| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

What’s the long-term impact of a child breaking a bone?

Broken bones are common among children of all ages. They can happen for a variety of reasons including as a result of playing contact sports, in playground incidents or car accidents. Parents often ask doctors many questions when they take their child to the emergency room or an urgent care facility after such an incident. They often want to know what the long-term prognosis is for their children after they’ve broken a bone. It matters how you respond when you suspect that your child has broken a bone. You should make sure that your child doesn’t move or place any weight on any part of their body that has been injured until a doctor evaluates their injury. Your child’s doctor will likely brace, splint or cast a relatively minor broken bone to keep it stabilized. Your son or daughter’s physician may have to operate to reset bones or to insert a stabilizing rod in place if your child’s fracture is more severe. Parents who make sure that their kids follow doctor’s orders and return for regular check-ups are most apt to heal the quickest. Your pediatrician may end up having to reset or realign your child’s bones during these visits. These appointments may happen every week after an injury first occurs. These check-ups are critical to making sure that your child isn’t left with long-term consequences from their injuries. Young patients that break a bone and don’t receive follow-up care risk damaging their growth plates. This can lead to arthritis and other joint problems. Such an injury can also cause a child not to reach their full growth potential as they age. It’s the responsibility of day care workers, bus drivers, teachers and other caregivers to keep a watchful eye over your kids when your son or daughter is at school, at camp or otherwise under their care. If the person that is supposed to be responsible for your kids drops the ball in taking care of them, then you may be able to sue them for negligence. An attorney can advise you of your right to file suit here in Waco or elsewhere in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

What can you do if your child gets hurt on a school bus?

Statistically, letting your child ride to and from school in a bus is the safest form of commuting. Your vehicle, as well as walking or biking to school, would all have higher rates of injury and fatality, overall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that children are 70 percent more likely to arrive safely at school when traveling in a bus instead of a passenger vehicle. Bus drivers have special education and laws intended to protect them and the children they transport. Each year, only four to six children die as a result of an accident on their school bus. However, many others can end up injured after a collision or accident involving their bus. It only takes a second for another driver to make a mistake that can result in serious injuries or worse. Kids on buses generally do not wear seat belts, so the potential for many kinds of injuries exists. Children can sustain life-altering injuries on the bus Most children involved in a crash while on their school bus will have bruising, cuts or minor injuries. Some could sustain broken bones, often as a result of the impact of collision or due to falling from their seat because of a lack of restraints. It is also possible for children in a bus accident to sustain spinal cord injuries or even traumatic brain injuries. Some minor injuries will heal with minimal medical intervention. Traumatic brain injuries, facial contusions and broken bones, however, may require expensive trauma care, physical therapy or even plastic surgery every few years until your child stops growing. Even when the physical injuries heal, your child could still have serious fears, anxiety or post traumatic stress stemming from the accident on the school bus. That could require months or even years of therapy to correct. Any injury that leads to lifelong symptoms or compromises your child’s ability to grow, thrive and learn is a serious issue. You should carefully consider how these injuries will impact the future your child wanted, as well as your family as a whole. Bus accidents can prove to be financially devastating Costs associated with these injuries will vary based on their severity. However, many families may find themselves paying substantial amounts out-of-pocket for care, due to high deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays for each procedure or medication. One parents may need to take time off of work to support your child during recovery, which could also have a financial impact on your family. Your family shouldn’t have to bear the burden of the medical expenses related to the crash on its own. If your child sustained serious injuries as the result of a school bus crash or collision, you should seek guidance about your legal rights and options.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Multiple vehicle crash claims lives of young sisters

A chain-reaction crash claimed the lives of two young sisters March 2 on Interstate 20. The tragic accident involved six vehicles and started when another accident occurred about 15 minutes before this fatal crash. A bucket truck dropped two of its rear wheels when traveling between the Loop 322 and Elmdale Road exits on Interstate 20. The truck rolled over, injuring the driver. The driver was taken to a local hospital with undisclosed injuries. Because of the crash, westbound traffic on I-20 had to merge to the inside lane. Traffic stopped, and police began to put up traffic control. At the back of the line of vehicles that was stopped was a Dodge Caravan driven by a 49-year-old woman from Clyde. A Dodge pickup, driven by an 18-year-old, crashed into the back of the Caravan. The impact caused both the pickup and the Caravan to be linked together. These vehicles then struck a Chrysler 300, driven by a 42-year-old woman from Abilene, and a Toyota Camry, driven by a 53-year-old man from Baird. The two vehicles that were linked together finally stopped after they struck a semitruck that was loaded with steel on its trailer. The Camry and the Chrysler struck each other, too. Then they crashed into a Ford F-350 that was in the outside lane. Two sisters, ages 14 and 11, were killed when the Caravan crashed. Their mother was taken to Hendrick Medical Center with incapacitating injuries. She has since been released. The driver of the Chrysler was also transported to the hospital and was said to have non-incapacitating injuries. The crash is still under investigation. When you are injured or someone you love is killed in a crash due to another driver’s recklessness or negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages. An experienced attorney can help you learn more about your legal options. Source: Abilene Reporter-News, “Abilene police release details of fatal chain-reaction crash on Interstate 20,” Timothy Chipp, March 05, 2018

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

Charter bus carrying high school band falls into 50-foot ravine

Numerous members of a high school band were injured when the charter bus they were riding on went off of the road at the worst possible moment. It plunged off of a bridge and fell into a 50-foot ravine. The crash happened before dawn, at about 5:30 in the morning. The band was from Texas and had traveled out to Disney World. The bus was supposed to bring them home again, but it crashed in Alabama. The first responders had to rappel down the side of the ravine on ropes to reach the mangled vehicle, which had about 45 people still trapped inside. Some of them were trapped badly enough that the response team had to cut them out of the bus. The students were then taken to 10 different medical centers in both Florida and Alabama. Some were transported by ambulance, while others were rushed away by helicopter. At this point, the authorities still do not know why the bus left the road and drove through the median, prior to falling into the ravine. Students on the bus also sound unsure why the crash happened. One young man said that his sister, who is 17 years old, was near the back of the vehicle. She was thrown a few rows forward on impact, but came out of it with just minor bruises. He said that she remembered nothing but “a bump, then a crash,” followed by the bus falling onto its side. Incidents like this can leave parents worried and scrambling to drive across the country and visit their injured children. It is very important for families to know what legal rights they may have to financial compensation. Source: Fox, “Driver killed, Texas H.S. band members hurt when bus falls into ravine,” March 13, 2018

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Getting justice after your child is injured by a bully

Bullying can be physical, emotional or a combination of both. While a significant amount (28%) of all young people report that they have been bullied at some point in their schooling, this does not mean that it should just be accepted as a right of passage or simply as “character building.” Bullying can have a profound effect on a child’s confidence, self-esteem and academic performance that could impact them for years to come. If your child has been suffering due to being bullied at school, you likely expected that the school will have taken this seriously and intervened to stop further physical or psychological injuries. However, if they failed to do this, you may be able to take legal action in Texas. The following are some statistics that highlight why it’s so important to take action to protect your child. Teachers underestimate bullying at school It’s common for teachers to not be aware of the bullying that is taking place in their classroom or school. This is why you should make them aware of the information that your child has given you. While it is understandable if they do not know everything that is happening in the school, ignoring complaints made from children or parents is not acceptable. If you believe that your child’s safety is being compromised because of the negligence of teachers, you may want to consider taking legal action. Bullying can have negative outcomes for the victim and the bully No child wins when violence or harassment is allowed to occur without consequences. Allowing children to bully not only has negative consequences for the victim, but it can increase the likelihood of the bully to continue their antisocial behavior for years to come. Damages can be mental as well as physical If your child becomes physically injured after an incident with a bully, you may want to take legal action to gain back financial damages for health care costs. However, you should also consider the possible mental damages that your child has suffered. It can be possible to take legal action against a school when damages have been suffered due to negligent safety standards. All children have the right to feel safe at school.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Researchers argue security guards don’t make schools any safer

Researchers at Ball State University and the University of Toledo published a study in the Violence and Gender journal just this week. They concluded that school security efforts have little to no impact on deterring gun violence at educational institutions. In fact, they argue that security guards give students and teachers a false sense of safety. The study’s authors combed through school security data across 18 years to see how effective different measures are. They found that none of the approaches utilized have worked very well. They found that their hiring of officers to watch over school campuses has been done mostly to alleviate the fears of students and parents. They’ve also done it to send a message to those in the local community that they’re taking steps to make schools safer. The truth is that the number of gun-related incidents at schools is steadily climbing. There were 94 of them in 2018 here in the United States. This marks an all-time high. Data compiled by The Washington Post shows that 233 schools and over 226,000 kids have been unnecessarily exposed to gun violence since the Columbine school shooting occurred 20 years ago in 1999. At least 294 students, teachers and other support staff have been injured in these incidents. Another 143 of them have lost their lives. In addition to hiring armed resource officers to patrol their schools, administrators have also outfitted their buildings with bulletproof glass, metal detectors and video cameras. Workers have been given identification cards to carry around. Even still the numbers of gun-related incidents continue to rise. The researchers believe that this has a lot to do with how easy it is for kids to get their hands on guns. Children in Texas are at significant risk of being injured at school due to gun violence. A perpetrator often becomes increasingly isolated and shares their plans with others before they act. If school district officials have failed to take steps to protect your son or daughter, then a child injury attorney can advise you of your right to hold them accountable for their negligence.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

How do I care for a child with traumatic brain injury?

Caring for a child with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be stressful, emotional, daunting and difficult at times. Parents have an unconditional love for their children and it truly shows during times of despair, adversity and stress. If your child suffers a TBI, for whatever reason, you will want to know the proper ways to care for them so they can live comfortably and hopefully recover as much as possible. One of the most important things you can do as a parent when your child has a TBI is to focus on the daily successes. This is vitally important when they are in the rehabilitation phase of their injury. Daily successes can help with their confidence and show them that they are making progress in the right direction. Ups and downs will happen during rehab, so focusing on the successes will only help your child continue to move forward and get stronger each day. You should involve your child’s friends in his or her life as much as possible. Friends will wonder if their friend will return to how they were prior to injury and what they are like now. There’s nothing wrong with bringing friends into the picture. A child suffering from an injury could work harder to recover when they see their friends on a regular basis. Parents need to understand that there will be cognitive changes in their child because of the TBI. These cognitive changes could be so slight that they are not noticeable on a regular basis or they could be so significant that it becomes upsetting for the child and for you. Also be sure to encourage excellent communication throughout the family household when your child comes home from the hospital. Strong communication can make the recovery process much easier for all involved. Has your child suffered a TBI? Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you understand the legal process surrounding such an injury and how you can recover compensation for the injury and for medical care in Waco, Texas. Source: brainlinekids, “Children with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Parents’ Guide,” Lisa Schoenbrodt, accessed June 30, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

What if my child suffers a varsity football injury?

As we head into summertime and students move from one grade to another, many schools begin working with student athletes to strengthen their teams in time for football season in the fall semester. Throughout the country, the long-term effects of football injuries are causing many parents to rethink allowing their children to play the sport, but here in Texas many parents still find community and character-building merit in junior high and varsity football. Unfortunately, no one has ever been so respectful of the merits of football to avoid the consequences of regular, repeated impacts on a developing human body, particularly the lasting effects of head injuries. If your child makes the team this year, do you know how you’ll respond when injury strikes? A professional response uses the strength of the law to protect the child you love and ensure that they receive the care they need if and when an injury occurs. Strong legal action not only helps your child heal when injuries occur, it also helps ensure that other families understand that they have rights and may defend them. Who holds liability for your child’s injury? Depending on the nature of the injury your child receives, a number of parties may hold liability. If, for instance, your child suffered an injury because of unreasonable or unsafe activity during practice, the coach often has liability. Along similar lines, a child may suffer harm during hazing performed to “Welcome” them to the team. Of course, many injuries happen on the field during a game. These are not always simple legal issues to resolve, so it is important to consult specific applicable laws. Understand your rights before you sign them away Some parents have concerns about signing release forms for their child to play contact sports. If you have any of these concerns, do not hesitate to consult with a legal professional who can help you understand the terms of release and give you the information you need to make an informed decision. As a parent, it is rarely easy to balance between protecting your child and preparing them to compete in a difficult world. With a strong legal strategy and an understanding of your rights, you can offer your child the opportunities they want while avoiding unnecessary risks. Whether your child plays football or experiences some other school-related injury, your rights and the rights of your family deserve strong, clear protections, for your own peace of mind and for the sake of the child you love.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

Should drivers exercise a duty of care around bike-riding kids?

Although all motorists are expected to be careful when driving their cars near motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists, there are some who aren’t. Their failure to exercise this duty of care results in thousands of individuals being struck by vehicles each year. The large majority of bicyclists that are hit by motorists are children. In order for a plaintiff to be successful in filing a personal injury lawsuit against a motorist, they must be able to prove that the driver’s own negligence at least partially resulted in the crash. When a driver operates a vehicle around adults, their duty to exercise reasonable care is lower than it is when they’re driving around children. While they’re obligated to drive safely around everyone, drivers are supposed to be able to count on adults to be more careful than children when they ride bicycles. While a motorist should expect for a child to attempt to cross the street without first looking in both directions, they shouldn’t anticipate an adult doing the same. Any motorist driving in an area where children are present, e.g., residential areas, near parks or in school zones, should pay closer attention and use increased care when navigating. You should also be prepared to suddenly turn or stop. It’s important that victims don’t jump to the conclusion that a motorist was negligent simply because they collided with a child out riding their bike. It is possible for a motorist to exercise an abundance of caution and still strike a bicyclist. It’s also possible for both the motorist and the bike rider to have both contributed in their own ways to causing a crash. An attorney can help you sort out liability in a bicycle accident case.

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The 3 most common types of child injury lawsuits

At the Zimmerman Law Firm, PC, we assist families in the pursuit of personal injury claims related to injured children. These cases are often different from claims that involve injured adults. That’s because children are more vulnerable to getting hurt and adults need to be extra careful to prevent such injuries. Most of the child injury cases that we represent fall under three categories. Here is a quick overview of these categories: — Sexual assault and molestation: Children are especially vulnerable to falling prey to predatory adults who may molest or sexually assault them. These acts will be punished by the Texas criminal justice system. However, the injured children will also have strong claims to seek financial compensation from the party or parties responsible for the abuse. — Car accidents: Different legal standards may apply to children hurt in car accidents. For example, if the child wasn’t wearing a seat belt, then the adult in charge of the child may be at fault and liable for injuries that result from the child not wearing a seat belt. — Bicycle accidents: Motor vehicle drivers must take extra care when driving around children. Failure to slow down and give children a wide breadth could result in an unexpected accident and serious injuries. In these situations, even if the child allegedly darted out into traffic, the motor vehicle driver might still be at fault and liable. Was your child hurt due to no fault of his or her own? You might be able to pursue a personal injury claim for financial restitution and justice. If successfully navigated, such a claim could bring valuable compensation to pay for your child’s medical care and other damages resulting from the accident.

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