What To Do When Your Child Is Injured In A Car Accident
Published on:December 23, 2014

Personal Injury Claim; What To Do When Your Child Is Injured In A Car AccidentIt can be frustrating when your child is injured in a car accident. Obviously, your first concern is for the well-being of the child. You may also be unsure of how to protect the legal rights of the child because, as you might suspect, there are special rules that apply to anyone under the age of 18 (a minor). If the driver of the car was negligent and injured the child, you should act immediately and hire a personal injury attorney.

Although a personal injury lawyer must be notified of the accident in time and promptly, there is no obligation for your child to have a face-to-face meeting with a personal injury lawyer. However, there is a duty to provide the attorney with a brief written statement, which can be prepared and sent to them, assuming the child is old enough to provide one. As a parent or guardian of the injured child, you can make a claim for accident compensation on behalf the child as soon as the accident happened or you can wait until the child reaches 18 years old. Once the child reaches the age of 18, he/she has 3 years in which to make a personal injury claim for compensation if you as the parent or guardian has not done so.

The usual 3 years’ time limit for starting a lawsuit does not apply until the 18th birthday of the child. It is very significant to note, however, that not every limitation period is postponed due to of age. It is advisable to seek legal advice immediately after the accident to determine the fate of your child in such a situation. Mostly you may have as little as a month to initiate the first legal step.

In order to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of a minor, you must be appointed as litigation friend. As a litigation friend, you will be responsible for instructing the personal injury attorney and making decisions on behalf of the child. The litigation friend has to be independent; therefore, if you as a parent were to blame for the accident sustained by the child, you cannot act as the litigation friend for your child. For instance, if you were driving a car with your child as passenger and accidentally hits another vehicle in the rear causing injuries to the child, you cannot act as a litigation friend when claiming for compensation on behalf of the child. However, your wife or husband, whichever the case or other close relative could act instead. As you can see, there are actually special considerations when it comes to minors. You need to seek advice from an experienced and well-trained personal injury attorney in Staten Island to know your child’s rights and your responsibilities.

In road traffic situation, it is the insurance company for the driver that is entitled to pay the compensation and not the parent personally. Insurance companies, regardless of how nice they act toward you, they have totally different interests in compensating or protecting the victim. The insurance adjuster and insurance company have one job, to maximize profit. However, your concern is totally different; you want to make sure your child injured in Staten Island in car accident receives all the insurance benefits, financial security, medical bill payments and compensation for future lost earnings and wages. A personal injury lawyer can fairly negotiate with an insurance company to ensure you child gets justified compensation.