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5 Things to Know About Your Child’s Personal Injury Case

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Winters and Yonkers
Winters and Yonkers
In an uncommon scenario of a child personal injury case, every parent should be familiar with some basic rules that will be applicable. Given that a minor’s mental capacity is generally not on the same level as that of an adult person, there is a handful of differences that will be applicable to how a potential lawsuit might be approached. Nonetheless, one should always spend an adequate amount of time researching potential law firms. This will help differentiate between those offices with a reputable track record, Winters and Yonkers for example, and some that may not have been so successful thus far.

Timeframe Allowed

Statue of limitations is not the same for personal injury cases with adults and children. Although there is a clear lack of federal laws that guide states on this matter, children usually have more time to decide if they want to sue somebody who may have caused them physical harm. Many states do this by giving the child all the years needed for them to turn 18 or 21. This provides them with a period necessary to reach mental maturity and make a decision of such ramifications. For adults, on the other hand, rules usually limit someone to two or three years. Meaning, if the personal injury claim is not presented within this period, the claim will become useless as too much time has passed. This law was created to prevent people from filing claims decades after an incident. After all, it would be impossible to properly prosecute these matters in light of all the evidence being outdated.

The Child Does Not Make the Claim

One of the most important things that people should know about these type of cases is that children will not be making any claims. For example, if a minor in Florida is hurt during school hours because their professor was neglecting them, the only one who can bring some legal action is the guardian. Law utilizes the term guardian as some children will be raised by parties who are not their biological parents. Nonetheless, a mother or a father will be suing someone in 90 percent of the cases. Ultimately, it would be fairly ridiculous to ask a 10-year-old to find a personal injury attorney Tampa.

Not Everything Benefits the Child

Since the guardian is the one taking care of the child, they will be entitled to some compensation from the defendant. When the personal injury requires medical attention or long-term treatments, the parents will probably have to cover the cost. Since this is the case, the parent can sue the perpetrator for the funds that they had to spend and, consequently, recover them through compensatory damages. Of course, there is a lot of grey area when it comes to this particular topic. To ensure that it is properly addressed, one should only utilize well-versed firms like Winters and Yonkers alongside other seasoned professionals.

The Standards Differ

As one may expect, courts will not hold children to the same standards as they will most adults. In order for someone to prove that the child was not caused harm due to some type of negligence, they will have to prove that the minor comprehend his actions as well as potential consequences. Most states have implemented rules where certain age groups are immediately disqualified from such assumptions. For example, Virginia does not consider anyone under the age of seven to be able to fully comprehend consequences of their actions. Thus, if an adult is doing a claim on behalf of their child, they should understand their advantage in the fact that the victim will not be treated as rigorously when it comes to the burden of proof.

Payments Might be Restricted

Not counting the compensation that will cover medical bills, a lot of the damages might be restricted until the child turns 18 or 21. So, regardless of how good someone’s personal injury attorney Tampa may be, there is no way to win millions of dollars in settlement and immediately push them into the hands of the guardian. The courts view this matter through the eyes of the child. That means that all the benefits will have to be aimed at the minor who was injured. Thus, even though parents are entitled to a certain portion of the funds, the child should be given ultimate control over the vast majority of them. The only shortcoming, however, is that the child will not be presented any part of the compensation until they are deemed mentally capable. In most states, that is when they reach 18 years of age. If the courts allow it, the parents will sometimes take control over the funds in order to put them into a trust where the child is the beneficiary.