How Do Personal Injury Claims Involving Children Differ?
Despite everything you do to prevent your child from suffering an injury, it could still happen. Unfortunately, these injuries are often the result of someone else’s negligence, such as the other driver in a car crash, a school bus driver, teacher or the owner of a pool.
If you think your child’s injury could have been prevented, you should call a licensed attorney to find out if compensation may be available. For example, you may be able to recover compensation for the cost of treating your child’s injuries, including future medical treatment.
Below, learn more about how personal injury claims involving children differ from those involving adults, including how compensation is paid out and how these claims are filed.
TSR Injury Law offers a free legal consultation to discuss your child’s injury. We take these and other types of personal injury cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees for representing you.
Filing a Claim on Behalf of a Child
Generally, if a minor/child has a valid personal injury claim against someone else, his or her parent or legal guardian must file it on his or her behalf. The parent or legal guardian has the authority to take the necessary steps to pursue compensation, including hiring an attorney who can negotiate a settlement or even file a lawsuit, if necessary.
You may be able to seek compensation for your child’s medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, and potentially future lost wages and income. For example, if your child suffers a life-changing injury, he or she may lose career opportunities because of physical or mental limitations. Your child may also need disability accommodations for school, and you may be able to recover these expenses on behalf of your child.
Settlements Must Be Approved by the Court
If your Bloomington personal injury lawyer negotiates a settlement, it must be approved by the court. Even if everyone agrees a settlement is fair, the Judge has the final say. This law is in place to help protect the child’s best interests, as children could be pressured or influenced by their parents, insurance companies or their attorney. The other reason for court approval of settlements is that minors are not able to enter legally binding contracts.
How Are Settlement Proceeds Distributed?
If your claim is successful, and the court approves the settlement, the funds will be invested for the child. A certificate of deposit may be purchased at a bank or a qualified assignment might be used to place the funds in an annuity. No matter what, the child will not be able to access these funds until he or she turns 18 (or older if the terms of the annuity are set up differently). The only way to obtain the funds before the child turns 18 is through a court order. Banks and annuities must have A-plus ratings before the Judge would allow the funds to be deposited. Rate of return often takes a back seat to security of return.
Once the child turns 18 (or the age planned for in the annuity), the funds belong to the child, and they are his or hers to do with as he or she pleases. Parents often are concerned an 18-year-old is no longer a child but might not make the best financial decisions. The decision to use a CD or annuity is part of the legal consultation. There are also tax consequences depending on which plan is used.
Types of Personal Injury Claims Filed on Behalf of Children
There are many different situations when parents may have grounds to pursue compensation on their child’s behalf.
For example, your child may be eligible for compensation for injuries suffered in a:
- Car crash
- Slip and fall accident on another’s property
- Swimming pool accident
- Defective product accident
- Boating accident
- Dog bite
- Daycare abuse incident
- Medical malpractice incident
Children are more susceptible to serious injuries than adults, particularly with something like a dog bite/attack or daycare abuse. The injuries your child suffers could take a long time to heal, and sometimes children never completely recover.
TSR Injury Law is here to help you during this difficult time. We represent injury victims throughout Minnesota and have a proven track record of success.
Need Legal Help? Call Today to See How We Could Help
We know how stressful it can be when a child is injured because of another’s negligence. Talking to a lawyer can be an important step in the recovery process.
However, you want to talk to a lawyer with experience and a history of recovering compensation. At TSR Injury Law, we have obtained more than $150 million on behalf of our personal injury clients.
There is no risk in contacting us, as the initial consultation is free, and you are not obligated to hire our firm. We also do not charge attorney fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
We are here to answer your questions. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME