WHAT WE DO
The most difficult cases we handle in our office involve the death or serious injury of a child. It's heartbreaking to see the emotional devastation parents, grandparents, and siblings experience after a child has been killed or injured in an accident. As we all have children in our lives, we understand how traumatic these experiences can be for families.
When tragedy strikes, the lives of parents are turned upside down. If their child has been seriously injured, parents are left trying to navigate the medical community and health insurance. If someone has lost a child, just trying to get out of bed can seem like a monumental task. Deaths or injuries caused by someone else's careless conduct adds even more stress because it entails dealing with a legal system with which most people have little familiarity.
We've found that parents whose kids have been hurt or killed in accidents have so much on their minds that they don't need more confusion when they're exploring their legal options. The attorneys in our office believe knowledge is power. Our goal is to help parents understand how they can best protect their rights and their children's rights. When parents meet with us, they're often confused and heartbroken. They're looking for straightforward answers and guidance. We hope to provide solid information for parents so they feel like they have a grasp on the basics before they consult with an attorney.
When an accident causes a child's death or injury, parents aren't thinking about lawyers and litigation. They're either grieving or trying to make sure their child recovers as fast as possible. But at some point, parents find that they have legal issues they need to address. People who haven't been in this situation expect that the negligent person's insurance company will pay for their medical bills, and compensate them for the loss of their child, or for the pain their child experienced. Of course, when a parent loses a child, no amount of money can ever make things right.
Unfortunately, it's rarely that simple or straightforward. Parents may find their emotional trauma compounded by the unfair treatment some insurance companies seem to incorporate into their business models. Insurance companies often want to close a file for as little money as possible regardless of whether the child and parents are treated fairly. Though this likely is a new experience for you, it's certainly not for the adjusters and lawyers who defend these claims for insurance companies. Even sophisticated people who are successful in other areas of their lives often find themselves shocked when they seek compensation on behalf of their child.
We have five offices in northwest Ohio where we meet clients: Downtown Toledo, South Toledo, Bowling Green, Findlay and Swanton.
STATISTICS SHOW IMPACT ACCIDENTS HAVE ON KIDS
A quick look at statistics involving accidents where we would expect to affect kids - in cars, school buses, on bicycles, on foot, and by dog bites - reveals how common it is for children to be injured.
Motor vehicle accidents
In 2007, motor vehicle accidents in Ohio resulted in injuries to 9,159 children under the age of 15, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Traffic accidents caused the deaths of 39 children under the age of 15, according to statistics compiled by the department.
School bus accidents
In 2007, 275 passengers of school buses experienced injuries in Ohio. In many situations, school buses are not equipped with safety belts, which can increase the risk of injury to children.
In 2007, according to the Department of Public Safety, 610 children 15 years old and younger were injured and 13 were killed as the result of pedestrian accidents in Ohio.
Of the incidents reported in Ohio, 486 children through the age of 15 were injured in bicycle accidents in 2007, according to the Department of Public Safety. Two of those accidents were fatal.
Across the United States, 15 percent of all bicyclists killed and 29 percent of those injured in 2007 were under the age of 16, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent, according to the NHTSA. Brain injuries can be cut by 88 percent through helmet use, the national organization found.
In the United States, approximately 800,000 people a year suffer injuries from dog bites that are significant enough to require medical treatment, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the dog-bite victims needing medical attention, half are children, the CDC found. Kids between the ages of 5 and 9 years old experienced the most bites, according to the CDC.
TEN TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR RECOVERY
If your child has been injured in an accident, the initial steps you take can make a big difference to the outcome of the case. We've compiled ten tips to help you avoid insurance company traps and receive fair compensation for your child's injuries.
1. Seek treatment immediately.
2. Don't rush to settle your child's claim quickly.
3. Don't underestimate the insurance adjusters who contact you.
4. Don't provide a statement to the adjuster.
5. Don't sign any medical authorization forms.
6. Start a file to document everything connected to your child's case.
7. Honesty is the best policy.
8. Don't hide information from your lawyer.
9. Don't exaggerate the impact of your child's injury.
10. Hire an attorney who devotes his practice to personal injury cases.
Our Toledo, Ohio child accident attorneys will work diligently for you to ensure the process of litigating your child's accident or death is as easy as possible. Call us at 800.637.8170 anytime, day or night, if we can be of any assistance to you and your family.
If your child has suffered an accident or lost his or her life, our Toledo, Ohio child accident attorneys can assist you in making sure your needs are met.
WHAT WE DO