When Your Child Is Hurt: Taking Legal Action

Dealing with the injury of a child can be nearly overwhelming to most parents. Once you know your child is in good medical hands, your thoughts might turn to making the party who caused your child to be hurt pay. Read on for what you need to know about taking legal action when your child is harmed by another.

Children Are Entitled to Recover Compensation

You might have heard that children under the age of 18 are not allowed to be paid for personal injury damages but that is not exactly correct. While you must be at least the age of majority in the state where the accident occurred to file a lawsuit, an adult may take action on a minor child's behalf. You must the child's parent or legal guardian to file a suit or accept a monetary settlement on the child's behalf.

When and Where Many Injuries Occur

Anywhere an adult can be hurt – so can a child. Just as with adults, many children get injured when the vehicle they are a passenger in gets hit. Related accidents include school bus and daycare van accidents. Other common forms of injury occur at amusement parks, in a daycare setting, during sporting events, on playgrounds, and from dog attacks.

Understanding Liability

The word liability can be roughly translated to mean the party who is responsible for the injury. With liability, personal injury cases are either won or lost. As the defendant, you must show that the person or business entity failed to keep things reasonably safe for your child and that your child was injured as a result.

Child Injury Damages

The following is a list of common forms of damage (financial losses) that most parents are eligible to be paid:

  • Medical treatment expenses.
  • Lost wages (parental or child).
  • Mental anguish.
  • Home and vehicle alterations if the injuries are permanent. That might include, for example, a wheelchair lift van and bathroom accommodations.

And more.

Steps to Take

  1. Get your child immediate medical help and keep up with all medical receipts, documents, statements, etc.
  2. Gather information from the scene of the accident if possible. Take photographs and get contact information of witnesses. Take photographs of your child's injuries as well.
  3. Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the stronger your case. When dealing with child injury situations, the legal process can get complicated. Speak to a personal injury lawyer and let them evaluate the case for you. You and your child deserve a professional legal advocate to work for the compensation your need.