Every child injury case is a story of a young life disrupted, and behind each one is a family seeking answers and justice. These victims and their families have undeniable rights, including the power to bring lawsuits or insurance claims as a means of seeking fair compensation for their suffering. In these challenging times, a compassionate and experienced child injury lawyer becomes a beacon of hope, guiding victims through the legal maze. Our attorneys here at Liberty Law Group are advocates for justice who understand the seriousness and complexity of child injury cases. We work to ensure that victims receive the maximum compensation they rightfully deserve.

Omaha Child Injury Lawyer

At Liberty Law Group, our attorneys and legal staff are relentless advocates for injured children and their families. Our personal injury practice includes cases involving child injuries due to an accident or negligence. Our team works tirelessly to pursue justice on behalf of families of those injured. Compensation for the damages suffered after a child accident can be pursued in the civil court system and in some cases require a jury trial or settlement negotiation to resolve the case. Our firm proudly serves the communities of Omaha, Lincoln, Papillion, and Council Bluffs. Including the surrounding Nebraska counties of Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Dodge, Washington, Cass, and Saunders. Our firm also serves Iowans across the counties of Pattawattamie, Harrison, and Mills. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the injury of a child, contact our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Child Injury Information Center

Below, Liberty Law Group explains the types and causes of child injuries, the various legal options available to victims and their families, and the indispensable role of a lawyer.

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Types of Child Injury Cases

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – Motor vehicle accidents involving children can happen in several ways. Children may be injured while riding as passengers in cars, buses, or other vehicles. They can also be hurt as pedestrians or cyclists in traffic accidents. Injuries in these accidents range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe outcomes like broken bones, internal injuries, or head trauma. Factors influencing these injuries include the speed of the vehicle, the use of safety devices like car seats and seat belts, and the point of impact in the accident.
  • Falls – Falls are a leading cause of injury among children. They can occur in various settings, such as at home, on playgrounds, or at school. Falls can result from overlooking a step on a flight of stairs, climbing on furniture, playing on playground equipment, or simply tripping while walking. Injuries from falls could include fractures, head injuries, or spinal damage. The height from which the child falls and the surface they land on often determine the severity of the injury.
  • School-related Injuries – Injuries at school can occur in classrooms, on playgrounds, or during sports and other school activities. These injuries can result from falls, collisions during sports, or even classroom accidents like cuts from scissors or other tools. Common types of school-related injuries include sprains, fractures, head injuries, and scrapes. The causes often involve factors like inadequate supervision, unsafe equipment, or overcrowded facilities.
  • Dog Bites – Dog bites are a significant cause of injury in children. The severity of dog bite injuries varies, with some bites causing minor puncture wounds or scratches, while others can lead to severe lacerations, infections, or even traumatic injuries. The size and breed of the dog, as well as the child’s behavior around the dog, can influence the likelihood and severity of a bite.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents – Swimming pool accidents include drowning, near drowning, slips, and falls. Drowning is a leading cause of death in young children and can occur quickly and silently. Non-fatal pool accidents can still result in injuries like concussions, broken bones, or spinal injuries, often due to slips or diving into shallow water. Factors such as lack of supervision, inadequate fencing or barriers around pools, and lack of swimming ability contribute to these accidents.
  • Poisoning – Poisoning in children typically occurs when they ingest household chemicals, medications, or other toxic substances. These incidents are more common in younger children, who often explore their environment by putting things in their mouths. The severity of poisoning can vary from mild symptoms to severe and life-threatening conditions, depending on the substance and amount ingested. Preventative measures include keeping dangerous substances out of reach and using child-resistant packaging.
  • Choking – Choking is a risk for young children, particularly those under the age of three. It can happen when they try to swallow small objects, toys, or foods that are too large or hard for them to chew properly. Choking can block the airway, leading to coughing, gagging, and in severe cases, inability to breathe, which requires immediate medical attention. Preventing choking involves supervising young children while they eat, avoiding giving them high-risk foods like whole grapes or nuts, and keeping small objects out of reach.
  • Child Abuse – Child abuse encompasses physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect. Physical abuse involves bodily harm or injury inflicted on a child. Emotional abuse includes behaviors that harm a child’s self-esteem or emotional well-being. Sexual abuse involves any sexual activity with a child. Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs, including food, shelter, healthcare, and supervision.

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Types of Injuries Sustained By Children in Nebraska

  • Fractures – Fractures, or broken bones, are common injuries in children. Kids’ bones are still growing, which makes them more flexible but also more prone to breaks when they fall or hit something hard. Fractures can happen in any bone but are most common in the arms and legs. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and the injured area looking bent or out of place.
  • Head Injuries – Head injuries in children can range from minor bumps on the head to more serious brain injuries. They can happen during falls, sports, car accidents, or rough play. Symptoms of serious head injuries include loss of consciousness, headache, vomiting, and confusion.
  • Burns and Scalds – Burns and scalds are skin injuries caused by heat. Burns can come from contact with fire, hot objects, or electricity. Scalds are caused by hot liquids or steam. In children, these injuries are often from accidents in the kitchen or bathroom. The severity of a burn is determined by how deep it is and how much of the body it covers.
  • Sprains and Strains – Sprains and strains are injuries to the ligaments and muscles. A sprain happens when ligaments (which connect bones) are stretched too much. A strain is when a muscle or tendon (which connects muscle to bone) is overstretched. These injuries are common in children who play sports. They cause pain, swelling, and difficulty using the injured part.
  • Cuts and Lacerations – Cuts and lacerations are breaks in the skin caused by sharp objects. In children, these can occur from accidents with knives, scissors, or broken glass. Cuts can be shallow or deep. Deep cuts may bleed a lot and need stitches to close.
  • Abdominal Injuries – Abdominal injuries, like injuries to the stomach area, can happen from blunt force, like a hit or fall, or penetrating injuries, like a stab wound. They can damage internal organs. Symptoms include pain, bruising, and vomiting. These injuries can be serious and often require immediate medical attention.
  • Eye Injuries – Eye injuries in children can be caused by chemicals, sharp objects, or blunt force. Symptoms include pain, redness, and vision problems. Treatment depends on the injury but can include rinsing the eye, patching, or, in severe cases, surgery.

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Common Locations For Injuries to Children

  • School and Playgrounds – Schools and playgrounds are another common location for child injuries in Nebraska. In these environments, children are active and can get hurt while playing sports, running, or using playground equipment. Typical injuries include falls, which can lead to fractures or sprains, and collisions with other children or objects, leading to bruises or cuts.
  • Roads and Streets – Roads and streets in Nebraska are a significant source of child injuries, especially for older kids. These injuries typically happen in pedestrian accidents or bicycle crashes. Children might get hit by cars, or they can fall off their bikes. Injuries from these incidents can be serious, like head injuries or fractures.
  • Near Bodies of Water – Areas near water bodies, like pools, lakes, or rivers, are also common sites for child injuries in Nebraska. Attractions like Fun-Plex in Omaha, with its water slides and pools, bring in many families. While these types of parks and facilities offer fun and relief from the heat, they also present risks such as slips and falls on wet surfaces, injuries from diving or jumping into shallow water, and the more serious risk of drowning.
  • Private Residence – Many child injuries in Nebraska occur in the home. This is because children spend a lot of time there, especially younger kids. Common home injuries include falls, which can happen from stairs, furniture, or playground equipment. Burns are another risk, often from kitchen accidents or hot water. Poisonings can also occur at home, usually from children ingesting household chemicals or medications.

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Liability in Child Injury Cases

In personal injury or wrongful death cases involving a child, liability can be attributed to various parties depending on the circumstances of the incident. The key factor is determining who had a duty of care towards the child and whether that duty was breached, resulting in injury or death.

  • Property Owners – Property owners can be liable under premises liability laws. If a child is injured on someone else’s property due to hazards like an unsecured swimming pool, broken playground equipment, or unsafe building conditions, the property owner could be held responsible. This liability is especially the case if the property owner was aware of the danger and did nothing to rectify it or warn visitors.
  • Schools and Childcare Providers – Schools and childcare providers have a heightened duty of care towards children under their supervision. If a child is injured due to inadequate supervision, lack of safety measures, or negligence by staff, the institution can be held liable. This includes both public and private educational institutions and daycare centers.</li
  • Manufacturers of Products – If a child’s injury is caused by a defective product, such as a toy, car seat, or playground equipment, the manufacturer can be held liable. Product liability laws require manufacturers to ensure their products are safe for use, especially by children. Faulty design, manufacturing defects, or inadequate instructions/warnings can lead to liability for manufacturers.
  • Family Members, Babysitters, and Friends – Parents and guardians are primarily responsible for a child’s safety. However, they can be held liable if their negligence or intentional actions cause harm to the child. In some cases, other individuals who have a duty of care towards the child, such as babysitters, family members, or friends, can be liable. Their responsibility depends on the extent of their duty and control over the child’s environment and activities at the time of the injury.
  • Government Entities – In certain scenarios, government entities may be liable, especially if the injury occurred due to poorly maintained public spaces or infrastructure. However, suing a government entity involves specific procedures and limitations, as sovereign immunity can apply.

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Attractive Nuisance in Nebraska

Attractive nuisance is a legal concept in Nebraska that applies when a child is injured on someone else’s property. Decades ago, Nebraska Supreme Court recognized that children may not always recognize the dangers associated with certain features or objects, and therefore, property owners have a special responsibility to prevent potential harm to trespassing children.

An attractive nuisance is typically something on a property that is likely to attract children and pose a risk to their safety. Common examples include swimming pools, trampolines, abandoned cars, or unsecured construction sites. These features or items can seem inviting to a child, who might not understand the danger they present. For parents in Nebraska, this means if their child is injured by an attractive nuisance, they might have grounds to seek compensation from the property owner.

Under Nebraska law, property owners are expected to take reasonable steps to secure or safeguard these potential hazards. This means if there’s something on their property that could attract and harm a child, they need to either remove the hazard, restrict access to it (like putting a fence around a pool), or take other appropriate steps for safety.

The attractive nuisance law typically applies to children who are too young to understand the risk involved in their actions. In a lawsuit based on attractive nuisance, the following must be proven: the property owner knew or should have known that children might trespass; the property owner knew and realized that the condition on their property posed a risk of serious injury or death; the burden of fixing the problem was not more significant than the risk to the children; and the property owner failed to do what was necessary to alleviate the danger.

This law doesn’t mean that property owners are always liable for any injury to a child on their property. If the property owner has taken reasonable steps to prevent access or injury, or if the danger is so obvious that even a child could recognize it, the property owner might not be held liable. Additionally, the attractive nuisance law does not generally apply to natural features of the land, like a naturally occurring pond.

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Lawsuits and Insurance Claims for Child Injuries in Nebraska

In Nebraska, when a child is injured, the legal guardians or parents typically have the right to bring a lawsuit or file an insurance claim on behalf of the child. This process involves several key steps and considerations.

  1. Filing an Insurance Claim – The initial step often involves filing an insurance claim. This could be with the insurer of the party believed to be at fault. For instance, if a child is injured in a car accident, the claim might be filed against the insurance of the driver at fault. Insurance claims generally require thorough documentation of the injury, including medical records and, sometimes, proof of fault.
  2. Establishing Liability – To succeed in a lawsuit, it must be established that the defendant had a duty of care towards the child, breached that duty, and caused injury as a result. In the case of a car accident, proving negligence of the other driver, such as speeding or driving under the influence, would be crucial. In incidents on properties, showing that the property owner failed to maintain a safe environment could be key.
  3. Damages – The lawsuit can seek damages for various aspects of the child’s injury. This includes medical expenses, both current and future, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
  4. The Role of Courts – In Nebraska, when a settlement or judgment involves a minor, the courts typically oversee the process to ensure the child’s interests are protected. The settlement amount may be placed in a trust or structured settlement to be accessible when the child reaches adulthood.

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Types of Damages in Child Injury Cases

When a child is injured, the types of damages that can be recovered in a legal case typically fall into several categories. These damages are meant to compensate for the various impacts the injury has on the child’s life and well-being.

  • Medical Expenses – This is often the most immediate and quantifiable type of damage. It covers all medical costs associated with the injury, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any future medical care the child may need as a result of the injury. If the injury leads to long-term or permanent disability, costs for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation are also included.
  • Pain and Suffering – Children, like adults, are entitled to compensation for physical pain and suffering caused by their injuries. This is more subjective and can vary greatly depending on the severity and nature of the injury. It encompasses the actual physical pain as well as the discomfort and distress the child endures during recovery and possibly beyond.
  • Emotional Distress – Injuries to children often result in significant emotional and psychological impacts. This can include anxiety, depression, trauma, and loss of enjoyment in activities they previously engaged in. Compensation for emotional distress acknowledges these non-physical impacts of the injury.
  • Loss of Quality of Life – If the injury has long-term effects on the child’s ability to enjoy life, damages can be sought for this loss. This could be relevant in cases where the child is left with permanent disabilities or disfigurements that affect their ability to do normal childhood activities or impact their future life opportunities.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity – Although less common in child injury cases since children are not typically in the workforce, if the injury is severe enough to affect the child’s future ability to work or earn a living, damages can be sought for loss of earning capacity. This involves projecting the potential future earnings the child may lose due to the injury.
  • Punitive Damages – In some cases, if the injury was caused by someone’s intentional harm or gross negligence, punitive damages might be awarded. These are not tied directly to the costs or impacts of the injury but are intended to punish the wrongdoer.

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Wrongful Death Actions

Wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another individual or entity. In the context of child injury, this means that a child’s death results from someone else’s failure to act with reasonable care or from an intentional harmful act.

In wrongful death cases involving a child, the legal focus is on proving that the responsible party’s actions (or inactions) directly led to the child’s death. This might involve situations like a fatal car accident caused by a negligent driver, unsafe premises leading to a fatal accident, medical malpractice, or even intentional harm. The key element is establishing a direct link between the defendant’s behavior and the child’s death.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

In Nebraska, the right to file a wrongful death claim typically rests with the child’s parents or legal guardians. These cases are brought forward not only to seek justice for the untimely death of the child but also to address the emotional and financial impact on the family.

Types of Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death / Survival Actions

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can include funeral and burial expenses, medical costs incurred before the child’s death, loss of companionship, and the emotional distress suffered by the family. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded, especially in situations where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional.

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How a Child Injury Lawyer Can Assist Victims and Their Families

Providing Legal Guidance

A child injury lawyer represents clients in cases where children are injured due to accidents or negligence. They understand the specific laws and regulations that apply to these cases. This background is crucial as child injury cases often involve legal issues that differ from adult personal injury cases.

Managing the Litigation and Proceedings

Legal cases involve a lot of paperwork, deadlines, and procedures. A child injury lawyer manages all these aspects, ensuring that legal documents are filed correctly and deadlines such as statutes of limitations are not overlooked. This is particularly important because any mistakes in paperwork or missing a deadline can negatively affect the viability of a case.

Calculating and Securing Fair Compensation

Determining the right amount of compensation in a child injury case can be challenging. A lawyer will consider current and future medical expenses, the impact on the child’s life, and emotional distress. They have the experience to accurately calculate these damages and will work to secure the maximum compensation possible.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting, and they often try to minimize the compensation paid out. A child injury lawyer knows how to negotiate effectively with these companies. They ensure that the child’s rights are protected, and that the insurance company offers a fair settlement.

Representing Clients through Trial

If a case goes to trial, having a lawyer is especially important. They will represent the child’s interests in court, presenting evidence, and arguing the case to a judge or jury. The lawyer’s experience in court is invaluable for navigating the trial process and advocating effectively on behalf of the child.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Child Injury Lawsuits

What constitutes a child injury lawsuit?
A child injury lawsuit typically involves legal action taken when a child is injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional harm. This can include accidents like car crashes, injuries at school, medical malpractice, or injuries caused by defective products. The lawsuit seeks compensation for the child’s injuries, suffering, and related expenses.

Who can file a child injury lawsuit?
In Nebraska, the lawsuit is usually filed by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the injured child. This is because minors (children under the age of 18) cannot legally file a lawsuit themselves. The parent or guardian acts as the representative in the legal proceedings.

What types of damages can be recovered?
Damages in a child injury lawsuit can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and, in rare cases, punitive damages. Future medical expenses and the impact on the child’s quality of life may also be possible.

How is liability determined in child injury cases?
Liability in child injury cases is based on proving negligence or intentional harm. This means showing that the responsible party had a duty to ensure the child’s safety, breached this duty, and caused the injury. For example, if a child is injured due to a poorly maintained playground, the entity responsible for the playground’s upkeep may be liable.

Is there a time limit to file a child injury lawsuit?
In Nebraska, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally four years from the date of the injury. However, for child injury cases, this period may be extended, as the clock starts running on the child’s 19th birthday, giving them until they are 23 to file a lawsuit.

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Additional Resources

CDC Vital Signs: Child Injury – The Center for Disease Control’s online guide and informational tool created for identifying and understanding child injuries. Resource includes statistics on child injuries and their causes. Visit the CDC’s website for more information.

UNICEF’s Guide To Managing Child Injuries – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund provides an overview for managing child injuries and accidents at home. Common child injuries are detailed in addition to tips for preventing accidents.

Child Accident Statistics – Stanford Medicine’s report on injuries that are caused by accidents and treated at emergency rooms and hospitals. Statistics are provided by the National Safety Council and the National Center for Injury Prevention.

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Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for a Child Injury Case in Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

At Liberty Law Group, our experienced child injury trial attorneys are experienced in representing plaintiffs in cases involving serious child injuries. Our team of legal professionals advocate on behalf of child injury victims throughout Nebraska and Iowa’s civil court systems. Our firm proudly serves the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, and throughout the surrounding areas of Eastern Nebraska. Including Dodge County, Washington County, Cass County, and Saunders County. Our attorneys are also licensed to practice in Iowa and regularly take cases in Council Bluffs, Pattawattamie County, and surrounding areas of Harrison County and Mills County. If you, your child, or another loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case.

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