Infants are the most vulnerable to accidental death, according to a Fundación MAPFRE study which reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Fundación MAPFRE, a nonprofit organization created the MAPFRE Group in 1975, supported the study. The study analyzed government data between 2005 through 2017.
The study’s unintentional and intentional death findings:
The child study found the following alarming findings:
- Three of the leading causes of death for children between birth and 14-years-of age were suffocation, transportation, and drowning: 80% of deaths of infants (birth to one year) were due to suffocation, and 76% of those deaths (nearly 10,000) were due to “accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed.”
- More than 77 million children (newborn to 14) were treated in ER departments across the US. The leading cause of ER visits for a child was a fall. More than one in three children between birth and 14 were treated at an emergency room for a fall.
- The rate of deaths for infants (birth to 12 months) was three time higher than for children aged one to four and seven times higher than for children aged 5-14.
- The most common cause of accidental death for children between 1 and 14 (nearly half) was transportation in a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or being struck while a pedestrian; 21,571 children (birth to 14) died due to a transportation accident during the timeframe of the study.
- Even for homicides, infants were more likely to be killed than children one to four – and children one to four were more likely to die by homicide than children aged 5 to 14.
It is hoped that the study will crystallize the need for better prevention efforts across a wide range of activities to help infants and children.
Accidents involving children
Children have the same right as adults to hold drivers, doctors, manufacturers of defective products, and others accountable if their negligence or fault causes that child to die, or to suffer harm. This means they are entitled to compensation for all their medical expenses including surgeries, doctor visits, therapy, psychological counseling, and long-term care. They are entitled to compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering.
- The parents or legal guardians typically will be the ones who file the claim, though your child may be named as a plaintiff. (Children’s identities are often protected court filings.)
- Young children are not often called as witnesses, because they may be incapable of telling someone exactly what happened to them – and some parents don’t want their children speaking with a judge about their injuries.
- If another child caused your child’s injuries, the case may proceed a bit differently. Generally in Tennessee, children who are younger than seven are presumed to have no capacity for negligence. Children between 7 and 13 have a “rebuttable presumption” of negligence – they’re presumed not negligent, but the defendant can show they did understand the dangers. For children between 14 and 18, there is a rebuttable presumption of negligence – they’re presumed negligent but they can show, through legal counsel, that they were not capable or negligence.
- If a child dies, the parents (or legal guardians) file a wrongful death claim on the child’s behalf. The parents are generally the beneficiaries of any wrongful damage award.
- Your child does not have a work history, so determining the loss of future income can be a challenge. However, the claim for medical compensation – both current and future costs – may be the bulk of your child’s claim if he or she is catastrophically injured.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we’ve helped many injury victims and the families of loved ones obtain multi-million awards based on the negligence or strict liability of the defendants. We understand the unique challenges of representing children who are tragically killed or are made to suffer due to someone else’s irresponsible behavior. To speak with a Memphis child injury lawyer about next steps, call 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form. We represent accident victims in Memphis, Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee.