Kids always seem to be on the move, and more activity means more opportunities for them to fall and suffer injuries. While many slip and fall injuries are just a minor hiccup in the growing process, some can result in lifelong consequences.
It is not always easy to tell the difference between situations at first, so parents need to be alert and keep these facts in mind when it comes to slipping and falling in Fort Lauderdale.
What to Do Immediately After Your Child Falls
If you are on the scene when your child falls, the most important thing you can do is try to remain calm. Composure can help you focus while you assess your next steps, and it can also prevent your child from panicking.
When a child has fallen in a dangerous situation such as a road, take steps to secure the child’s safety from further harm.
If the child is having trouble breathing, seek emergency care immediately. Similarly, if a child is unconscious, it is also a good idea to get professionals on the scene as soon as possible.
Check for bleeding, and use a clean bandage or cloth to apply pressure to the wounds. Then look for signs of less obvious injuries. A doctor may be able to detect injuries that are not readily apparent, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, or a concussion. Having a child thoroughly evaluated by a medical professional after a fall is never a bad idea.
Keep an Eye Out for Injuries That Appear Later
Some of the most serious injuries are difficult to detect immediately after a fall. For instance, secondary brain injuries occur as the body sends extra fluid into the brain, and the pressure harms parts of the brain that escaped injury initially. The swelling that causes these injuries can develop several days after the fall.
Parents need to watch for unusual appearances or behaviors that could be signs of traumatic brain injuries. These include:
- Disorientation or balance problems
- Loss of memory
- Emotional changes (depression, irritability)
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue or excessive sleepiness
- Problems with vision
Most head injuries in children are caused by falls, and you know your child better than anyone. If your child is looking or acting strangely after a fall, attention from a medical professional could prevent a serious condition from becoming life-threatening. If your concerns turn out to be groundless, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have taken steps to protect your child’s wellbeing.
Factors That Could Affect Your Compensation
The medical bills associated with a slip and fall can be astronomical. When a slip and fall results in long-term effects such as the need for continued therapy or some form of limitation or disability, the losses can be too significant to count.
Your family may not be required to bear this burden alone. Depending on the situation, the property owner where the fall occurred or the person responsible for creating a dangerous condition that led to the fall could be held liable. In that case, your family could be entitled to significant compensation to cover your costs and help meet future needs. Of course, no amount of money can restore lost health, but a legal recovery can provide a sense of justice and help everyone move forward after the fall.
Whether you end up filing a lawsuit or just a health insurance claim, it is important to be aware of certain factors that can impact the outcome of your ordeal. Evidence matters considerably, so it is important to keep records, take photos, make notes of observations, and document as many details as possible about the fall. If there were witnesses, it is wise to obtain their contact info and provide that information to your attorney as soon as possible.
It is also important to follow the doctor’s orders after an injury and receive check-up visits as recommended. If you fail to do so, others might claim that those actions were to blame for the injuries.
Your Deadlines to File a Lawsuit On Behalf of Your Child
If you are considering filing a lawsuit or claim with an insurer, the time to act is limited. For instance, the Florida statute of limitations requires you to investigate and prepare a claim within four years of the fall. If you miss this deadline, you are likely to be barred from recovery no matter how severe the injuries are.
What’s more, if the injury occurred on government property or was caused by the negligence of a government employee, the filing deadline is much shorter. So injuries on school property, for example, should be discussed with an attorney as soon as possible.
Parents also need to be aware that if the slip and fall occurred during an activity for which they have signed a waiver, such as an afterschool sports program, the property owner might not be liable for the injuries. However, a Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyer could review the circumstances to determine which parties contributed to the cause of a fall and who might be held legally accountable.
The Bottom Line for Parents When it Comes to Slips and Falls
The key point for parents when it comes to slip and falls is that you should never be shy about seeking advice. If you believe your child could have a head injury or damaged internal organs, ask your doctor. If you think someone might be legally liable for the fall, ask a personal injury attorney. The only bad question is the one left unasked.
The best “cure” for a slip and fall is prevention. It is wise to supervise children in potentially dangerous circumstances and encourage responsibility in older kids. But accidents happen despite the best precautions. So be ready to assess the situation and take all available measures to make things right.