The thought of a serious or tragic accident involving children is a grim one, and dealing with the real-life consequences is downright sorrowful.
Over the years, we’ve gained valuable insight into how to approach cases involving child victims with special care and consideration. As Ohio personal injury attorneys, we intimately understand the extensive and often underestimated damage a child and his or her family can suffer. Physical pain, emotional trauma and financial hardship go hand in hand with injuries. All these things can be terrible for an adult to deal with, but for a child, the damage is arguably amplified.
Long-term pain and damage
What’s often overlooked is the fact that the very same injury suffered by an adult can potentially have further reaching implications for a child.
An adult, for example, may suffer a broken bone as the result of an accident. A single surgery may be sufficient to correct the damage and thoroughly facilitate the healing process. But for a child, the same fracture may require multiple surgeries and/or subsequent physical therapy in the months or years following the incident. A substantial injury can also derail a child’s physical development.
Another consideration is a child’s emotional and cognitive development. A brain injury sustained because of a faulty bike helmet or a poorly constructed jungle gym could have impacts on the child’s mental and cognitive growth—ones that aren’t immediately identifiable, or don’t manifest until the child is much older.
Some injuries are coupled with events so traumatic that a child could later suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) or similar scaring emotional effects. These impacts could impede the child’s ability to learn, cope and assimilate into society as they would have done prior to the incident.
The parents’ plight
Invariably, when representing children as victims in personal injury matters, attorneys have another important consideration: the parents and their often-overwhelming guilt. Guilt is a natural parental reaction, even when it’s unwarranted.
Maybe the child was seriously injured due to a defective toy. Or perhaps a household accident that the parent could not have reasonably foreseen resulted in death. We anticipate the parents’ guilt, no matter how unjustified it might be, and we’re prepared to help them navigate the complexities brought on by that guilt. Only experience can properly prepare an attorney to play a positive role in helping the family begin the process of healing.
Children deserve no less than our best
There is a notion that children tend to be naturally more resilient than adults. Supposedly, they can bounce back faster, heal quicker, and outgrow a traumatic experience with fewer emotional scars.
Even if that’s sometimes true, it’s certainly not assured for every child. We know better.
When a child is the victim of a malicious or negligent personal injury, there is plenty of pain to go around. Time and resilience can’t be used as excuses for not giving a child the best possible representation—and opportunity for justice.
If you require assistance with a child’s personal injury or wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Ohio personal injury attorneys at Cooper & Elliott. We’re here to help.
The outcome of any client’s case will depend on the particular legal and factual circumstances of the case.