Oct 18 2020 |
What Happens to A Personal Injury Claim When a Child is Involved
Nothing in life is as precious as a child. We do the best we can to protect them, but no matter how hard we try, accidents and injuries can occur. Whether it’s a faulty toy, product, equipment or negligence from a person or organization, a personal injury claim can be made on the child’s behalf.
What types of incidents can occur?
Sadly, you can’t bubble wrap a child to ensure they don’t get hurt, and there are a number of ways or situations where personal injury could happen to a child:
An accident at school
A very common place for accidents to occur with children is in a school setting, such as a daycare, in the classroom, or on the playground.
Injuries from playing sports
Sports are a great way to promote a child’s self-confidence, and extracurricular sports activities are all about being active and having fun, which is important. But an accident could occur at any time while running in a field, swimming, tobogganing or playing a contact sport.
Neglect from caregivers
Whether it’s a daycare teacher, babysitter or any other caregiver, an injury could take place in a split second if an eye is taken off the child, or if the environment has not been childproofed. As any parent knows, a child can get up to quite a bit in the span of a few seconds.
Motor vehicle accident
Being involved in an automobile accident is a scary experience for someone at any age, but a child is likely to suffer more injuries in an accident than an adult due to the pressure of seat beats, whiplash and not knowing how to brace themselves for impact.
Something as simple as a toy that is improperly made could severely injure a child. With the way many toys and products are mass-produced, a defective item might slip through the final inspection process and could lead to a wide assortment of problems.
A litigation guardian
A minor (anyone under the age of 18) cannot bring a case up on their behalf. They need a litigation guardian. This is generally a parent, family member or legal guardian. This person must volunteer to act on the child’s behalf. If the child has no one to stand for them, the court may appoint a litigation guardian.
The child always comes first
After already going through a traumatic incident, the last thing a child needs is to go through an intimidating and frightening experience spent in a courtroom. The court will have complete oversight to review and approve or disapprove settlement offers, which they will look to do as quickly as possible to avoid further stress on the child.
Limitation periods and giving evidence
A personal injury lawsuit must be started within two years of the date that the accident happened. But, when it comes to the child being a minor, the limitation period doesn’t begin until the child turns 18.
When it comes to giving evidence, a judge will conduct an evaluation of the child if under the age of 14 to ensure competency before allowing their evidence to be admissible in court.
If your child has been injured, contact the compassionate professionals at Zayouna Law. We are here for you and your family to help make a difficult time go as smoothly and quickly as possible.