Filing a Personal Injury Claim if the Victim is a Child
Children are often more vulnerable to injury, not just because of their smaller size and the fact their bodies are still developing. Children often do not recognize dangerous situations as quickly as adults do, and they often think they are unlikely to get hurt when they do dangerous things.
However, even when children are in dangerous situations, they are often injured because of the negligence of someone else, such as another driver or property owner. When this happens, they may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim.
Below, learn more about the differences between personal injury claims involving adults and those involving children, including filing deadlines, procedures for filing a claim and how compensation is paid out.
Who Files a Lawsuit Over a Child’s Injury?
Generally, a lawyer files a claim on behalf of the victim. However, it is often the child’s parents or legal guardian(s) who advocate on behalf of the child. They are usually the ones who meet with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to discuss legal options, negotiate and approve settlement offers.
However, the child could advocate on his or her behalf, particularly after turning 18. Arizona’s personal injury statute of limitations contains an exception for claims involving minors ”“ the two-year clock on filing a claim does not begin to run until the minor turns 18. That means a child could theoretically wait until turning 18 to consider pursuing a case.
Compensation for Children
The goal of a personal injury claim is to obtain compensation to help put the victim back in the position he or she was in before the accident. This is especially important for a child, as a personal injury accident can have a dramatic impact on the child physically, emotionally and psychologically. Children may need counseling to help them process what happened, particularly after a dog attack or near drowning.
Our experienced attorneys know how to determine the value of a claim, factoring in emotional and psychological damages and the cost of counseling and medications. Our goal is to do what is in the child’s best interests.
In some states, the claim cannot be settled until it is approved by a judge. Once there is a settlement or jury verdict in the child’s favor, compensation is often placed into a trust, and the child cannot access it until he or she turns 18 years of age. Sometimes courts appoint a guardian ad litem to review the terms of a settlement to ensure it is fair.
The court may have authority to allow the parents to use a portion of the settlement for the benefit of the child, such as if the child needs medical or psychological treatment. For example, maybe the child needs medical equipment or home renovations to accommodate a disability.
Wrongful Death Claims
When a child dies due to another’s negligence, the parent or guardian of that child may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. Parents or guardians may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Property damage
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
Injuries Children Often Suffer in Auto Accidents
While there are many different types of personal injury accidents, motor vehicle accidents are the most common. When children are involved in these accidents, they may suffer a variety of severe injuries, including:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
- Lung injuries
Children are often more likely to suffer these injuries because the impact of a collision can be much more severe on their bodies. That is why internal injuries are quite common in car accidents involving children.
That is why seeking medical attention for your child should be your first priority after a crash. Waiting could allow injuries to become much worse and potentially put your child’s life in jeopardy.
Has Your Child Been Injured? Call to Schedule a No-Risk, Free Consultation
The attorneys at Phillips Law Group are ready to pursue maximum compensation for your child’s injuries. Call today to schedule your free consultation to find out if you may have a valid claim.
Our experienced attorneys have extensive knowledge of Arizona laws governing claims involving children. Our goals are to do what is in the child’s best interests and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Our firm has more than 28 years of experience helping personal injury victims across the state and we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. There are no fees unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.
Call Phillips Law Group today. Phone: 1-800-706-3000
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