Dedicated Maryland Children’s Injuries Attorneys
Protecting the legal rights of children when they are injured due to negligence
Because children are less experienced, impulsive, and innocent, they can be more at risk for injuries than the rest of the population. One of the worst experiences as a parent is seeing your child hurt and in pain. It only makes it worse when your child’s injuries are caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. If this happens to your family, it is important to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions, or for their failure to act when your child is danger.
The Maryland child injury attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. have decades of experience representing injured children. We will identify the people or parties responsible for your child’s injuries and pursue the compensation your child needs not just to heal, but to thrive. Look to us for compassionate support and zealous representation.
How can we help today?
- What types of vehicle accidents lead to child injuries in Maryland?
- What you should know about teen driving accidents
- How do children get hurt on unsafe premises in Maryland?
- What are the most dangerous products for children?
- How does medical malpractice lead to child injuries?
- Can I sue for my child’s injury in Maryland?
- How can a Maryland child injury attorney help?
Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for children, especially those under the age of 12. Among the most common types of crashes are:
- School bus accidents. According to data from the National Safety Council, 109 people died in school bus-related accidents in 2019, and about 13,000 sustained injuries of some degree. If your child was injured on, or by, a school bus in Maryland, we can help you hold the liable parties accountable.
- Car accidents. One of the easiest ways to protect children is to buckle them up, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “67% of fatally injured children riding with unbelted drivers were also unrestrained.” Drunk driving, distracted driving, defective or inadequate car and booster seats, speeding, and defective car parts can all contribute to a car accident. So, too, can the size of a vehicle. Pickup trucks and SUVs have larger blind spots, which can increase the risk of a driver hitting a child.
- Bicycle accidents. The “good” news is that the number of fatal bicycle accidents in Maryland each year is low. The bad news is that the number of injuries riders sustain is high – more than 600 a year – and 143 of the cyclists injured in 2020 were under the age of 18. If your child was injured while riding a bicycle, call us today.
- Scooters and ATVs. About a quarter of all ATV accidents lead to child injuries, and the American Academy of Pediatrics warns about the significant dangers associated with children riding scooters.
According to the CDC, in 2019, more than 91,000 children were injured and 608 died in vehicle accidents, with improper or inadequate restraint use contributing to some of the greatest percentages of injuries.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle reported that teen driving deaths increased in 2020. According to their data, 50% of all teen driving fatalities between 2015 and 2019 were related to speeding. Other causes of teen driver accidents include drunk or drugged driving, distracted driving, and driver inexperience.
One relatively new risk for teen drivers is the influx of social media challenges:
- In 2020, a video showing a teen asleep behind the wheel of a Tesla went viral.
- In 2018, the “In My Feelings” challenge had drivers of all ages jumping out of vehicles to dance next to them. One teen, per the Washington Post, fractured her skull while participating.
- In 2016, a young woman using a speed filter from Snapchat crashed into another car at more than 100mph. The driver of the other vehicle sustained brain damage, and Snapchat removed the filter.
The truth is that the “fun” for teens is in the danger. Our brains don’t reach full maturity until the age of 25, which means the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that “performs reasoning, planning, judgment, and impulse control” – is still developing. As a result, teens are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior, which includes dangerous driving behaviors.
This is one reason why Maryland imposes restrictions on teen drivers. The law states:
If you are under the age of 18 and have a provisional license, you may not drive a car with passengers under the age of 18 for the first 5 months (151 days) of having that license. There are limited exceptions to this:
- A minor can drive a car with minor passengers if there is an adult in the car who is at least 21. The adult must have a driver’s license for at least 3 years and be seated next to the driver.
- Minors can drive passengers who are under 18 if they are related to the minor. This means they are a spouse, sibling, or other family member who lives in the same house.
- If a minor driver is pulled over for another offense, the police can cite them for this offense. The minor driver can have his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked.
Furthermore, a minor driver cannot:
- Use a cell phone while driving, even hands-free
- Text while driving
- Drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00am unless accompanied by a passenger who is at least 21 years old, or is “driving to or from a job, official school activity, organized volunteer program or is participating in an athletic event or related training session.”
There are several tools that parents can access and use for free to help them address the issue of unsafe driving, but the single greatest thing parents can do to reduce teen driver accidents is model good behavior. Don’t use your phone, always wear your seat belt, and call a designated driver when you’ve had a bit to drink. If you show your teens how to drive safely and correctly, they are more likely to imitate those behaviors when they get behind the wheel.
You do not have to be a parent to know that children can get hurt in many ways. Some are just rites of childhood – scraped elbows, bumped heads, and bruised knees. However, some injuries should not happen at all. If your child is hurt on an unsafe property, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit to secure compensation on his or her behalf.
Many premises liability claims involve falls, which can happen on uneven steps or walkways, on wet or icy floors, or from stairwells. Other examples include being hit by falling objects or being attacked or assaulted because of negligent security. While children are susceptible to these events as well, there are some types of injuries that are more likely for children.
- Dog bites. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) estimates that almost half of all dog bite victims are children, and that a quarter of these child victims will need professional medical attention as a result of the bite. Per CHP, “The most common victims are boys ages 5 to 9, and children in general are most frequently bit in the face, neck and head.” Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. has extensive experience handling dog bite claims, and was involved in writing legislation to help protect victims in Maryland.
- Injuries from sports and recreation. These can include fall injuries from trampolines, drowning and water-related injuries from swimming pools, and long-term brain trauma. Often, these tragic injuries are preventable and come from a lack of proper supervision or product defect.
- School, playground, and daycare accidents. Understaffed or improperly staffed facilities can lead to otherwise preventable injuries and accidents. These facilities can be held responsible if your child is hurt. Additionally, if unsafe playground equipment or terrain leads to injuries, the owner of the premises may also be held responsible. If you need a lawyer for a child injury at school or daycare in Maryland, we can help.
- Burn injuries. Johns Hopkins reports that “Burns and fires are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in children and adults, and account for an estimated 3,500 adult and child deaths per year.” Caustic cleaning chemicals, hot grease on a stove top, hot tap water for the bath – any of these can cause severe burns in children, which can lead to scarring and disfigurement. Our child burn injury attorneys in Maryland represent families whose children were injured because of negligent supervision, among other reasons.
Defective children’s toys cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. These can include anything from a doll with a choking hazard to the massive inclined sleeper warnings and recalls in 2020 and 2021. Dangerous children’s products can cause poisoning, strangulation, choking, or cuts and lacerations. Defective home appliances and children’s products can also cause physical trauma and fatal injuries.
Off-label use of drugs is common, but in children it can cause long-term complications and health problems that could affect their physical or cognitive development. This is important because children’s bodies are different, so a drug that is safe for an adult may be dangerous for a child. Some popular medications have been linked to birth defects, too.
As a parent, one of the most terrifying experiences you can have is learning your child is sick – seriously, life-threateningly sick. You expect that the doctors and medical professionals who care for your child will, above all, do no harm. When a medical professional is negligent, and your child suffers an injury as a result, you can make a claim for medical malpractice.
Pediatric malpractice can cause long-term or permanent injury to children and their development. Failure to diagnose cancer, and delays in treatments for any given number of diseases, can stunt physical growth as well. Your child may be left unable to walk, talk, get a job, or have a family of his or her own one day.
Sometimes, this malpractice occurs before your child even enters the world. If a medical professional’s negligence leads to a birth injury or inflicts harm on a mother during delivery, the negligent party or parties can be held responsible for the harm they caused. The Maryland pediatric injury attorneys of Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. help families whose children have suffered physical trauma, brain damage, and other types of injuries from poor and negligent care. We have experience handling birth injury claims that resulted in cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy, as well as other physical injuries.
When your child is injured due to another’s negligence or fault, he or she is entitled to the same types of compensation as any other person, including:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of earning potential
- Burial and funeral expenses, in cases of wrongful death
However, because children are minors (under the age of 18), they cannot bring a lawsuit forward on their own. Their parent or legal guardian may do so on their behalf. Although adults in Maryland have a three-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury action, for minors this extends to (essentially) the day before their 21st birthday. This does not mean you should wait to file your case. The sooner you take legal action against the negligent party, the stronger case our attorneys can build for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that minors are not held to the same standard of negligence as adults. Although Maryland adults may be barred from collecting compensation if they are found in any way responsible for their injuries, children are not. Children under a certain age are not expected to act in the manner of a reasonable adult and may be found incapable of acting in their own best interests.
The Maryland child accident attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. work to prove that your child was owed a duty of care, and that the at-fault party failed in that duty and caused your child’s injuries.
Determining compensation for your child’s injuries is a complicated process. Their future is still in front of them, and you are unsure how the accident will affect their life. Our attorneys are here to set your mind at ease. We have over three decades of experience working with clients just like you, and we understand how to build a successful personal injury case, even when the victim is a young person.
If your child was injured at day care, camp, or school, in a car or bike crash, by a defective toy, or simply because of the negligence of another, you may be eligible to recover compensation on his or her behalf. The attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. work to prove your case by showing the other party was liable for your child’s injury by proving:
- They owed your child a legal duty of care
- They breached that care through negligence
- That breach resulted in your child’s injury
- That injury resulted in losses and damages
When we take your case, we fight for the rights of your child to ensure he or she gets every cent needed to heal and move on from his or her injuries. We do not stop fighting until we feel justice has been served. Our track record of satisfied clients speaks for itself.
Do you have a child injury lawyer near me?
Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. maintains offices in Baltimore, Columbia, Crofton/Gambrills, Dundalk, Frederick, Owings Mills, Seabrook/Greenbelt, Towson, and Westminster. Call us for a free consultation at any of our locations.
Protecting the rights of injured children in Maryland
Injuries to children present different legal issues than other personal injury cases. The Maryland attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. understand how these injuries can affect your entire family’s finances as well as your child’s well-being. Let us fight for the rights of your child when someone causes him or her harm. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.