As a parent, you want to shield your child from as much danger and risk as possible. Unfortunately, you can’t always be there to make sure that they’re safe. That’s why it can be difficult to trust another caregiver to offer the same attention and compassion that you do.
While you do your best to research schools, daycare centers, babysitters, camps, and sports, your child’s safety is out of your hands once they’re out the door. This is why it can be particularly aggravating when you notice your child has sustained an injury while in someone else’s care. And though it’s easy to become emotional and start pointing fingers, it’s important to react calmly so that you can understand what happened and get your child the care that they need.
In today’s post, we are going to look at the best way you can respond to a child injury and the steps you should take to make sure they receive adequate care. When it comes to legal representation, trust a personal injury lawyer to understand and represent your child. At Woods & Thompson, P.A. in the Twin Cities, we have experience representing individuals who’ve sustained a variety of personal injuries — including children. Contact us today if you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
Observe & Talk to the Child
When you pick your child up from school, daycare, camp, sports practice, or another activity and notice that they have an injury that wasn’t there when you dropped them off, it’s important to ask them what happened. As a victim to whatever incident occurred, they are going to have more information than anyone else you could talk to.
If your child is too young to communicate how they sustained their injuries, pay attention to how they respond to touch around the injury and how they behave more generally. If they look like they’re uncomfortable when you touch their injury, it’s clear that they’ve sustained something more serious. If they seem jumpy or flinch away, this is also an indication that something serious happened.
Talk to the Caregiver
After assessing the injury and talking to your child, speak to the caregiver, supervisor, director, or whoever is in charge of the activity or organization you’re picking your child up from. It’s in their best interest to be up front and honest with you about what happened. If they don’t have an explanation or they didn’t even know that an accident occurred, you should speak to their superior.
A lack of information or unwillingness to give details is a sign that the caregiver isn’t paying attention to your child as diligently as they should. And while they might have several children to look after, they should take notice when a child appears to be injured and should investigate the matter. If it appears that this hasn’t happened, higher-ups should be aware so that they can take corrective action and prevent other children from being harmed while in the care of this individual.
Once you’ve talked to your child and the caregiver, take a moment to document the injuries. Write down what happened or have your child write down what happened. Make sure to include who was involved, when they were hurt, how they were hurt, and the specific injuries they sustained. You may also make note of how they responded to your touch if they aren’t able to communicate what happened.
You should also take photos of their injuries, any torn clothing, and any property that may have been damaged during the incident. Juries are sympathetic to child injuries, but photographic evidence will also back up any claims with solid proof.
Seek Medical Attention
An “injury” could be described in many ways and is not limited to just physical harm. An injured child can experience emotional trauma because of an accident or because of bullying. If your child is physically injured, see a medical care provider immediately. Pay attention to their behavior as well, as they may benefit from seeing a therapist to treat emotional trauma.
Once you have a firm understanding of the accident and have documented your child’s injuries, you should seek medical attention for them as soon as possible. Not only could they have a more serious injury than anyone realizes, but seeking medical attention right away shows that you take your child’s injuries seriously.
A medical provider will also know the signs to look for when examining a child who’s sustained injuries. Brain injuries may not be immediately obvious, but they’ll know how to detect them. Other injuries like whiplash can develop over time, which a doctor can explain to you as well as how to treat it.
Remember to save all receipts for care that your child receives so that you can make a claim for reimbursement. Continue to document your child’s injuries while they develop as well so that a jury comprehends the extent of the accident.
You and your child may both experience increased symptoms of stress following an accident, which needs to be addressed. Children may display symptoms of emotional trauma, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fear or anger
- Social withdrawal
Your child may need to see a therapist in order to overcome this trauma, for which you should be reimbursed. Especially if the incident involved bullying, children should talk to a counselor to help them recover from their emotional wounds.
As a parent, you may also experience symptoms of increased stress. Depending on the severity of the incident, you may even develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. While you care for your child after their accident, be sure you pay attention to your own emotional health and watch for symptoms like:
- Re-living the incident
- Avoiding reminders of the incident
- A general increase in anxiety
- Jumpiness or a general sense of unease
Your emotional response will affect how your child recovers from the incident, so it’s important that you take care of your emotional health as well. Learn more about taking care of yourself after a child injury, and seek emotional support as necessary.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once your child has seen a doctor, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It’s important that you and your child are reimbursed for medical care, loss of wages (if you have to stay home to take care of them), and are compensated for any pain and suffering you or your child may experience as a result of the accident.
There are many factors at play in a personal injury case — particularly when it involves a child injury — and a personal injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal process. If your child has recently sustained an injury while in the care of someone else, contact Woods & Thompson, P.A. in the Twin Cities to schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. We understand the emotional impact a child injury has on you, your child, and your whole family, so we will do our best to represent you and your child’s injury claim. Contact us today to get started.