One of the most common ways that children suffer serious injuries is a fall. Unfortunately, victims can suffer serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, that can have long-term effects throughout their lives.
While not all falls are anything other than a true accident, some are caused by the negligence of a property or business owner. If a dangerous condition was the cause of your child’s slip and fall injuries, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Child Slip and Fall Accidents?
Property owners and businesses have a duty to maintain their properties in a safe condition, repair hazardous conditions, and post warning signs when they cannot remove the danger immediately. Like adults, children can slip or trip and fall when floors are uneven or damaged, lighting is insufficient, water or debris is not cleaned up properly, or there are other unsafe conditions on a property. Other common ways that children are hurt in a slip and fall accident include:
- Playgrounds. Playground equipment can become dangerous if it is not maintained or designed properly or the surface under the equipment is not soft enough. If a child falls off the equipment and is hurt, the property owner can face liability to compensate them for their injuries.
- Camps. A slip and fall accident can happen at a camp if the children are allowed to engage in dangerous activities, the property is not maintained properly, or the staff does not properly supervise the campers.
- Schools and daycare. Schools and daycares have a duty to provide a safe environment for children and to train staff to supervise them properly. When they breach these duties, a child can suffer long-term injuries in a slip and fall accident.
- Sports activities. While sports activities can be fun, they can pose a danger to children if they are not supervised properly or the playing field or equipment being used is not maintained in a safe condition.
How a Child’s Negligence Could Affect Their Slip and Fall Claim
Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence doctrine that prohibits a slip and fall accident victim from obtaining any compensation for their injuries if they were at all at fault in causing their fall—even as little as one percent. However, children are held to a lower standard due to their lack of experience and limited ability to identify dangers and assess risks.
In our commonwealth, children under seven years old cannot be found to be negligent at all. Those who are between the ages of seven and fourteen are presumed to not be negligent as well, but this is only a rebuttable presumption. They can be found contributorily negligent if it is proved that they understood the risks of their actions and their actions did not conform to those of children who were of a similar age, intelligence, maturity, and experience.
We’re Here to Help
Was your child injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Their claim can be more complicated than if they were an adult pursuing a right for compensation. Our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to obtain the evidence they need to win their case and to fight for the compensation they deserve for their injuries. To learn more about how we can assist you in pursuing your child’s claim, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free case evaluation.