Personal injury cases can be incredibly complicated. Between filing a claim, communicating with insurance companies, and sorting through the various branches of personal injury law, there are a lot of dynamic factors at play. These cases become even more challenging and emotionally taxing when a child is involved. A skilled personal injury attorney is able to maneuver through the complexities of injury cases pertaining to minors, but it is important for parents and legal guardians to understand the basics of personal injury litigation as well. Brandon L. Lettunich at the Lettunich Law Firm can help. But first, here are a few things you should know about your child's personal injury case.
There are Many Possible Personal Injury Scenarios
Personal injury cases are not always obvious, and there are a plethora of scenarios in which legal action is possible. Such cases could include:
- Car accidents
- School, gym class, or playground accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective toy recalls
- Defective seat belts, clothing, etc.
- Trespassing accidents
- Medical malpractice
This is not nearly an exhaustive list. Children who suffer emotional and or physical damage due to negligence deserve justice. A personal injury attorney can help parents discern if recompense is available in their unique situation.
A Child Requires Representation
Minors under the age of 18 do not have the legal ability to sue or be sued under Texas law. Accordingly, minors must be represented by a litigation guardian, also called a “next friend”. The next friend is an adult (usually a parent) who stands in for the child during a personal injury litigation.
Settlements are Handled Differently
While many non-minor personal injury claims are solved in out-of-court settlements, children's accident settlements must be approved by the court. This ensures that each settlement is toward the best interest of the minor involved. A child is able to receive compensation for disability, disfigurement, emotional suffering, and physical pain. In certain cases, children are also able to receive compensation for lost income. Importantly, settlement compensation is not typically distributed to the minor at the time of the claim. The money will most likely be held until the child turns 18.
In personal injury cases involving children, negligence is determined based on age and mental capacity. If a child is injured while trespassing, for example, he or she will not necessarily be considered to have behaved negligently. Age matters, and personal injury trials will take it into consideration when dealing with a claim.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Get Started
If your child has been seriously injured in an accident due to someone else's negligence, consider contacting a personal injury attorney such as Brandon L. Lettunich, Attorney at Law. Our firm can help walk you through the early stages of your child's personal injury claim, such as photographing and documenting the injuries and recovery process. Brandon L. Lettunich is proactive, client focused, and results driven, and he is dedicated to providing the best legal representation for his clients.