Why Injury Cases Involving Children Are Different

Why Injury Cases Involving Children Are DifferentAccidents in general are scary—but accidents involving children can be even more devastating. Need help filing a personal injury claim on behalf of your child? Call the personal injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman today. We help clients throughout the state of Delaware as our offices are conveniently located in Newark, Wilmington, and Seaford.

Children suffer personal injuries in a multitude of ways every single day. However, due to their size, they face distinct challenges and vulnerabilities particularly when they’re involved in major accidents. If a child gets seriously injured, it presents a whole new set of challenges within the legal landscape.

Children, by nature of their age and developmental stage, lack the capacity to represent themselves in legal proceedings. This inherent vulnerability highlights the need for a nuanced approach when addressing personal injuries affecting minors. Unlike adults, children depend on the advocacy and protection of parents or legal guardians to navigate the legal intricacies surrounding their injuries.

The special legal considerations that arise due to minors being involved

The legal considerations in child injury cases differ significantly from those involving adults. Minors are unable to enter into contracts, provide legal consent, or make decisions about their own welfare in the same way adults can. This reality introduces a layer of complexity to personal injury cases involving children, necessitating special legal protocols.

Instead, parents or legal guardians play an important role as the child’s representatives in legal proceedings. Filing a personal injury case on behalf of a child in Delaware is not just something required by the law, but it’s also a moral duty. The parent or guardian acts as the voice of the child, ensuring that they get justice and the compensation they deserve for any harm inflicted upon them.

In Delaware, any settlement reached in a child injury case must undergo approval by the court to ensure it’s in the best interests of the minor and adequately addresses their needs and future well-being. Legal practitioners must carefully consider this and work within the framework established to protect minors throughout legal proceedings. These legal intricacies highlight the importance of legal representation that is not only well-versed in personal injury law but also attuned to the unique circumstances surrounding cases which involve children.

Children are injured in more roadway accidents than you think

Children can encounter risks in various settings, and awareness of these environments is crucial for fostering a safe environment. In Delaware, as in many other places, statistical insights shed light on the prevalent issues surrounding child injuries, guiding initiatives for safety and highlighting areas for legal attention.

School buses

Children face risks not only within the confines of school buildings but also during their commute on school buses. One concerning aspect that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says is the most alarming is the safety hazard that arises when children are boarding or exiting the bus. According to the NHTSA, children are more at risk of an accident while getting on or off the school bus rather than the bus crashing. Unfortunately, other drivers on the road sometimes fail to notice the school bus stop sign, jeopardizing the safety of children as they get on or off.

Other times, the school bus is involved in a crash where dozens of children are on board. While the idea may sound a little far-fetched, 108 people were killed in school bus-related crashes in 2021 alone—5% of those being occupants inside of the bus itself. Additionally, when looking at statistics from 2012-2021, around 30% of those injured in school bus-related accidents were actually passengers.

In situations like these, determining responsibility can be complex and may involve various factors, including the actions of the bus driver, the condition of the bus, or the conduct of other drivers on the road.


The streets present distinctive challenges to child safety, especially when it comes to walking or biking. Whether children are walking to school or playing near roadways, the risk of accidents involving vehicles becomes a great concern. In fact, the Children’s Safety Network mentions that nearly 2,500 children or adolescents died between 2017 and 2020 from their injuries in a pedestrian accident.

Determining liability in these instances may center around evaluating whether drivers, through reckless behavior or inattentiveness, failed to uphold traffic regulations.

Riding bicycles

In addition to the risks posed by traffic on streets, children riding bicycles face their own set of potential dangers. Unstable road conditions, lack of designated biking lanes, and inadequate protective gear can contribute to accidents and injuries. Believe it or not, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over 130,000 bicyclists are injured every year. To make matters worse, adolescents and teens make up most of those injuries. Additionally, children’s limited experience in navigating traffic and understanding road signs adds an extra layer of vulnerability.

In the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident, determining liability requires careful examination of factors such as road conditions, the absence of designated biking lanes, and, most notably, the behavior of other drivers who may not have been adhering to road laws.

Motor vehicles

Despite diligently following safety protocols, children remain susceptible to serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the CDC also found that over 63,000 children were injured in car accidents in 2020 alone. These accidents can occur due to factors beyond their control, and even when all reasonable precautions have been taken. Unsafe road conditions, unforeseen hazards, and the actions of other drivers on the road can lead to severe accidents with potentially life-altering consequences.

Determining liability in motor vehicle accidents involving children requires a thorough evaluation of factors such as road conditions, adherence to traffic regulations, and the actions of all parties involved, including drivers and relevant authorities.

Child injury cases can be challenging

Child injury cases pose distinctive challenges that extend beyond the physical harm inflicted. The emotional and psychological impact on the child can be significant. Children may experience fear, anxiety, or trauma following an injury, and these emotional consequences can have lasting effects on their overall well-being. Recognizing and addressing these aspects is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the challenges associated with child injury cases. Ensuring proper compensation is so important in order to tackle each one of these battles after an accident.

If your child has suffered an injury, you don’t have to navigate the legal case alone. Trust the advocates at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman to fight your child’s rights and secure the compensation they need and deserve. Reach out for a free consultation today by filling out our contact form. Contact us by calling our offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford or by filling out our contact form.