When a child is injured in by the negligence of another person, it can leave long-lasting consequences. A minor child cannot file a lawsuit, generally, it is the parent or guardian who will have to bring the claim against the other party. But when a child is injured, it’s not always easy to show negligence.
How to Establish Negligence
When children are injured, if the adult who is responsible for the child doesn’t uphold safety measures, that adult may be liable for the child’s injuries. It’s called a duty of care. One of the key elements in a personal injury case is showing that the adult owed your child a duty of care. A schoolteacher who didn’t adequately supervise your child during school may be liable for injuries that occurred. Another parent on the playground who was present but not responsible for watching your child may not be.
Other elements of a personal injury case include fault. Could the child have been partially responsible for the accident? Did the adult in charge tell your child to stop and the child didn’t listen? If your child was doing something illegal, negligence may be more difficult to prove. If you gave consent to the action that caused the injury, it might be hard to show negligence, such as riding on the dirt bike.
Statute of Limitations Involving a Child
Typically, the statute of limitations limits the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit. In most states, this limit is one to two years following the accident. With minor children, the parent can bring a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. However, if the parent or guardian fails to do so, the child has some time after his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
How Are a Child’s Funds Handled in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
As part of the settlement, children might receive funds for pain and suffering, disfigurement or scarring or future issues that will need to be dealt with once they are older. Typically, the parent or guardian is placed as a trustee over the settlement a child receives. The court may order the trustee to submit annual reports outlining how the funds are used. The court may also place a local bank or attorney as a trustee over the funds.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been injured due to negligence, contact a lawyer with the details of your case to determine how to proceed.