No parent wants to see his or her child suffer an injury or illness. Even if the injury is not life threatening, such as a fracture or broken bone, parents can be distressed about providing the care and responsibility necessary to help a child heal completely. It can be even more traumatizing and worrisome when the fracture is the result of another person’s negligence and carelessness.
While the law cannot eliminate personal injuries to children, Florida’s statutes do provide a specific mechanism for children, and their families, to seek compensation for a personal injury to a minor. When there are fractures in children’s injury cases, these mechanisms can provide the compensation children require to receive adequate medical attention, helping families mentally and emotionally come to terms with the injury. Parents often also need a great personal injury lawyer to guide them through this process in Florida.
How Doctors Categorize a Child’s Fracture
Doctors categorize fractures in several ways. First, they will indicate if the break is partial or complete. As the terms suggest, a partial fracture is an incomplete break of a bone, while a complete fracture means the bone has entirely snapped or severed. Within these broad categories, doctors will further specify how the bone broke.
Second, medical professionals differentiate between closed and open fractures. In a closed fracture, the child has a broken bone, but the skin is intact. In an open fracture, also called a compound fracture, the skin breaks and the bone exits the skin. This distinction is important because open fractures involve higher risks of infection.
Medical Attention for Fractures and the Legal Process
Whether a fracture is compound or closed, growing children require active medical attention to ensure a fracture heals properly. For instance, a compound fracture must be treated immediately, reset by an expert, cleaned properly, and assessed for issues with growth plates. Each of these medical procedures should take place soon after an injury. Determining how and where to obtain treatment can be problematic, and arranging financial support to cover the medical costs can also be an issue. It is often unclear how children’s personal injuries should be brought before a court.
The specific Florida statute that allows a parent or guardian to bring a personal injury claim on behalf of their child is provision FL 744.387. This provision allows a parent or guardian to handle the claim, provided it is under $15,000. In these cases, the judge will award the amount of the claim to the parents or guardian of a minor, to be used specifically in the best interest of that child. The same will be specified in any settlement agreement between the parent or guardian and a defendant.
A parent or guardian must use this money only to repay medical expenses and cover other costs arising from the personal injury. Florida law provides a broad mechanism for parents to recover compensation on their children’s behalf. When the net amount of a claim is over $15,000, under this Florida statute the parent or guardian will require the services of a personal injury lawyer to seek court approval for bringing the claim.
Finding a Lawyer for Your Child’s Case
If your child has suffered a fracture, or other injury, as a result of an accident or injury caused by someone else, wether it be an injury at school or at a day care, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding compensation and recovery. Aronfeld Trial Lawyers handle personal injury cases that involve parents, guardians, and the representation of minors. Contact our office at (305)-441-0440 or toll-free at 1-866-597-4529 or send us an email describing your case to [email protected]. We are ready to help you seek the compensation your child deserves. Schedule a confidential consultation today!