Issues That Are Unique To Accidents Involving Children
It is always tragic and serious when anybody is injured in a Tennessee personal injury case. But when the victim is a child, the situation becomes much more tragic.
When a child is injured, he or she has the same rights that an adult would, and the defendant’s negligence is evaluated the exact same way. Still, there are special issues that are individual to a child that an adult in the same situation would not have to face.
Telling The Child’s Story
The most obvious difficulty is relaying testimony. Although an older, more mature child may be able to give testimony, as a general rule, the child likely will not be allowed to, permitted to, or capable of testifying in court. A child often cannot relay a detailed retelling of the accident and of his or her pain, and children don’t understand the seriousness of the oath to tell the truth in court.
That means that you, as the child’s parent, will have to tell the story as best that you can. It may also mean that the facts of the accident have to be told through other people. These can include witnesses, police or police reports, or other scientific evidence (such as the kind that an accident reconstructionist may use).
Getting Medical Care
It also makes it all the more important that the child visits the doctor. The child’s disabilities, discomfort, and recovery, will mostly be told through those medical records. The child will not be able to explain inconsistencies or omissions the way an adult would.
Parental Testimony is Important
Parents or guardians will have to relay vital questions to the jury. Is the child more depressed after the accident? Is the child’s medicine having damaging side effects? Does the child cry at night because he or she is in pain? A parent’s observations become vital testimony, and parents should document every complaint that the child makes that is related to pain or disability relating to the accident.
Injuries and Healing
One advantage that children have when they are injured is that they are still growing, and we all know that children heal much better and much faster than older people. A child may grow out of an injury, or just heal more efficiently. A child also may have the benefit of being able to stay home and heal fully, whereas an adult would have to get back to working as soon as possible.
But children are still growing physically, and injuries can inhibit, stunt or impede healthy growth. Additionally, a child has years to live with whatever permanent disability may arise from the accident. Your Tennessee personal injury attorney should be prepared to show the jury the extra costs that may be needed throughout the lifetime of the child, where the child suffers catastrophic injuries.
Call the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, for help if your child has been injured in any kind of accident.