Can a Child Pursue a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
March 28, 2019
Injuries, often caused by someone’s negligence, are the leading cause of death for youngsters in America. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that around 12,000 children die each year from unintentional injuries and accidents.
When a child is injured by someone else’s negligence, the law applies to them a bit differently. Obviously, a child can’t represent themselves in a personal injury lawsuit, so how are these situations handled in court?
Read on to learn more about child accidents and personal injury lawsuits.
Can Children Pursue a Lawsuit?
This question is difficult to answer. In short, a person under the age of 18 can’t file their own lawsuit. The law won’t allow it in Florida. If a child has a potential personal injury case, then a lawsuit can only be filed by an adult on the behalf of the child.
When a minor child is the party that needs compensation, there are some important considerations that will impact a lawsuit. These factors are:
- The statue of limitations is extended
- Medical bills associated with the claim are the parent’s responsibility, so the child can’t claim the medical expenses as damages. The parents can claim these losses as their own
- A child can’t pursue lost wages unless they’re emancipated from parents
- Florida law states that children under six can’t be held negligent. In these cases, there is no issue of comparative negligence
When you are hurt by the negligence of someone else, you have a limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit. The laws are slightly different when it is a child who has been injured. In most situations, the child has up to three years after they reach adulthood (18-years-old) to pursue compensation when a lawsuit has never been filed.
When Will the Children Receive Compensation?
If a child is successful at winning compensation through a lawsuit, then understand it won’t just be given to the child’s parents or put into a bank account. Unless the child is already emancipated from their parents, the courts won’t release the funds until the child reaches adulthood. In some situations, the law will allow parents to receive the money in a trust, but these situations are rare. More often, the courts will offer the money as a structured settlement. When the child reaches 18, they can appear before the court to have the funds released.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach and throughout Florida. Contact us by calling 754-226-1474 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.