How Old Can You Be to Obtain a Personal Injury Attorney?
Children are less experienced, more impulsive, and more susceptible to injuries than adults. Their legal options are also limited, or so you may think. Many people believe an injured child must be over 18 to file a lawsuit. But in a child injury case, compensation for children and minors is possible. Kids aren’t likely to require compensation for missed work or to support their families financially. However, an injury can be more severe for a child than an adult, and thus require expensive treatment during recovery.
Many injury attorneys deal with accident cases involving injured children. There are challenges in representing a minor, but the victim can be under 18 and still have the help of a lawyer. All too often, minors are hurt due to the negligence or harmful actions of someone else. They can be compensated for present and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental trauma, and loss of future wages if accident-related injuries leave them disabled. Damages can even include wrongful death.
How Lawsuits Involving Minors Work
If your child is under 18, they cannot file a personal injury lawsuit on their own. But a parent or legal guardian can. California law applies different rules regarding child injury cases. For example, priority is given to scheduling court dates for children under 14 years old. You must obtain a judge’s approval for an injury settlement involving a child. There are also different statutes of limitations; the exact time limit to file a lawsuit depends on the child’s age and the type of injury they have sustained.
Not only can you obtain a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit if a minor is injured. You can also be awarded damages. Legally, the damage award must be held in a trust until the child turns 18. Parents’ out-of-pocket expenses may be deducted from that amount.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help Navigate the Law
A personal injury lawyer can fight for you and your child’s rights. There are other legal factors to consider regarding:
- Degree of responsibility: The legal responsibility assigned to children is different than for adults. For example, a judge will look into whether the child’s actions leading to the accident were age-appropriate, or if they were negligent in any significant way. The younger the child, the lower their level of judgement and expected degree of responsibility.
- Trespassing: A property owner may be liable if known hazards contributed to dangers that led to the accident. Your child may have been curious and wandered into an unkept area or near an unfenced swimming pool. In such cases, the owner may be liable for the child’s injury. Generally, trespassing adults are not awarded damages in trespassing cases.
Different parties can be held liable in a child injury case. If it was a car accident, a motorist can be liable, but property owners, toy manufacturers, pet owners, school officials, playground equipment manufacturers, and even sports coaches and health care providers can be held liable.
Let Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Represent Your Minor
Our attorney can investigate a child injury case just as effectively as they would an accident involving an adult. They can interview witnesses, build a case for compensation, and deal with insurance adjusters. Oftentimes an attorney can help settle a case out of court, saving time and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Jacob Emrani today at 888-952-2952 for a free consultation and find out how much your child injury case may be worth.