The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that injuries are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 19. Children’s fatal and non-fatal injuries are often caused by the negligent acts of another person, which gives these children the right to file a personal injury claim. But, the laws for personal injury cases involving children are slightly different than the laws for cases involving adults. Here’s what you need to know:
The Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Cases Involving Children
Adults have two to three years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, however the statute of limitations for cases involving children is different. Children still have two to three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but this two to three year period does not begin until the child turns 18.
For example, let’s say a 12-year-old child is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. The statute of limitations for car accident cases is three years. This means the 12-year-old child will have three years starting on the date of her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Court Approval For Personal Injury Settlements
Many of the procedures in a personal injury case are the same regardless of whether the victim is a child or adult. However, the process of reaching a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company can be different.
The parents—or whoever is taking legal action on behalf of the child—may be required to obtain the court’s approval for a personal injury settlement. This approval is required when it is demanded by the at-fault party’s insurance company or when the value of the settlement exceeds a certain amount.
This allows the court to review the details of the settlement before it is official to ensure that it is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the nature of the injury, the terms of the settlement, and whether the amount of compensation offered in the settlement is enough to cover the minor victim’s expenses and losses. The court will also review the attorneys’ fees to determine if they are fair before approving the settlement.
Obtaining court approval is a complex process, so it’s imperative to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If your child has been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys can guide parents and children through the complicated process of recovering compensation for an injured minor. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.