What To Do When Children Get Injured In An Accident
Seeing their child seriously injured is one of the worst nightmares of every parent. Unfortunately, this could happen in any place we consider secure: at school, at home or in a car while driving to the mall. As in every personal injury case, you can file an insurance claim and hold the liable parties accountable, but the process might differ from the typical procedure for an adult.
First, either the child’s parents or guardians act as the parties that will represent the injured child’s best interests and file for an insurance claim on their behalf. Second, your child cannot negotiate fair compensation, but you or an attorney can represent them before the insurance company. At Rencher Law Group, P.C., in San Diego and San Francisco, we have helped many worried parents protect the interests of their injured children. Your only concern as a parent should be your child’s health and welfare.
Children Can Suffer Serious Injuries In Car Accidents
Just like other passengers, thousands of children are injured in car accidents each year. Depending on how young a child is, it might be challenging to determine if the injuries sustained were minor or will become more serious as time advances. Your priority after a car accident is to get medical assistance as soon as possible.
When you file an insurance claim on behalf of your child, insurance agents will provide you with the required documentation, and just like in any procedure, the insurance company will calculate a settlement. If you are unsure about what is fair compensation for your child, remember that it should include past, present and future medical expenses and needs. It is best to consult a lawyer before you accept a settlement offer.
In the case of catastrophic injuries, the settlement should ideally cover long-term medical treatments. Unfortunately, children are prone to sustaining catastrophic injuries such as:
- Extensive burns
- Severe brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Losses of limbs
All of the above could severely impact your child’s quality of life. As in the case of adults, children can claim compensation for noneconomic damages such as physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. We know you may have questions and concerns. Let us help you address them and give you options to protect your child’s health and future.
Other Common Scenario Resulting In Injuries To Children
While skinned knees and other minor injuries are simply part of growing up, it is up to all adults to shield children from more serious injuries. Common accidents and harm scenarios that may warrant litigation on behalf of a child include:
- Pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, especially near parks and schools, where drivers owe a greater duty of care
- Accidents on someone else’s residential property, including swimming pool accidents and drowning, trampoline accidents, collapse of an unsafe structure, etc.
- Accidents on dangerous commercial property, such as elevator and escalator accidents, slip-and-fall or trip-and fall accidents, burn injuries from fires, etc.
- Injuries at school or day care caused by negligent supervision and monitoring, including serious playground injuries, bullying by other children that the school fails to address, etc.
- Serious injuries in youth sports due to negligent supervision and failure to monitor
If your child was hurt in one of the scenarios above or in any other way attributable to the negligence of another person, business or organization, contact our firm to discuss your legal options with our skilled and caring attorneys.
How Much Time Do You Have To Take Legal Action?
When adults are injured by negligence and want to pursue litigation against the at-fault party, they must take legal action before the statute of limitations (SOL) expires. In most cases involving adult victims, the SOL is two years from the date of injury. For children, the statute of limitations works differently. First of all, because kids cannot act as plaintiffs in litigation, you as a parent will likely serve on their behalf. In California, the statute of limitations for injury victims under 18 doesn’t really begin until they turn 18. If you file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf, you can do so up until they turn 18. After they reach adulthood, your child has an additional two years to pursue a claim on their own behalf.
You may have many years to file a claim – especially if your child is very young. However, it is a good idea to seek legal help reasonably quickly after the accident. Doing so improves your chances that evidence will be preserved and witnesses can be located.
Your Case Evaluation Has No Cost – Reach Out Today
We also want the best for your child. Call 877-RENCHER or fill out our online contact form to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation. You pay no fees unless we recover your child’s compensation.