Was your child hurt due to someone else’s negligence in San Antonio? Did you trust your children to a daycare, a school, or someone else, only to find out your child was hurt on their watch? If so, the San Antonio child injury attorneys of Herrman & Herrman want to hear from you.
A child may be entitled to compensation if they have been harmed as a result of someone else’s careless actions or inaction. However, a minor is also considered to be under a legal disability in Texas because they cannot file a legal action until they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old. In most cases, a parent or legal guardian must file a claim on the child’s behalf to recover compensation as quickly as possible.
Has your child suffered severe injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault in the greater San Antonio area? You need to contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., right away for help seeking justice on behalf of your child.
Our firm is prepared to conduct a rigorous investigation to collect all evidence and determine all liable parties. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or contact us now for a free consultation. We will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call us or contact us online.
Texas Child Injury Penal Code
Texas Penal Code § 22.04 establishes that a person commits the crime of injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) if they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or by omission, cause bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child. Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(1) defines a child as a person 14 years of age or younger.
When a person recklessly causes bodily injury to a child, or the victim suffers bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or because of the negligence of a person, the crime is classified as a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If a person recklessly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Penal Code § 22.04(b) specifically provides that omission that causes an injury to a child is conduct constituting an injury to a child offense if the person had a legal or statutory duty to act or had assumed care, custody, or control of a child. Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) defines bodily as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition,” while Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as a “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Texas Penal Code § 22.041 also establishes the crime of abandoning or endangering a child. Under this statute, a person commits an offense if, having custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years of age, they intentionally abandon the child in any place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm or intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engage in conduct that places a child younger than 15 years of age in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.041(a), the term “abandon” means “to leave a child in any place without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that age and ability.”
Abandoning or endangering a child is a state jail felony if the offender abandoned the child with intent to return for the child, but it is a third-degree felony if they abandoned the child without intent to return. When an offender abandons a child under circumstances that a reasonable person would believe would place the child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment, the crime is a second-degree felony.
Who Is at Fault in a Child Injury Accident in San Antonio?
Separate from criminal charges, injuries to a child may result in civil liability. An injured child – or the child’s parent or guardian – may be entitled to compensation regardless of the outcome of any criminal charges related to the incident. The civil case is completely separate from any criminal charges.
Liability for child injuries is not always clear cut. While negligent supervision is certainly a common allegation, the underlying facts of the case could ultimately show that it is actually someone else who bears responsibility.
For example, a child who is injured by a defective product, such as playground equipment or a toy, could have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In many other kinds of accidents, however, the person who was responsible for supervising a child can be held liable if a child is injured when the individual was caring for the child.
If your child suffered serious injuries in an accident, you need to get a personal injury attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. The San Antonio child injury lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., can investigate your case thoroughly. We can build a solid case to prove another person’s negligence and help you pursue a just award for the harm your child has suffered.
What If My Child Was Injured at School in San Antonio?
One of the catches to Texas law is that many public schools and school districts are protected under sovereign immunity, the legal doctrine that states that a state agency cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil actions. One of the exceptions relates to accidents involving the operation or use of a motor vehicle.
Schools, daycare facilities, and other childcare providers have an obligation to make sure their premises are as safe as possible for all children using the property. Even when schools cannot be held liable, individual employees may still be accountable.
When a child is injured because of a lack of oversight, an employee could be responsible for their negligence. Similarly, school equipment that is found to be dangerous might result in product liability actions or claims against parties responsible for maintenance.
Most schools are prepared to deny liability for accidents. They will try to claim a sovereign immunity exemption. Make sure you speak to an experienced attorney for help determining the best path forward with your claim. You don’t want to waste any time and effort on unnecessary battles in what is likely to be a very uphill fight.
What If My Child Was Injured Due to Negligent Supervision?
The people and organizations we trust to supervise our children need to take their responsibilities seriously, as even momentary lapses can be enough for children to become harmed in devastating accidents. Negligent supervision can also come into play when children are injured as the result of acts of other children.
Negligent supervision claims can be filed against many people and entities, including teachers, babysitters, and other workers tasked with supervising children. In addition to preventing children from engaging in risky activities, such people are also responsible for properly caring for ill or injured children.
Talk to the San Antonio Child Injury Lawyers at Our Firm
Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., are active members of our community, having served as the sponsor of the 2nd Annual Texas Patriot Ruck March, Petey’s Back to School Bash at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, and others. We also provide the Innovation Scholarship to award scholarships to six students and two teachers.
If you or your child sustained catastrophic injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence in San Antonio or another community in Bexar County, you need to get help from a child injury attorney as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. to get the knowledgeable representation you need on your side.
Our firm has an office in San Antonio and our firm is bilingual, capable of speaking to clients in both English and Spanish. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online now to set up a free and confidential consultation.