Can I Bring a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of a Child?
Just like adults, children can be hurt due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. And, just like adults, children have the right to fair compensation. However, unlike adults, minors under the age of 18 cannot file a personal injury lawsuit or claim.
In most cases, Georgia courts will allow a parent or legal guardian to file a personal injury claim on behalf of their child.
What are the Causes of Child Injury Claims?
Just because your child has been injured in an accident does not mean that another person or business is to blame or liable for the accident.
The four legal elements of every personal injury case are duty, breach, causation, and harm.
Successful personal injury claims prove that fault was involved.
At Hasner Law, P.C, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers provide representation for some of the most common child injury cases that have resulted from negligence or recklessness.
The list includes the following:
- Defective airbags
- Auto defects
- Bicycle defects
- Dangerous or defective products
- Defective seatbelts
- Defective toys or toys containing lead paint
- Dangerous drugs
- Flammable fabrics
- Defective medical devices
- Defective infant or child car seats
- Motor vehicle accidents (including school buses, cars, trucks, taxis, motorcycles, and public transportation)
- Slips and falls
- Dog bites and vicious animal attacks
- Defective sports equipment
- Defective playground equipment
- Medical malpractice
- Contaminated or undercooked food
- Accidents involving elevators or escalators
Many accidents can be avoided with the proper supervision of children and regular property maintenance. Our knowledgeable lawyers provide families with compassionate and caring legal representation, yet we will not hesitate to take appropriately aggressive action when needed.
What’s Involving in Filing a Child Injury Claim in Atlanta?
Under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of your child’s accident to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child. Another statute of limitations also allows your child to file their own lawsuit when they turn 18.
After their 18th birthday, they have two years to file a claim for injuries sustained in an earlier accident.
However, delaying a personal injury claim can impact your chances of recovering full and fair damage for medical bills, lost earning capacity, suffering, and more. For example, the court may have trouble contacting witnesses, and some evidence may no longer be available.
In order to protect the child’s best interests, the court imposes a variety of regulations in child injury cases. For example, the state of Georgia sets limitations on how and when a child’s personal injury compensation can be accessed before the child turns 18.
Compensation is typically deposited into an interest-bearing bank account that is held in trust by the child’s parent or guardian until the child turns 18 years. With the court’s approval, some of the awarded funds may be used in the interim for medical expenses.
Additionally, Georgia Code section 29-3-3 states that if a child’s proposed gross settlement is greater than $15,000 (after deduction of attorney fees and litigation expenses), the parent or guardian must be named as a legal conservator by the Probate Court.
The parent or guardian must obtain that court’s approval before accepting the proposed settlement on behalf of their child.
When a gross settlement awarded for personal injuries to a minor is $15,000 or less, Georgia law allows the parent or guardian to settle the claim without first becoming a conservator and without the court’s approval.
Unique Aspects of a Child Injury Claim
There is nothing more valuable to a parent than the health of their child. When a child is hurt in an accident, it can be hard to look beyond how your child feels in the here and the now. You just want them to be smiling and happy again.
However, parents need to consider any long-term financial implications that can result from a childhood injury. Severe injuries or permanent disabilities may require lengthy care and even reduce your child’s future ability to earn a living.
Although a personal injury claim cannot make everything the way it was before the accident, it can lessen the financial burden. If your child has been injured in an accident, a successful personal injury lawsuit can help provide for their future needs.
The personal injury lawyers at Hasner Law understand the painful challenges these accidents can cause. That is why we will work to secure fair compensation from all responsible parties when negligence has caused a child to suffer.
Contact An Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
There are so many circumstances that can cause injury to an active child. If you believe your child’s injury was due to someone’s negligence or recklessness, the Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C., are here to help. Contact us today to arrange your free consultation.