Adults carry the immense responsibility of ensuring the children in their care are protected and safe. Unfortunately, some children are involved in situations that leave them vulnerable to injury, including attractive nuisances, neglect, and bullying. For some children or their families, a Nebraska personal injury lawyer is their primary resource in securing the protection of the child and compensation for their damages.
The Robert Pahlke Law Group is committed to helping Nebraska children and families fight for their rights. With over 30 years of experience representing accident victims and their families, we pride ourselves on working with our clients to understand their cases and prepare a strategy for recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Types of Child Injury Cases
Children can be the victim of a wide variety of injuries. While any child can be the victim of an injury due to the negligence of another party, some scenarios are unique to children. Below are some common scenarios where children may suffer from injury.
Property owners have a certain duty of care to individuals who enter their property. Generally, there is no explicit duty of care for trespassers. There is an exception, however, that requires property owners to keep their property safe from hazards that may be attractive to children but likely to cause injury. This is known as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine.
To hold responsibility under this doctrine, the property owner must:
- Know or should know that children are likely to trespass in the area where the hazard exists; and
- Know or have reason to know that the hazard involves an unreasonable risk of injury or death to a child.
Common examples of conditions that would constitute an attractive nuisance include pools, construction sites, and trampolines.
Even if your child was trespassing, you may still recover compensation for their injuries under the attractive nuisance doctrine.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Child abuse is any action that puts a child’s emotional or physical health in danger, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Examples of these types of abuse include:
- Physical abuse. Shaking, hitting, kicking, spanking, pinching, burning, or any other non-accidental bodily harm
- Emotional abuse. Belittling, degrading language, yelling or shouting, name calling, vulgar language, or any other action that negatively impacts the child’s emotional wellness
- Sexual abuse. Sexual acts, exhibitionism, or other lewd behavior
In addition to child abuse, child neglect can be another serious issue. Neglect occurs when a caretaker such as a school or daycare center fails to meet the child’s basic needs. This can include failure to provide adequate healthcare, supervision, clothing, nutrition, or housing.
While child abuse and neglect are difficult to think about, studies show that it is more common than anyone would like. The Child Maltreatment Survey by the Department of Health and Human Services estimates up to 7.5 million children are involved in child abuse reports.
If you suspect that a caretaker is causing abuse or neglect of a child, an attorney can help you navigate the reporting obligations and appropriate recovery for any injuries the child has suffered.
Bullying is an increasingly prominent issue for children, causing both physical and emotional injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define bullying as any unwanted or aggressive behavior by youth that involves a power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or likely to be repeated. The definition in Nebraska is similar but limits the activities to those associated with school.
Under Nebraska law, bullying is any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse on school grounds or otherwise associated with the school.
Nebraska requires that schools adopt an anti-bullying policy and requires long-term suspension, expulsion, or reassignment for any student engaging in bullying or other threatening or intimidating behavior toward another student.
If your child is the victim of bullying and the school fails to comply with its obligations, call us. We can help you determine how to protect your child from additional harm.
Understanding Recovery Options
Any scenario that involves injuries to a child can be very complicated. Often, the provisions that protect children from injury can require a complicated comparison of federal and state laws. An attorney can help you understand who may be responsible for any damages your child has suffered based on relevant provisions.
Once you have established responsibility, it is important to appropriately calculate the damages resulting from the child’s injuries. Damages that might occur when a child has suffered an injury include:
- Medical expenses: If your child suffered physical harm, they likely have medical expenses, including doctors’ bills and hospital visits. They may also have ongoing medical needs.
- Property damage: If your child is the victim of bullying, they may have had personal property damaged or destroyed that requires repair or replacement.
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress is an unfortunate consequence when a child has been injured. Depending on the nature of the injury, this may include anxiety, depression, PTSD, or conduct disorders.
Our attorneys will work with you to first and foremost ensure the physical and mental health of the child is managed and also to ensure that the appropriate damages are included in any demand for recovery. We understand that while financial compensation cannot relieve all the burdens of caring for an injured child, it will certainly help lift some of the stress associated with recovery.
Contact Robert Pahlke Law Group’s Nebraska Child Injury Attorneys for Help
The attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group have a long history of representing accident victims in Nebraska. We understand that dealing with an injury to a child can be an emotional and stressful time. We would love to meet you in person to learn the details of the story and to discuss if we can help you pursue a financial recovery. If we take on your case, we promise to handle it with compassion and care throughout the legal process. We can work with you to ensure that seeking recovery is as free of stress as possible.
Contact us or call us at (308) 633-4444 today for a free consultation.
Pahlke Law Group
2425 Circle Drive #200
Scottsbluff, NE 69361