Can I Sue If My Child Is Injured In A Car Accident?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 19, 2019

Our children are our lives. They are what matter to us most in this world. It's as simple as that. And when our child is hurt, it changes a parent forever. Personal injury cases may be some of the most common legal matters on record, but that doesn’t make them easy to prove or settle, especially when a child is the injured party. If your child is hurt in a car accident, questions are probably saturating your head, such as "Can you sue if your child is injured?"

Standard legal practice dictates that children cannot bring their own claim against a third-party. Therefore, if a lawsuit is warranted, a parent or guardian must file it on the child's behalf. Before you get ahead of yourself, there are a few things you need to know about cases like these. We’ll outline some of the basic parameters you need to have in place to get the lawsuit off of the ground.

My Child has Been Hurt in a Car Accident. What Can I Do?

As a rule, passions run high in personal injury cases. Adding a child to the mix can intensify this response. When you’re a parent and your child is hurt in a car accident, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything besides getting your child well. Whether it’s a few scrapes and bruises, broken bones or life-altering injuries, you are most likely flooded with emotions, stressed and devastated, to say the least. You are angry at the person to blame, and sometimes that anger can turn into irrational emotions that can cloud your judgement. Try as best as you can to keep emotions out of it though, and focus on getting proper representation for your child's case.

Here are some things that the court system needs to know before the lawsuit moves forward:

  • Whether or not the person acting on the child's behalf is involved in or responsible for the accident that caused the child's injury. Legally, to act as a litigation-friend on behalf of a child, you have to be free of the accident situation and without responsibility for the injuries caused, although there may be some limited exceptions to this general rule.

  • The compensation awarded minors is somewhat limited by comparison to personal injury cases involving adults. It is standard practice for most insurance companies to cover the medical costs of a child involved in an accident, however; if there's a dispute regarding these charges by the other party’s insurance company, medical expenses can be added to the damages in the suit.

  • Other damages include: mental injury caused by the accident, anguish and fear, and loss of livelihood. Courts still rely on a burden of proof to show that these less visible injuries were sustained.

  • You have two years to file a claim or accept a settlement in a personal injury case that involves a child.  In some jurisdictions, like Texas, the two-year clock does not start to run until the child turns 18. After that, the statute of limitations is up. Most insurance companies will attempt to settle these cases out of court. Make sure to get a lawyer so that the best interests of the child are protected and fair compensation is awarded.

Do you have a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury lawsuit should name all parties involved in the incident. This includes the person or persons who caused the accident and their insurance company. The insurance company will be focused on being released of liability. The other party will be focused on their own accountability. Our children mean everything in the world to us, and that’s why you need someone genuinely focused on the welfare and rights of your child. The right legal counsel will make sure you have the resources to care for your injured child and that they can access the funds awarded when they reached the age of 18. Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas are just the support team you need. The skilled attorneys care about the well-being of your child and entire family and they will aggressively work to get you and your family the compensation and justice they deserve after your child is injured in an automobile accident. Get a copy of the accident report and schedule a consultation with one of Amarillo’s top personal injury attorneys at Stockard, Johnston & Brown today.

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image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / Free Digital Photos

Topics: Personal Injury, Vehicular Accidents