In a perfect world, children would be safe wherever they go—at home, a babysitter’s, day care, school, practice, Scout meetings, Sunday school—everywhere. In all of these places, there are adults who are legally required to protect children from harm. When an adult abuses their position to harm a child or fails to report suspected abuse to the authorities, that person should be held legally and financially responsible for the damage that has been done. Babies and young children can’t speak for themselves, but attorney Michael Behm is committed to being their voice in Michigan. If you are close to a child who has been injured by the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of an adult, contact us to find out if we can help the child recover compensation for their losses.
Types of Negligence-Related Child Injuries in Michigan
Some childhood injuries are a part of growing up. Babies roll off beds. Toddlers fall down. Eight-year-olds fall out of trees. Teenagers get in car accidents. These accidents can happen even when responsible adults are doing their duty to protect the children in their care. However, other kinds of injuries should not be a part of growing up. These are the injuries that result from a caregiver or mandated reporter’s negligence or carelessness. Some of the causes of injuries we have seen in our practice include the following:
- School and day care accidents. Children at school and in day care centers should be supervised at all times by responsible adults. Classrooms, playgrounds, lunchrooms, cribs, play yards, high chairs, vans and buses, and every other place a child could be during the day should be safety-proofed and inspected. When adults in these settings fail in their duties, they and the institution can be held financially liable.
- Child abuse and sexual abuse. If a child is abused—physically, emotionally, or sexually—while in the care of a school, church, day care center, athletic program, or other entity, the institution can be held liable for its employee’s crime. Abuse can cause long-term physical and emotional harm to a child that requires ongoing treatment and therapy.
- Dog bites. A dog attack can not only leave a child with disfiguring injuries, but the trauma of the attack can also leave emotional scars. The animal’s owner can be held liable for harm their dog causes.
- Unsafe premises. Unsecured swimming pools are a leading cause of child injury in the summertime. When a property owner fails to maintain a safe environment and a child is injured, the owner can be held liable even if they were not present when the accident occurred.
- Shaken baby syndrome. Abusive head trauma to an infant is a life-threatening injury that has severe consequences for the child’s future. If a babysitter, day care provider, health care provider, or other adult harmed a baby in this way, they should be responsible for that child’s lifelong care.
- Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Caused by mental illness in a parent or caregiver, this is a serious form of child abuse in which the caregiver purposely makes the child ill to get attention. Because frequent doctor visits and hospitalizations are often associated with this form of abuse, many medical professionals have the opportunity to catch the abuse and report it to the authorities, and they could be held liable if they fail in this duty.
- Failure to report child abuse. In fact, any mandated reporter who fails to identify the signs that a child in their care is being abused and report it to authorities can be held liable—along with their employer—for the damage done to the child. Mandated reporters in Michigan include teachers, school counselors, clergy members, physicians, dentists, therapists, EMTs, athletic trainers, day care providers, and more.
We represent children in injury cases, but someone needs to speak up for them. If you know that a child has been harmed, contact us to find out what your next steps should be to protect that child’s future.
Do Not Hesitate to Call Us for Answers
Children are resilient. Remarkably, they can fight back from some of the worst situations—if they have help. That help includes a parent or guardian who speaks up and a child injury attorney with a proven track record of securing compensation to pay for medical treatment and life-long care, if necessary. Contact us to schedule your free consultation to find out if we can help guide your child to the bright future they deserve.