s lifetime—especially if your child is very young. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our child injury attorneys work with medical professionals and rely on our experience to help determine a fair amount of compensation in these types of cases. We can work to get you the compensation you deserve so that your child can receive the medical attention he or she needs, as long as the incident or accident caused the injuries.
One of the hardest things to do is predict how much a person’s medical expenses will be in the future. It is often more difficult for a child since he or she is not fully grown. Our child injury attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers know what insurance companies normally pay for certain injuries; plus we can enlist the help of medical professionals to determine the care your child will need.
Additionally, we figure inflation of medical expenses into the amount we request to cover future medical expenses. In some cases, we might have to call in expert witnesses even if we plan on settling instead of litigating—simply because we need to give the insurance company that last little push before moving forward with litigation. In many cases, the insurance company will come up with a fair and reasonable amount when you have an expert witness showing that future medical expenses could run as high as you are asking.
You have two choices: You can accept the last offer the insurance company makes, or you can move to litigation. As soon as you retain Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers and tell our Duluth child injury lawyers that you don’t think the settlement officer is fair, we can prepare the complaint, file it in the court, and serve the defendant(s) with the summons and complaint to get your case started.
Every year, thousands of children suffer personal injuries. According to the CDC, emergency rooms treat more than 9 million young people aged 0-19 every year, and over 12,000 die from unintentional injuries.
Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death for children. According to a CDC study, the child injury death rate in the U.S. was 15 per 100,000 population. Parents do everything possible to keep their children safe. Minor cuts and bruises happen all the time, but severe child injuries are devastating and often financially harmful for the child and their family.
The situation is intolerable when someone else’s negligence caused a preventable injury.
Sadly, children are frequently injured because of another’s negligence. Some of these are the same acts that harm adults, but children more commonly experience others. Children are naturally busy and curious, but they often lack the judgment and maturity to handle risky situations.
The leading causes of injury vary based on age, but many accidents can injure a child, including:
In many states, including Minnesota, a child tragedy often leads to new laws for the protection of children.
For example, Laela’s Law was named after a young Minneapolis girl who fell from a window. The law requires the attachment of safety screens, guards, or fall prevention devices in new or replacement windows above the 1st story in most apartment and multi-dwelling unit buildings in Minnesota.
Every parent deals with minor injuries with a kiss and a Band-Aid.
However, more severe injuries can also occur, including:
Adults must act with reasonable care concerning the safety of children. Caring for children requires anticipation of children’s curiosity and often-unexpected actions. Therefore, adults need to pay attention. Failure to take reasonable safety precautions may lead to liability.
Often, in child injury claims, more than one person or entity may be liable. Liable parties may include:
Child personal injury cases are, in many ways, similar to such cases involving adults. However, the significance of the injury is different for children because the consequences may alter their whole future. To recover compensation, the plaintiff must establish the negligence of the other party.
A minor child can’t file a lawsuit in their own name. However, a parent or a representative approved by the court to act as a guardian of the child’s property rights can file a claim on their behalf. If the parents are not in agreement, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to pursue the lawsuit on behalf of the child.
The parents or legal guardians may also have a claim to recover the reasonable and necessary medical expenses and other expenses related to the injury they may incur for a minor child.
Minnesota law requires court approval of any settlement of a child injury case. After payment of medical bills and attorneys’ fees, the settlement funds must be held in a court-approved financial institution.
Generally, the funds are distributed to the child when they reach the age of majority. If the child needs some of the money before that time, the parents or guardian must file a formal petition with the court. Overall, the court wants to ensure that the settlement is in the best interests of the child.
Determining the value of damages for a child’s injury may be particularly complex. Your attorney may work with medical and economic experts to ensure full and fair compensation for the child and their parents.
First, it is vital to establish the ongoing physical and emotional impact of the harm. Generally, the goal is to provide compensation for the physical, mental, emotional, and other forms of harm suffered.
Economic damages are out-of-pocket losses that result from the injury. These include medical expenses as well as other monetary losses. Injured children can also pursue recovery for any decreased earning capacity or loss of future earnings that they will experience after reaching 18 years old.
Non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages, include pain, suffering, and mental anguish. These are highly subjective and more challenging to value. The court may award punitive damages if the injured party can show clear and convincing evidence that the person at fault showed a “deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others.”
The injury may also impact the family finances. For example, a parent may have to stop working, either temporarily or permanently, to care for the child and attend medical appointments.
Minnesota, like every state, imposes various time limits on different types of claims. Determining the statute of limitations is complicated, especially when it involves a minor child. Therefore, you must speak with a knowledgeable attorney and make sure any potential claim is filed before the time limit in which to begin a lawsuit has expired.
Building a strong case requires strong evidence to prove your claim. Evidence can establish who is liable, the extent of the injury, and the amount of damages. Therefore, it is important to gather and preserve as much evidence as possible.
Evidence may include:
If you need to file a lawsuit, you have up to six years in Minnesota in many cases. However, when a child is involved, the child can file his or her own lawsuit once he or she turns 18 years of age. At that time, the child has one year from his or her 18th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit.
However, you should see a child injury lawyer in Duluth as soon after the accident as possible. Too many things could happen between today and the day the child turns 18. Companies could go out of business. People forget the facts about the accident or incident. Evidence disappears.
Additionally, you could face extensive medical expenses before your child turns 18. Your insurance might not be enough to cover those expenses. The money you get from the settlement or a trial award can help keep your family from spending your savings on medical care.
We can review your child’s case and let you know whether we believe you should attempt to recover damages now or let your child recover damages later. One of the main factors in determining the best time is the child’s age.
If your child sustained injuries in Duluth, whether birth injuries, vehicle accident injuries, or at school or because of faulty toys or playground equipment, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers in Duluth at (218) 217-0698 for your free case evaluation.
306 West Superior Street, Suite 606
Duluth, MN 55802