Personal Injury Lawyer
In most states, children under 18 are considered minors who can’t negotiate contracts. What are parents to do if their child is injured in an accident? Just because children can’t sign contracts doesn’t mean they don’t have rights. A child has the right to have his or her medical bills paid for and to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Who Brings the Claim?
In most cases, the parent of the child will have to file a personal injury claim on behalf of the child. The parent must be the legal guardian of the child. If the child’s parents are divorced, you would have to look at the divorce document to determine who has the right. In cases where parents have joint custody, both parents may be required to file the claim.
In many cases, even if the claim is settled out of court, a judge may still need to approve the claim. This is simply to protect the child and usually involves filing a form with the court. Every state has rules about how a child’s claim must be settled. It’s in your best interest to make sure you follow the guidelines for your state.
Who Is Liable?
If your child is injured in a car accident or through medical malpractice, you would file a claim against an adult. But when your child is injured by another child, it can be difficult to know who, if anyone, would be liable. Children are held to a different standard in cases of injury. However, you might be able to file a claim against their parents or legal guardians. Homeowners or auto insurance may cover the claim, depending on the circumstances.
How Is the Money Handled in a Personal Injury Claim for a Child?
Although the parent often brings the case to the court, the money be placed in a trust that is governed by the court until the child is 18. The settlement may be divided into portions. One portion allocated to pay for the initial medical expenses. Another portion goes to the attorney to pay for the expenses and fees associated with the case. A portion may be set aside for the child and future expenses. If the parent needs money to care for the child, it would be necessary to petition the court (or trustee) to ask permission.
Talk to an Attorney
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of others, talk to a personal injury lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed.