A minor who has experienced an injury may have grounds for a personal injury claim, but injured minors who are under the age of 18 are not allowed by the court to bring a personal injury claim for themselves. An injured minor or child will not be able to file a claim without a parent or a legal guardian. Find out how to file a personal injury claim for a minor.
Examples of Minors’ Personal Injuries and Statute of Limitations
Personal injury claims that apply to minors are handled differently than personal injury claims involving injuries to adults. Many accidents lead to injuries in minors because an adult behaved in a negligent manner or breached a duty of care. Personal injuries experienced by minors can happen in a range of settings and scenarios, including:
- School bus transportation accidents
- Jungle gym/playground falls
- Pool outings
- Use of defective products
- Daycare accidents and negligence
- School activities
- After-school activities
- Field trip accidents
- Interactions with pets/animals
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
States enforce statutes of limitations that restrict the amount of time a victim has to file a personal injury complaint. A personal injury attorney can advise you on the details of these time limits in your state.
The Guardian ad Litem
Personal injury claims for minors need to be filed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor. Some judges may appoint a guardian ad litem to ensure that there is no conflict of interest between the parent or legal guardian and the minor that they represent. The guardian ad litem will also ensure that the legal guardian or parent is not taking advantage of the minor or the situation.
The Minor’s Damages
In some cases, the minor and the parent or legal guardian may both have grounds to be found eligible for damages. A minor may be eligible for pain and suffering as a result of the injury, which includes emotional trauma. A minor may also be eligible for damages for lost wages if they had to take time off of work as a result of their injury.
Suppose that the minor suffered injuries due to the gross negligence of another, such as in a case of school or daycare abuse. In those cases, punitive damages might also be included in a claim for compensation.
The Parent or Legal Guardian’s Damages
A parent or legal guardian representing a minor in a personal injury claim could potentially be owed out-of-pocket medical costs that were not covered by health insurance.
Additionally, the court may appoint the parent or legal guardian damages for lost wages for any time that was taken off work to take care of the injured minor.
General Settlement Information
With a smaller settlement amount, the compensation will most likely be deposited into the court’s registry. The minor may access their account when they are a legal adult at 18 years old.
Larger settlements will usually be managed by the attorney and the guardian ad litem assigned to the case. Again, the compensation will most likely be placed in an investment or annuity account until the minor becomes a legal adult at 18 years of age.
Let Hunt Law Help You
Every attorney at Hunt Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of clients and helping them pursue the compensation they deserve. Our areas of practice encompass:
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Personal injury
- Catastrophic injury
Hunt Law is proud to give you respect, service, and reassurance. We serve clients in Las Vegas and the following cities in Northern New Mexico:
- Santa Fe
- Rio Rancho
- Los Alamos
Get in touch with a skilled personal injury attorney at Hunt Law for a free consultation today.