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Injury to a Child

An injury to a child usually incurs a civil liability. But some rise to the level of criminal liability. If you are looking for an attorney to deal with an injury to a child, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

Civil Liability

Most injuries to a child are due to negligence. Different laws may apply, depending on who caused the injury. For example, a teenager hurting a younger child may have an application of different laws and standards than two children of the same age hurting each other or an adult over 18 years of age hurting a minor. A different standard also applies when the negligence is committed by a care-provider, such as a day care center, or when the injury is caused by medical malpractice, an unsafe pool or playground (premises liability), or a defective car seat, stroller, or toy (products liability).

Statute of limitations in negligence cases

Different statutes of limitations apply in injuries to a child, depending on a number of factors. The statute of limitations refers to the period to file a claim. Otherwise, the claim will be barred.

Generally, the statute of limitations for negligence cases is three years from the time of injury or from the time the injury is discovered. However, this period is extended under New York’s Civil Practice Law & Rules § 208 when the person injured is a child.

When there is injury to a child in a negligence case, an adult has to file in the child’s behalf because the child does not have legal capacity to act. This adult could be the child’s parent or the legal guardian. The period to file does not end until 3 years after the child’s 18th birthday (which is when the child turns 21). In cases of medical malpractice, the period to file a claim ends 10 years after the date of injury or 2 ½ years after the child’s 18th birthday, whichever is sooner.

For claims against the municipality or government agency (such as a municipal hospital or a public school), however, the filing of the notice of claim under New York General Municipal Law § 50-e is not extended. A notice of claim must be filed within 90 days from the date of accident. If you fail to file the notice of claim on behalf of the child within 90 days, you can still file an action with the court within 1 year and 90 days from the date of accident and request the Court to accept the late notice of claim because the child is presumably less aware of statutes of limitations.

Criminal injuries

New York Penal Law (NY Pen Law) § 120.02 penalizes reckless assault of a child, while NY Pen Law § 260.10 punishes endangering the welfare of the child. There is reckless assault when an adult causes serious physical injury to the brain of a child who is less than 5 years old by shaking, slamming or throwing the child. There is child endangerment when an adult acts in a manner that is likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child who is less than 17 years old or authorizes a child to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to life or health. Other offenses related to child injuries are reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider (NY Pen Law § 120.01), aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old (NY Pen Law § 120.12), and luring a child (NY Pen Law § 120.70).

When you are charged with any of the following crimes, defenses may be available. Not all acts constitute child endangerment or reckless assault. It is important to consult with a child injury defense lawyer so that you can raise the strongest defense at the earliest possible time.

When a person commits injuries to your child, it is important to seek counsel immediately so you know your remedies. Different standards and statutes of limitations may apply, depending on the peculiarities of each case. An attorney can review the facts of your case and tell you the period to file an action, so that you will not lose your right to claim for damages. You deserve compensation for any injuries committed to your child. Should you need assistance, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.