COLUMBIA SC CHILD INJURY ATTORNEYS | AIKEN & HIGHTOWER P.A.
COLUMBIA SC CHILD INJURY | CHILD ACCIDENTS
Children injury cases are different. Small children are especially susceptible to serious injury even from what may appear to a minor accident. Falls and hits to the head are the most common injuries we see. From just a moment of inattention, something bad can happen. And it is not over when the crying stops. We strongly encourage a quick trip to an urgent care center for a check over anytime a child accident occurs. Other than a “scraped knee” or some other superficial cut, we recommend a medical visit to rule out anything serious.
CHILD ACCIDENT LAWYERS AND PARENTS
My name is Robert J. Reeves, and I am a child injury lawyer here in South Carolina. My children began their lives in Columbia SC. I went to law school at the University of South Carolina, and we lived in Irmo. My friends and colleagues Art Aiken and his wife Bea Hightower still live and raise their children here in Richland County. Like all parents, we do everything we can to protect them while they are small. We appreciate how quickly a child’s curiosity can put them in real danger. So we do our best to protect them until they can start looking out for themselves. When on the road, we start with infant car seats and then progress to booster seats and finally to seat belts. When on bikes or skateboards, we make sure that they wear helmets, even if they don’t want to. That’s what parents do. I understand my parents better now. We try to do our best because we know that even minor falls can quickly turn very serious, even it starts with just a “bump on the head.” As a personal injury attorney and former Registered Nurse (RN), I was probably over protective, but I know how vulnerable children are, especially small children. That’s why we strongly encourage parents or caregivers to always get your child to an urgent care center or emergency room to get checked out after any significant accident. Even minor accidents should be carefully investigated if there is any chance of a head injury. Hopefully, all is fine, but you will sleep better afterwards. So what kinds of dangers do we typically encounter that involve children?
TYPES OF CHILD ACCIDENTS
Columbia SC is located in the middle of the State and has interstate highways on both sides. There is I-77 to Charlotte and I-26 which goes to either Spartanburg or Charleston. As a result, we sadly see serious automobile accidents involving children and child injury. Even though we pray our children are safe when in carseats, small children are more susceptible to injury, especially brain injury from car accidents. Their brains are still developing, and their cranium has not fully fused. Accordingly, CT scans and MRI are critical any time there is a significant crash, injury to the head, and/or any loss of consciousness. Sometimes you have to specifically ask for these tests, but they are important just to make sure.
Columbia SC also has lots of great neighborhoods, bike paths, and sidewalks. As a result, we experience a lot of bicycle and skateboard accidents, usually from children being struck by inattentive or distracted drivers in cars and trucks. Despite their bright yellow exterior and flashing lights, we still see significant child injury from school bus accidents on the road. I’ve never understood why, but there are no seat belts or airbags on school buses. Additionally, because they are structurally “top heavy,” school buses can more easily rollover during side impact crashes. As a result, children on these buses are totally unrestrained and break bones and hit their heads causing serious injury. Once they get to school, children should be safe but often are not. Child injury can occur in a variety of places and settings. Playground equipment is set up but not properly maintained and can fail. During group sports, larger children are permitted to play dangerous contact sports with younger, smaller kids. And, children are not properly supervised while outside during recess. And recently, we are seeing an increase in bullying which has become a real problem both at school and on social media. Schools cannot just ignore this growing problem. Once they become aware of a situation, they have a duty to take steps to correct bad behavior. If they do not and injury or worse results, they can be held responsible.
Other very dangerous activities injuring children here in Columbia SC involves pools and trampolines in both neighborhoods as well as private homes. Neighborhoods and the City of Columbia offer community pools and other recreational playground areas. Pools are awesome, especially during the “famously hot” Columbia summers. But, children must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Placing a “swim at your own risk” is just not responsible and will not be enough if someone gets hurt. If you are going to encourage small children to come, you have to take all appropriate steps to ensure their safety. An unattended child without supervision can drown in a matter of moments. Trampolines are another extremely dangerous activity. To be safe, they must be installed properly on level ground and then regularly maintained. Trampolines can shift and springs fail if not inspected and adjusted. If someone is injured because of faulty equipment or improper installation and maintenance, a homeowner or community can be held liable. Even if a parent signs a liability waiver, children will still act like children and must be protected from themselves. Also, these waivers are subject to different rules when applied to small children.
COLUMBIA SC CHILD INJURY ATTORNEYS
AIKEN & HIGHTOWER P.A. | ROBERT J. REEVES P.C.
Because child injury cases are usually quite serious, the independent law firms of Aiken & Hightower P.A. and Robert J. Reeves P.C. work in conjunction to hold all parties accountable. Serious injury cases are aggressively defended by companies and their insurance carriers and often have multiple lawyers and support staff involved. By “teaming up,” three law school friends can work together to “balance the playing field” and do what is necessary to protect your child.
If your child is involved in an accident, even a relatively minor one, first go to the doctor and get them fully checked out. It is best to make sure they are going to be alright. We sincerely hope your child will be fine and that you will never need our services. However, if serious injury does happen, you owe to child and yourself to find out what legal options may be available. Unlike adults who are held to a higher standard, children are treated differently under the law. South Carolina has comparative negligence laws. However, even in cases where an adult would be legally barred from recovery, a child will still have options which can be pursued. This area of the law is complex, but we can explain how your child may not be affected under their particular circumstances. Call us for answers. This is what we do.
At our firm, we are passionate and aggressive advocates for children when they are injured in needless accidents. We know bad things can happen even when you try to do everything right to protect your children from harm. But when someone else fails or refuses to take proper precautions, we will fight to hold all responsible parties responsible. Art Aiken, Bea Hightower, and Robert Reeves have helped countless South Carolina families over the years get through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Children cases often involve the most serious and challenging types of injury as we don’t know what will be the effects in the future. We would be honored to sit down with you personally and review your particular situation. After we answer your questions, we can go over your legal options and make recommendations. We’re available when you need answers – evenings, weekends, and holidays. You can reach Mr. Reeves directly on his mobile phone at 803-554-4157. We look forward to helping you. All you have to do is call.