UNITED STATES—If your child was injured in an accident and you were not the at-fault driver, you can and should file a lawsuit. Why? There are a few reasons. You should not be left with the bills from a situation you didn’t cause, and compensation can help your child to get treatment. In addition to this, a lawsuit will hold the at-fault party responsible and may encourage them to be more careful in the future.
As a parent, nothing is more important to you than your children. That’s why when they are hurt, everything changes. Personal injury cases are somewhat common, but it does not mean they are easy to settle, especially when a child is involved.
A child cannot issue a claim against a third-party, so the guardian or parent must file the petition on the child’s behalf. If you were responsible for the accident, you can’t represent your child in a lawsuit. Another guardian would need to represent your child’s interests in court. Before filing a lawsuit, there are some things that you should know.
What Parents Need to Know About Personal Injury Lawsuits
To file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf, you’ll need to be able to prove that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, which means you must prove that drivers are required to drive safely. That’s the easy part. After that, you’ll have to prove that they breached this duty of care and that it caused your child’s damages. These damages may include:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Future medical expenses
- The cost of therapy and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Compensation for the loss of enjoyment in their life
- The loss of the ability to earn future income
You may also be able to file for your own compensation for the costs associated with the accident. Punitive damages may also be awarded by the court if your case goes to trial.
The personal injury lawsuit is supposed to name all the parties involved in the car accident; these parties include the person who caused the accident, the insurance company and the accident victims. In such a case, the insurance company will focus on liability. The other party will then account for everything on their own.
Depending on your state’s laws, the court may need to approve any settlement you accept on a child’s behalf. They may also need to approve the type of payment structure. A settlement can be paid out in installments, or the child may receive the funds in a lump sum after they turn 18. The court may also decide when you are allowed to use the funds for expenses and how the funds can be spent.
When it comes to personal injury claims, speaking to your insurance company can be tricky. You can follow the link to learn more about what you may say to a claims adjuster that could negatively affect your compensation.
How You May Feel During the Lawsuit
When handling a personal injury case, your emotions can run high. This can be intensified when a child is involved. If your child has been injured in a car accident, your concentration may be affected because you are spending most of your time thinking about your child’s recovery.
As a parent, you will be angry, and the anger may bring about some emotions that could end up clouding your judgment. You should always ensure that your feelings are kept in check so your focus can be on making sure your child gets the best representation throughout this process.