As a parent or guardian, you understand just how accident-prone children can be. Most accidents involving kids are harmless, but sometimes children can be hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of others. If that is the case, your family may deserve compensation for the suffering you’ve faced, as well as the financial burden you’re under.
Learn more about personal injury cases involving children from your Houston personal injury attorneys.
Children can be fearless, but, unfortunately, that can lead to accidents. From birth to their teenage years, there is a broad variety of injuries that children are particularly susceptible to. Some of these common injuries include:
- Birth injuries from vacuums and forceps
- Brain damage from harmful products taken during pregnancy
- Traumatic head injuries
- Dog bites
- Severe cuts
- Car accident injuries
- Swimming pool accident injuries
- Choking on small objects
Many of these injuries can happen due to a simple accident caused by children’s natural curiosity. In other instances, these injuries can occur due to the negligence of others. The injuries above may take a long time to heal and may leave children with life-long effects.
Compensation for Harm to Minors
Children tend to be more accident-prone than adults, but they still deserve compensation if their injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. The damages that they receive are likely to be similar to the damages an adult would receive in a personal injury claim. A child may receive damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Loss of future income
- Reduced quality of life
In addition to the damages a child can receive, a parent also has a right to seek compensation for medical bills that they need to pay. Because children are minors, a parent can hire an attorney or negotiate a settlement on behalf of their child, themselves.
If you’re settling your child’s personal injury claim with an insurance company, you will usually receive a form to file on behalf of your child. In Texas, a parent must seek approval from a judge before an injury claim can be settled. This ensures that the parent has the child’s best interest in mind before settling.
Compensation for Harm Caused by Minors
Just like cases involving adults, liability in accidents caused by minors is judged based on negligence and reckless behavior. However, the difference in the mental maturity of a child compared to an adult is taken into account. The law applies different standards to different age groups, so determining liability for accidents involving minors can vary:
- Children who are 7 years and under are generally not held liable for accidental injuries
- Once a child is old enough to understand right from wrong, they can be held responsible for intentional injuries they have caused
- Older children are held liable if they did not behave as carefully as other children their age would have
- Middle teenagers are often held to the same standards as adults
Because children don’t usually have much money of their own, other forms of compensation are used if a minor is found liable. Many accidents can be covered by a minor’s or parent’s auto insurance, home insurance, or renter’s insurance. If insurance does not cover the accident, a minor may obtain a legal judgment that forces them to start paying what they owe once they turn 18.
The Statute of Limitations in Texas
In Texas, the statute of limitations for a minor does not begin until they turn 18. Once the minor turns 18, they have two years to file a claim if they believe a lawsuit is necessary. In some cases, the responsibility for filing falls on the parent. If this is the case, the parent has two years from the time of the accident to file a claim in order to receive compensation. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware of this law and miss out on a chance to receive compensation for a minor-aged child’s accident.
Seek Compensation With Lapeze & Johns
Personal injury cases involving children can be quite difficult to navigate. Whether the accident was caused by or happened to the minor, the law’s judgment may vary based on the specific circumstances, including the child’s age. In order to receive the compensation you and your child deserve, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
If your child has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, you may be looking for financial relief. Our dedicated Houston personal injury attorneys can help you prove liability and get you the compensation you deserve.