When a child is injured on someone else’s property, the fault often lies with a property owner who has failed to take appropriate steps to keep their property safe for children. At Parnall Law, our Albuquerque premises liability lawyers can provide you with experienced legal representation if your child was hurt on someone else’s property.
Our firm has helped many accident victims and their families hold careless property owners accountable for children’s injuries caused by their negligence. Please contact us to learn how we can help if your child was hurt on someone else’s property.
Property Conditions and Dangers to Children in Albuquerque
Millions of children are hurt each year in accidents, and many injuries are caused by dangerous or defective conditions on another’s property. The Centers for Disease Control reported that more than 2.8 million children are treated each year for slip and fall accidents. They are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children, but they may cause fatal injuries as well. Drowning accidents are the second-leading cause of death among children under the age of 14.
Examples of property conditions that can harm children include:
- Artificial conditions, such as swimming pools
- Inadequate fencing, particularly around a yard or swimming pool
- Uneven surfaces where a child may trip and fall
- Broken or loose stairs and handrails
If your child suffers an accident, it may be possible to hold the property owner accountable for your child’s injuries.
Most Common Injuries Caused by Dangerous Property Conditions in Albuquerque
Children could be hurt in a variety of ways, for a wide variety of reasons. While many childhood injuries occur through the natural course of play, others are the direct result of someone’s recklessness or negligence.
The dangers to children are increased due to their natural curiosity and lack of life experience. This could lead to children failing to recognize hazards that would be noticed by adults.
That’s why it is particularly important for property owners to be aware of potential hazards to children and to take steps to protect kids from harm.
Some common injuries to children on a property could include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck, back, or spine injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Choking on small toys or parts
- Dangerous materials consumption
- Fire-related burns
- Toxic inhalation
- Dog bites
Any property owner who fails to take reasonable safety precautions to keep children safe, or any individual who harms a child intentionally, could be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Premises Liability Lawyer for Children: Accountability
Property owners must protect visitors from harmful or dangerous conditions on their property. Regardless of whether the condition is obvious or hidden, a property owner is in a better position to know of a danger on his or her property than a visitor. If a dangerous property condition causes injuries, the victim may possibly recover damages if he or she can prove the property owner’s negligence.
A person is negligent when he or she fails to act with the care that a reasonable person would use. Property owners have a duty to exercise care in keeping their property safe. The level of care a property owner must exercise depends on whether the person is a visitor or trespasser. In the case of visitors, property owners must inspect their property for any dangers and take steps to warn and protect visitors from harm. If a property owner does not exercise proper care, the owner is said to have breached the duty of care. The victim may hold the property owner liable if the breach caused the victim’s injuries.
A property owner usually owes no duty of care to a trespasser, except in some situations when the trespasser happens to be a child. The attractive nuisance doctrine can hold a property owner liable for injuries to trespassing children if there is an artificial condition on the owner’s property, such as a swimming pool, for example.
For the property owner to be liable, he or she must also be aware that children will likely trespass in the area of the condition, and that the condition poses an unreasonable risk of injury to trespassing children. Furthermore, the child must be unable to recognize or appreciate the danger posed by the condition.
Some examples of potential attractive nuisances include:
- Hot tubs
- Skate ramps
Anything on a person’s property that could cause serious injury or death could be considered an attractive nuisance, so be sure to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options if your child was harmed.
If a property owner’s negligence hurt your child, you can seek compensation for your child’s medical expenses, rehabilitative care, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What If My Child Was Hurt on School Property?
When parents leave their children in the care of teachers and school administrators, they are trusting them with their child’s safety.
Children could suffer severe and possibly fatal injuries at or on:
- Summer camps
- Playgrounds or common areas
- School buses
Some of the most common causes of injuries at school include:
- Slips and falls
- Bus accidents
- Sports injuries
- Defective playground equipment
Unfortunately, injuries are common at school. If an employee at the institution was negligent in any way, the parents could hold the facility accountable. If teachers or other school staff fail to properly supervise children, inspect and maintain playground equipment, operate buses with caution, or otherwise keep the children safe from harm, the school could be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Child Injury Laws in New Mexico
New Mexico limits the time a personal injury victim can file a claim to within three years of the accident. When it comes to children’s injuries, however, the statute of limits is extended depending on the defendant and the specifics of the case. It can be rather confusing at times, so be sure to contact an experienced child injury attorney to discuss the statute of limitations for your child’s injury claim.
According to New Mexico law (NM Stat § 37-1-10), the statute of limitations for most private defendants runs until the child turns 19 years of age, instead of the three year limitation adults usually have for personal injury claims. The extension of this deadline for children could allow the child to file their own injury claim if their parents fail to do so on their behalf.
There are specific exceptions to this law that shorten the statute of limitations for some child injury claims. One such exception is a claim against a governmental entity. This includes facilities as well as employees. The normal statute of limitations for claims against governmental entities is two years but is extended for children to the child’s 9th birthday (per NM Statute 41-4-15(A)).
Because the laws regarding child injury claims and the statute of limitations to file can be so confusing, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to make sure that you do not miss any deadlines. Failure to file within the time allowed could bar you from filing the claim.
What our Albuquerque Child Injury Attorney Can Can Do for You
While nothing can undo the pain and suffering that your child and your family have endured after an injury caused by negligence, there is a way that Parnall Law can help. Our experienced attorneys can help you hold the responsible party accountable for what they did or failed to do. We can investigate the accident, identify all potentially liable parties, and collect evidence to build a strong personal injury claim.
We’ll then demand the answers and full compensation that you need to get the best possible care for your child and rebuild as a family. If the responsible party and their insurers fail to accept responsibility and make your family whole, we will not be afraid to take strong legal action to seek justice on your child’s behalf.
That’s our commitment to you, and we’re ready to get to work on your case when you need us.
Representing Injured Children and Their Families
Bert Parnall and the Albuquerque injury attorneys at Parnall Law are seasoned litigators with substantial experience handling premises liability accidents. Since 1997, we have aggressively pursued claims against negligent property owners.
Our lawyers are prepared to discuss the legal avenues you may pursue if your child was harmed on someone else’s property. We provide our clients with personalized service and legal solutions tailored to meet their individual needs. Please call our office or you can reach us online for a free initial consultation.