Can I Bring a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child?
Any minor who has been injured in an accident has the right to pursue compensation, although his or her parent or legal guardian will be required to file an injury claim on his or her behalf.
Generally, it is easier to prove negligence on the part of a potentially liable party in a personal injury case involving a child, as the child will not be expected to have the capacity to exercise the same caution as a normal adult.
Whether your child is a newborn or in his or her teens, you should never let any wrongs go unaddressed. To see what your legal options may be, contact a personal injury lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates.
The Foundation of Liability Law
To win a personal injury suit, you will need to be able to prove the liability of the other party.
In Utah, the standard of modified comparative fault is used, which can reduce an injury victim’s compensation to the degree to which he or she found liable, a common feature of liability law nationwide.
In Utah, however, an accident victim may be deemed ineligible to receive any damages if he or she is found mostly (i.e., 51 percent or more) liable.
Modified comparative fault, along with many other liability standards, allows personal injury victims to sue multiple parties believed to be at fault, which can ultimately help them cast a wider net.
Don’t forget that every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases; in Utah it is four years. That means you will be given four years from the date of your child’s accident to begin legal proceedings.
While minors will often be able to “toll,” or delay, the commencement of their case’s statute of limitations until they turn eighteen, it’s often wise to file a claim as soon as possible.
What to Document in a Claim
First and foremost, you will want to document any and all injuries your child has suffered as a result of the accident, including the following:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal damage
- Facial or ocular damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Stunted growth
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
In addition to compensation for injuries, accident victims can receive damages for losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages or earning potential, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
It’s important to not only account for losses and injuries that have occurred in the past or present, but any that your child will likely suffer in the future.
Let a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You and Your Child
An accident can truly traumatize a child, no matter his or her age, which largely explains why minors involved in personal injury cases are usually afforded special rights.
To help make sure you get the compensation your child needs, contact a personal injury lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates today. You can reach us by dialing 1-800-404-9000 or entering your information into the online contact form at the bottom of this page.