Am I Able to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Minor?
An accident can happen at any time to anyone – no matter the age. When a child is in an accident, whether it’s a fall or severe cut, he or she has a right to compensation. In the eyes of the law, a child (minor) is birth up to age 18. However, given the age of the child, a parent (or guardian) can file the claim on his or her behalf. The parent must file a separate personal injury claim for medical bills. A parent can negotiate on behalf of their child because the child cannot file his or her own claim. In addition, the child will not know what forms to fill out or how much money is needed to cover expenses. If the child is older enough to know right from wrong, the child and/or the parents can be held liable.
For example, if a small child reaches her arm into a candy machine (e.g., a gumball machine) and receives a severe cut on her hand, the manufacturer of the candy machine and the store can be held liable for not putting a guard on the machine to prevent this type of accident.
The parent of the child can file the claim on the child’s behalf and sue to get to damages to cover the medical bills, doctors’ visits, medications, etc. If the child is a teenager and gets into a car accident, the teenager is most likely covered on his or her parent’s car insurance and health insurance. If the teenager is at fault, then the parents are liable for victim’s medical expenses.
The statute of limitations for a parent to file a claim for his or her child up to two years from the date of the injury. It can be extended two years after the child turns 18. The child can even file a claim at age 18 for pain and suffering and loss of earnings as an adult.
Common Types of Personal Injuries
Children are prone to accidents because they might not have a solid balance and they do not realize the risks they take, such as jumping off a swing and breaking an arm or getting hit by a car and suffering a head injury from running out into the street. The most common injuries include:
- Struck by an object – This includes a vehicle, a hard toy or a baseball.
- Bitten by an animal – The also includes being attacked by a dog.
- Burns – They can happen from skin care products, stoves, and hot water.
- Defective products – The majority of defective products are for infants and small children, such as car seats, high chairs, and bicycle helmets.
- Drownings – Unattended pools or inexperienced lifeguards.
- Car accidents – Rear and side impacts.
- Medical malpractice – Given the wrong medication or diagnosis or injury at birth.
- Suffocation – Furniture falling over or unsafe bedding.
When an accident occurs, first and foremost, get medical help and call the police. You should take pictures of the accident scene (when possible). Then call a personal injury attorney who has worked with parents filing a personal injury claim for their child.
Focusing on Recovery
Our attorneys at the Law Firm of Craig A. Altman understand emotions are running high when a child is injured. We know that the parent’s primary concern is the recovery of the child. Our job is to focus on recovering damages to pay for the child’s medical expenses now and in the future. Also, we know the rules that apply to child injury claims, especially with catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths. Contact us today to learn more with a free case evaluation at (215)-569-4488. We work on contingency, so we if don’t win, you don’t pay us.