TBI in Children
Traumatic brain injuries1 can happen to anyone and can have a substantial effect on victims of any age. However, there are particular issues that may arise in cases of pediatric brain injuries. The Brain Injury Association of America reports2 that more than 560,000 children visit the emergency room and an additional 62,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are hospitalized due to traumatic brain injuries on an annual basis. The following is some information related to TBIs and their effects on children.
Common causes of pediatric TBI
Just like adults, children can suffer TBI for many different reasons. For example, some of the most common causes of TBI in children under age 19 include the following:
- Birth injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Physical abuse
- Sports injuries
How TBI can affect a child
While TBI can be harmful to anyone, children can experience different effects of the injury since their brains are still developing. While the previous view was that the plasticity of a child’s brain would actually help them heal faster, recent medical research indicates that, in reality, a child suffers a greater impact than an adult from a TBI. Additionally, because children may be less aware and less able to recognize the symptoms they suffer, many challenges and effects of brain injuries may not be realized until they grow older.
TBI can have a substantial effect on a child’s ability to thrive or even participate in educational programs. One of the major effects of a pediatric TBI is impairments with learning, retaining information, processing complex ideas, and understanding oral or written communications. These abilities are all essential to succeed in traditional schools or classrooms. For this reason, many children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries require numerous accommodations once they are able to return to school. Such accommodations may include:
- Untimed testing
- Extra time on assignments
- Not having to read aloud in class
- Assistance with note-taking
- Extra breaks from lectures or class time
- Place students in a special class with more individualized attention
While accommodations may help many children with brain injuries finish school, they may have fewer professional opportunities than they would have without their TBI. Additionally, struggling in school can result in emotional issues, with which TBI victims already struggle.
Issues in personal injury cases involving children
Anyone who suffers a TBI due to someone else’s negligence should be entitled to full compensation for their losses including medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of future opportunities, and much more. However, under Florida law,3 an individual under the age of 18 years does not have the ability to bring their own legal claim in civil court. Instead, a parent or legal guardian must file an pursue the personal injury claim on behalf of your child.
When you file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf, you can seek recovery for their losses, however, the fate of any money they receive depends on the case. While parents can recover for any medical costs they paid for their child, the recovery for pain, disabilities, disfigurement, and other types of losses should go to the child. In cases in which the child is awarded more than $15,000, the court has the option to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests when it comes to management of that money. Furthermore, Florida courts are expected to appoint someone in any case involving more than $50,000 in recovery to a child. The settlement may go into a guardianship account or other type of account for safe-keeping until the child turns 18.
Consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer in Tampa Bay for assistance
As you can see, brain injury cases involving children can have many unique and complicated legal issues. For the reason, you always want the assistance of an attorney who understands the laws relating to children’s personal injury cases in Florida. At the Dolman Law Group, our team of experienced Tampa brain injury lawyers regularly handles cases involving injuries to all ages, so you should not delay in contacting our office to schedule your free consultation. Call 727-451-6900 to speak to a member of our team today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756