Cumming, Georgia Kids Car Accident Attorney

Along with school bus accident cases, our child injury lawyers work on numerous child car accident injury cases. Whether an infant, toddler or young adolescent was in a car accident, if they sustained any injuries we can help you on their behalf. What is crucial to have a successful case is whether your child’s car seat or booster seat was properly installed because statistics show an alarming number of injuries or fatalities that could have been prevented had children been secured correctly.

According to the CDC, motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States between children ages 4 to 12 and the number two cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. One CDC study even found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children between the ages of 0-12 rode in vehicles without a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt at least some of the time. Car seats have been known to reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4.

Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) show that the most effective way to lower the risk of injury and death for children is to properly install and use the appropriate car seat for your child.

We can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your child is secured safely in their car seat, but regardless, they could suffer injuries from being involved in an accident. The hope is that those injuries are minor. In any event, your child should be seen by their pediatrician immediately following an accident.

Child Car Accident Claims

There are actually two claims for compensation when a minor is injured during a car accident. Those are detailed below.

The child is entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages. “Non-economic” damages include emotional stress, for example, while “economic” damages include a child’s reduced ability to earn a living in the future. This claim belongs to the child and does not expire until the child’s 20th birthday.

The second claim is from the parents for reasonable expenses such as medical expenses that were paid by the parents on behalf of the child between the date of the child’s injury and the child’s 18th birthday. In the case of a car accident injury, this claim must be settled or filed as a lawsuit by the parents within 3 years of the date of the accident or it will be barred forever.

When the insurance claim is paid for a child’s injury, a judge needs to approve the payment to ensure that the claim is paid in an appropriate amount in relation to the injuries sustained by the child and that it is in the best interest of the child to settle the claim for that specified amount. The judge will then enter orders requiring the parents to keep the child’s money in a safe and insured bank account until the child reaches an age where it can reasonably be paid to him. If a parent does not keep the child’s money separate and safe for the child to reach adulthood, the courts will assess severe penalties on the guardians.

Leave it to our child car accident attorneys at Leibel Law to advocate for you and your family after you’ve been involved in a car accident. However, no matter where you are located in Georgia, we will travel to you to help your child. Our stellar legal team understands just how much more stressful life can be for our clients following an accident, especially if their children were seriously injured. That is why you can count on us to deliver only the best legal representation. If you have a child who was recently injured in a car accident in Georgia, auto accident lawyer Steven Leibel and his team are here to help..

Cumming, Georgia Child Brain Injury Attorney

All too often events such as car accidents can cause brain injury in children who were involved in an accident. According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of permanent disabilities or death in infants and children. In fact, the two age groups at greatest risk for brain injury are age 0-4 and 15-19. Among those ages 0 to 19, each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries that require hospitalization due to car accidents, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes. An even more disturbing statistic is that each year there are just over half a million children that enter the ER for brain injury before being released. Because of these alarming numbers, it is imperative that you speak with our attorneys who have worked on child brain injury cases, such as the legal team at Leibel Law.

Although the symptoms of a brain injury in children are like the symptoms experienced by adults, the functional impact can be different because the brain of a child continues to develop. Recent research has debunked the assumption that a child with a brain injury would recover more quickly and better than an adult because they had more “plasticity.” The truth is that a brain injury has a more serious impact on a child than an injury of the same magnitude on an adult.

The cognitive impairments of children may not be immediately obvious after the injury but may become apparent as the child gets older and faces more cognitive and social opportunities for new learning and more complex, socially appropriate behavior. These delayed effects can create lifetime challenges for living and learning for children, their families, schools, and communities. Although some may have permanent physical challenges to deal with, the biggest challenges most children with brain injury face are changes in their abilities to think, learn, and develop socially appropriate behaviors.

The most common deficits after brain injury include difficulty in processing information, impaired judgment and reasoning. While it may become noticeable in adults just months after suffering a brain injury, for a child, it may be years before these deficits surface.

Symptoms and Signs of Brain Damage in Infants:

Brain damage can occur from either blunt force trauma to the infant’s head, or from a difficult labor that results in the infant losing oxygen. If you believe your infant may be suffering from brain damage, it’s important to know the symptoms, although some symptoms may not appear until several years after the brain injury.

Some of the first signs and symptoms of brain damage can be detected shortly after birth by looking at the infant’s physical appearance. Although not always present in all infants who suffer from brain damages, some of the typical symptoms and signs immediately after birth include:

  • Abnormally large forehead
  • Abnormally-shaped spine
  • Distorted facial features
  • Unusually small heads (more prominent in smaller infants)
  • Seizures
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulties in focusing the eyes
  • Infants with brain damage may also exhibit an abnormal temperament, with symptoms including:
  • Troubles with sleeping while lying down
  • Excessive crying
  • Problems with feeding
  • Excessively fussy for no apparent reason
  • Child brain injury recovery

When it comes to long term effects of childhood head injuries, the consequences of those injuries can range from mild to severe, and recovery can be difficult to predict for each child. With early diagnosis and ongoing therapeutic intervention, the severity of these symptoms may decrease. Symptoms can vary significantly depending on the extent and location of the brain injury. Impairments in one or more areas are common so it is important to be familiar with what those are. Traumatic brain injury resources for parents can be found at Brain Injury Association of America.

Physical, cognitive and emotional impairments include:

  • Speech delay
  • Short term memory deficits
  • Mood swings
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing
  • Impaired concentration
  • Slowness of thinking
  • Self-centeredness
  • Headaches
  • Limited attention span
  • Anxiety
  • Motor coordination
  • Depression
  • Spasticity of muscles
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Paresis or paralysis
  • Seizure disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty controlling emotions

Cumming, Georgia School Bus Accident Attorney

Every morning millions of Americans send their children off to school on a school bus, expecting for them to arrive safely. To say that our children are precious cargo would be an understatement, but injuries on school buses do happen. On average, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports about 134 fatalities in school-vehicle-related crashes each year. Nearly 8% of those are bus riders, while pedestrians, bicyclists and others outside the bus make up 21% of that.

According to 2017 school bus accident statistics, an average of 30 school-age children are killed each year in school-transportation-related crashes, with most of them being outside of the bus or in other vehicles. Of course, that’s 30 too many. Despite school buses being the most regulated vehicles on the road, there are still some serious injuries, if not fatalities, that occur.

Stop-arm laws have been enacted in all states to protect children from other motorists as well as flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, and protective seating with high crush standards and rollover protection features. Even though seat belts are not required on large school buses, through compartmentalization children are protected from crashes by strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs.

COMMON CAUSES OF SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENTS

  • Driver distraction or negligence due to fatigue
  • Poor Road conditions and construction problems
  • Mechanical Issues
  • Other motorists

When it comes to school bus accident lawsuits and settlements, there are aspects of that differ from auto collisions. We break those examples down below.

Private vs. Government Employees

One important thing to note about bus accident lawsuits is the fact that many buses are owned by state or local government entities. A public-school bus is most likely owned by a government entity, which means a government employee could be under the protection of “sovereign immunity,” and those are accelerated or special procedural requirements that must be met when making a claim.

Sovereign Immunity

Referring to the government’s immunity from lawsuit, sovereign immunity is not necessarily granted to school districts. Moreover, most government entities will allow a lawsuit by waiver or consent to suit if the complaining party complies with the stricter procedural requirements associated with lawsuits against the government.

Notice of Claim and Statutes of Limitations

A notice of claim is simply notification of your intent to sue. As with statutes of limitations, failing to file this notice results in the loss of the ability to sue. Although the statute of limitations on personal injury suits is two or more years, a notice of claim and require action within just a few months. The proper filing of a notice of claim does not supersede the requirements of the statute of limitations and vice versa.

Limitations of Recovery

There may also be a limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered. States may limit the availability of “non-economic damages” for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other difficult-to-quantify injuries. States may also limit or bar punitive damages, damages that are intended to punish the responsible party.

For all these protections toward government employees, it is imperative that you follow a few crucial steps if your child was involved in a school bus accident. After your child seeks medical attention, be sure to reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury and car accident law firm such as Leibel Law, who will be able to identify the cause of the accident to then hold the party responsible accountable for their negligence—whether it’s the bus driver, another motorist, or even the school bus manufacturer.

Our reputable law firm has many years of experience working with bus accident victims in Georgia. At Leibel Law, we recognize how much an accident can affect you and your family. That is the reason we work diligently to best represent our clients. So, if your child has been injured in a school bus accident in Northeast Georgia, our seasoned attorney Steven Leibel is who you want working on the case.

Here’s what else you’ll need to know following school bus accident

A police report from the accident will establish fault and the other driver will be held responsible as is the case after most car accidents. His or her insurance company will cover your medical and hospital bills. If your child is in need of medical treatment, the insurance company would also more than likely take care of those bills. Even so, you will have to hire a lawyer as you’d be filing a lawsuit as guardian ad lite. Fortunately, the chances of stepping into court are low as insurance companies lean toward offering a child car accident settlement. But you must make sure the compensation is enough to reimburse you for child’s medical and hospital expenses.

If the insurance company is not willing to pay your child’s bills, then working closely with your attorney will be even more beneficial in successfully filing a suit on behalf of your child as his or her legal guardian.

About Leibel Law

Cumming-based Leibel Law has a winning team of child brain injury lawyers ready to guide you through the steps you’ll need to take after an accident. As longtime legal professionals well-versed on the laws that pertain to brain injury, we are able to handle your case diligently. We encourage you to contact our office so we can schedule a free consultation with you to review your case and determine how we may help you attain just compensation. Day or night, we are always available to help you through the entire process, so you can rest assured. Be sure to call us today!

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