When a child is killed, it can be a parent’s worst nightmare, but thankfully, Portland child accident lawyers have seen a dramatic drop in the number of child accidental deaths over the past decade. While the numbers remain too high, the trend is certainly to be welcomed, according to personal injury attorneys.
A recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a decline in traffic deaths has coincided with the large drop in accidental child deaths. The report notes that between 2000 and 2009, the numbers of children and teenagers who have been killed in any kind of accident, not just motor vehicle accidents, has fallen by 30 percent.
The CDC report gives both the good and the bad news regarding child accidental death trends.
- There were at least 11,000 fewer accidental deaths in the 0 to 19 years of age bracket in the period covered by the study than in the preceding 10 years.
- The study revealed that 9,000 young Americans are still killed in accidents each year, a number Portland child accident lawyers claim is still far too high. Motor vehicle accidents still claim the greatest number of young lives as well as
- Other unintentional injuries
- Accidental injuries remain the number one cause of death in America for children aged 1 to 19.
- For infants from 0 to 12 months, unintentional injuries are the fifth-leading cause of death.
While the numbers have improved, child accident lawyers say the majority of the accidents that claim young lives are not only preventable, they’re also predictable. Ileana Arias, the Principal Deputy Director at the CDC agreed, saying, “Most of these events are predictable. One child’s death is one death too many.”
Improved road safety has been a major factor
Without question, the decline in child accidental deaths can be directly linked to the drop in vehicle-related crash deaths over the past decade. In total, 41 percent fewer children were killed in road accidents between 2000 and 2009 than in the previous 10 years. Experts say the reasons for this decline include:
- Improvements in child safety and booster seats use
- The use of graduated drivers’ licensing systems for teen drivers
- More and better safety features fitted into motor vehicles
Certainly, not all the news in the CDC report is good. A number of troubling trends were revealed. They include:
- An increase of a shocking 91 percent in poisoning deaths among teens in the 15 to 19 age bracket. The majority of these deaths were linked to overdoses of prescription drugs, especially painkillers.
- A highly puzzling and disturbing increase of 54 percent in deaths of babies under one year of age, due to suffocation
- Despite the improvements, a total of 225,000 children were hospitalized with unintentional injuries in 2009.
- In that same year, no fewer than 8.4 million young patients were treated for accidental injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
- Child accident lawyers have also noticed a wide discrepancy in injury levels from state to state. For example, Mississippi’s accidental death rate among children was more than six times greater than that in Massachusetts.
- In one year alone, the cost of accidental injuries to children that resulted in death, hospitalization or an emergency room visit came to almost $11.5 billion in medical expenses.
Parents quite naturally want to protect their children from any kind of harm. That instinct never goes away, no matter how old or independent the child gets, but when a young person is injured or killed in an accident of any kind, a parent’s world can be shattered forever.
Problem: Kids aren’t as aware of safety as adults
Young people feel invincible, but in truth they are extremely vulnerable, particularly when their bodies are not fully developed and they are not fully aware of all the dangers around them. They need to be protected until they are strong enough and wise enough to look out for themselves.
Unfortunately, literally thousands of Oregon children are accidentally injured every year, and in too many cases, they never recover from those injuries. When those accidents were both predictable and preventable, or when they were caused by someone else’s negligence, the child’s parents should not have to foot the bill for the medical expenses and ongoing treatment required to bring the child back to full health.
If your child has been hurt in an accident that you feel was someone else’s fault, you owe it to yourself and your child to contact a team of compassionate and experienced child accident lawyers. They will gladly offer you a free consultation and explain the complexities of the statutes of limitations that apply to child injuries. In addition, they will provide expert advice on the amount of compensation you can expect and that you will need to provide the care and treatment your child will need to make a full recovery.