6 Things You Should Know About Your Child's Personal Injury Case
When you’re a parent, the first thing you value above everything else is your child’s safety. As such, if something happens to your precious kid because of someone else’s negligence or lack of care, you want to make justice and make the guilty one pay.
That makes a lot of sense, but there are some things you need to know before a child’s personal injury case – as it differs from that of an adult’s. Here are 6 things to be aware of before everything else.
1. A Child’s Age Determines His/Her Negligence
It’s safe to say that children behave differently at every age. As a matter of fact, their brain is still under development, so they aren’t able to behave the same way an adult would. When a child is part of a personal injury case, his/her age is one of the deciding factors regarding negligence. For instance, if a child is under 6 years old, they can’t be found negligent – even if it is partially.
2. Children Can’t File Their Own Personal Injury Lawsuits
It’s obvious that a child is not able to file his/her own personal injury lawsuit, so the parent is the one who has to do it. While in some states it’s possible to file them just like that, other states require you to get a pre-approval from the court first.
3. There’s a Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit
It should go without saying that you can’t wake up and file the lawsuit 30 years after it happened. Usually, you must file a personal injury lawsuit during the first two years after the day it occurred. If you happen to file a lawsuit once the term has ended, the case will be dismissed.
4. There May Be Compensation Besides Medical Bills
As obvious, when your kid is injured, you need immediate medical attention. As a result, you have to pay medical bills. So when your child is suffering due to someone else’s negligence, medical bills may be the first thing you want to recover.
However, there might be additional compensation paid for things like pain, disfigurement or mental suffering.
5. Some Courts Might Need a Guardian ad litem
Usually, when a lawsuit has a disabled person such as an infant, the court might require an ad litem guardian. What this means is that a lawyer will be appointed besides the one you chose to represent your child in court. He will make sure the settlement is in the child’s best interest. Even so, this won’t happen in all courts.
6. Under Court Approval, the Money May Only Be Received When the Child Reaches 18
If you had to apply for approval before filing the lawsuit, the funds may only be received by your child once he/she reaches 18. There are rare circumstances when the money might be released earlier, but otherwise, they will be kept until the child reaches 18 and goes in front of the court to get them.
Before filing a child’s lawsuit and looking for a catastrophic personal injury attorney, it’s important to understand what such a lawsuit involves. Hopefully, this article shed some light upon it.