Personal Injury Lawyer
Buffalo & Western New York
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Injuries to Children

Your family deserves top-notch representation during this difficult time

Children and infants need constant protection from hazards. A situation that might be relatively safe for an adult can put a child a great risk. In the blink of an eye, a child can be seriously injured in a swimming pool, at a playground or on school grounds. When a child is seriously injured or killed, parents and caregivers can experience overwhelming grief.

Even while a child is still recovering from an injury, the economic implications of an accident can be overwhelming. Parents may be responsible for medical bills, physical therapy and other injury-related expenses. If the child suffers a permanent disability or chronic medical condition, care will need to be provided for an entire lifetime.  Children injured in accidents may lose the opportunity to participate in certain activities and otherwise enjoy their lives.

Your family deserves justice, and your injured child deserves the best possible quality of care. At the Law Offices of James Morris, we're here to provide your family with the compensation you deserve for your injured child. If your child's injury was due to someone else's negligence, we'll fight to make sure you get the justice you deserve.

Our law firm handles cases involving all of the following:

Holding someone accountable for an injury to a child requires significant legal skill. In most cases, property owners who know that children may enter the premises are expected to take added safety precautions. The same principle applies to professionals entrusted with some responsibility for children, such as school administrators, event planners and medical professionals. Defective products, such as playground equipment and toys, may also cause injuries to children, in which case you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

We understand that an injury to a child can be overwhelming, and we're here to provide the compassionate, dedicated representation you need. Our attorneys will listen to your side of the story, investigate all available evidence and build a strong, legal case. We'll stand up to the insurance companies and ensure that they don't use your family's pain as an opportunity to save money. In some cases, getting the compensation you need now can pay for additional treatments to help your child live a more normal life.

Take that first step toward justice and closure for your family. Contact us at (800) 477-9044 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Tolling & Statutes of Limitations

Sometimes, it can take years to determine if an injury has healed improperly. In other cases - including lead paint exposure, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and certain psychological injuries - symptoms may not even appear until long after the accident. Because of these delays, the law provides a longer window of time to file a civil suit following a childhood injury.

In the state of New York, the statutes of limitations for civil suits resulting from an injury to a child may not begin to take effect until that child reaches the age of 18. For instance, if a certain injury has a three-year statute of limitations and a child receives that injury in an accident, the child has until the age of 21 to bring forward a case. The action must be sued within 10 years of accrual in an infant's medical, dental or pediatric malpractice case, even if the infancy provisions apply.

Although you have the legal right to sue for damages (financial compensation) years after a childhood injury, diagnosing the issue and determining responsibility after so much time can be difficult. An experienced attorney from our firm can help you sort through any complications and get the compensation you need to improve your child's quality of life.

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Playground Accidents

As with so many types of injuries to children, inadequate supervision and insufficient equipment maintenance is often the cause of playground injuries. Improperly secured swings, railings, ramps, or stairs can lead to a fall that causes a broken limb or a more severe injury if an older child falls on a younger one. Many playground accident injuries could be avoided by maintaining the appropriate depth of padding below playground equipment. This is the responsibility of the school, park, or individual property owner.

If your child was injured at a playground, there is a high likelihood that you have a case against the owner or manager of the property. Give our firm a call to see how you can hold them accountable.

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Emotional Injuries in Children

Children's psychological development, depending on their age, often causes them to believe that bad things that happen are their fault. A child who witnesses an accident in which a loved one is injured can suffer psychological wounds. In the event of the death of a close family member, the child suffers loss throughout his or her upbringing.

Sometimes the stress of a childhood trauma does not become apparent until adolescence. It is crucial to understand that New York State's tolling laws allow for recovery of damages even years later.

To overcome the emotional burden of being involved in an accident, children often need a great deal of personal and professional support, guidance and care. Our attorneys can help you obtain compensation from the party responsible for the accident to help provide the care your child needs.

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In the eyes of the law, children are not expected to have the same decision-making capabilities and judgment of adults. When a ball rolls into the street or a pet dog breaks free of its leash and runs off, children may not be aware of their surroundings and may dart out into the road.

It can be complicated to establish the driver's responsibility in dart-out car accidents. Courts consider the following questions:

  • Was the driver observing the speed limit?
  • Was the driver distracted, such as by sending a text message?
  • Was the driver under the influence of alcohol?
  • Does the driver have a history of reckless conduct?
  • Could the driver be expected to know that children were likely to be in the area?

After a dart-out accident, you'll need an experienced attorney to explore the legal circumstances surrounding your accident and to build your case. Our legal team has the experience to get the job done right.

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Improper Healing

If your son or daughter sustained an injury requiring surgery or involving broken bones - perhaps after a house fire, bicycle accident, auto accident or dog attack - it may not become evident until several years later that the injury has not healed properly. Your child may require additional surgery or other medical procedures to correct that improper healing.

Fortunately, New York's state laws regarding tolling of the statute of limitations make it possible to recover damages for the improper healing. However, years after an accident, it can be difficult to pursue those damages. That's why you need an experienced attorney from our firm to pore over paperwork and build you a case.

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Childbirth Injuries

Most injuries suffered in childbirth are minor and heal in just a few weeks. However, in some circumstances, bone fractures and interruptions in oxygen supply due to negligent obstetric care can lead to life-long medical conditions. For instance, the following actions by an obstetrician can lead to cerebral palsy:

  • Not promptly recognizing or resolving complications with the umbilical cord (for instance, when it is around the baby's neck in utero);
  • Inappropriate use of vacuum extractor;
  • Inappropriate use of forceps to speed delivery.

In other cases, newborns suffer brachial plexus injuries leading to Erb's palsy, typically when the shoulder becomes trapped behind the mother's pelvic bone. If the attending doctor does not promptly address the condition, the damage to the nerve center can lead to paralysis or other nerve damage in the newborn's arm. The injury can be aggravated by forcible extraction while the shoulder is still trapped.

New York state laws provide up to 10 years to sue for damages after an injury to an infant. If your child has developed a serious condition due to a medical professional's negligence, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to pay for long-term care.

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Injuries to Foster Children

Children in the foster care system have already suffered loss and are at especially high risk to be hurt again. An injury may take the form of emotional distress in punishment, such as extended isolation, or an act of negligence like withholding meals. Other foster children are physically abused or inadequately supervised, leading to physical injuries.

Foster parents have an "affirmative duty" to protect the children in their care from harm, but that duty is not always met. Often, the blame for an injury falls on the agency responsible for the foster placement in addition to the foster parents themselves. For instance, the agency may have failed to adequately train and supervise the foster parent, or may not have investigated a previous claim of abuse or neglect.

Because of the number of individuals and agencies involved in a foster placement, investigating claims of injuries to foster children can be legally complex. Our veteran attorneys have the knowledge and dedication to help you build a strong case.

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