Children are notoriously injury prone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 9.2 million children annually visit emergency rooms for non-fatal unintentional injuries. Children not only lack the judgment and knowledge of adults, but they spend immense amounts of time on activities that can easily cause injury: climbing, running, jumping, throwing, catching, bicycling, swimming, and hurtling into each other.
Younger children also count on the adults into whose care they have been placed to protect them from harm at school, day care, and similar environments.
Since children are still growing, still learning, and still maturing emotionally and psychologically, the full effects of an injury may not be readily apparent for some time. Any compensation recovered by someone responsible for the child’s injury must be adequate to protect the child and the family’s interests in the future. It helps to have the advice of an experienced Houston child injury lawyer.
Differences between Injuries to Children and Adults
There are several types of injury that tend to have different, often more severe, consequences for children than for adults. Being aware of those differences is crucial to making sure that the child gets adequate compensation from the person responsible for causing the injuries.
Injuries to the Brain
Contrary to some conventional wisdom, children are not protected against long-term consequences of brain injury. It is, however, more difficult to identify the deficits caused by a brain injury in children. The problem is that children have much more learning to do. The injury may leave the information already stored in their brains intact, but damage their ability to add and process new information. That deficit in learning abilities may not become apparent for some time—maybe even years—after the injury, when the children begin to face the greater demands placed on them in the social and academic worlds. While some brain injured children appear both physically and mentally normal during the lawsuit to recover for their injuries, an experienced Houston child injury lawyer knows that medical evidence has shown that brain injured children tend to have lower IQ scores, especially when the injury occurred at a very young age.
Children with brain damage also are more likely to be emotionally disturbed—up to six times as likely as similar children without brain injury.
Growth Injuries to Bone
Children’s bones are still growing. If the injury affects the growth process, a child victim may experience:
- One injured limb being shorter than the other
- The injured limb growing at an abnormal angle (an “angular deformity”)
- Abnormal motion in an affected joint
Any of these problems can seriously affect both appearance and mobility.
Scarring tends to be harder on children than adults, both psychologically and physically. Physically, the problem is that the scar tissue grows at a different rate than normal tissue. Scarring near a child’s joints can restrict mobility.
Psychologically, scarring can make children extremely insecure about their appearance and inhibit their ability to form friendships and engage in social activity. As they grow older, it may even affect their employment prospects. The problem tends to be greatest when the scarring occurs before the children have fully developed their social skills and self-image.
Help for Your Child
The trauma and uncertainty of your child’s injury is more than enough to deal with. Get experienced help from Houston child injury attorneys who understand the finer points involved in recovering what your injured child deserves. The personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lapeze & Johns, LLPC, have 35 years of experience in handling serious personal injury cases in Houston, the rest of Texas, the Gulf Coast region, and throughout the country. We provide smart, aggressive representation with a 95 percent success rate. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can go back to helping your child recover while you leave the legal tasks to our compassionate professionals.
Call Lapeze & Johns today. Tell us what happened and we’ll tell you the best way to proceed. The initial consultation is always free, and we can come to your home or hospital if that’s what you need. You will have no out of pocket expenses and will pay nothing unless we money for you.